A little while ago I made a submission to the Winter Exhibition at Listoke House and Art Gallery.  I agonised over the submission form and accompanying email, attached, deleted, reattached, re-deleted photographs before finally and uncertainly clicking the send button. Then I spent what seemed like an eternity telling myself that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if my work wasn’t accepted – yes, it was a beautiful gallery in gorgeous surroundings, but, there were other venues, other beautiful houses, gardens and stunning locations – I wouldn’t mind rejection …… honestly ……. I wouldn’t be deeply disappointed ……

The closing date for submissions passed.  Then the day for the selection committee to do its work came and went.  And, finally, the day Artists were notified passed.  I’d spent the day in Camden Town constantly checking my phone, squinting to try to read the tiny text on the tiny screen, oblivious to the sights and sounds all around me.  In the evening I returned to my hotel, telling myself I wasn’t deflated, that there would be other chances.  The next day I fixated on my phone’s screen, as I moved through Covent Garden, ignored glorious creations in The National Portrait Gallery and completely missed the delights of Burlington Arcade; no email.

I gave up, and through myself into London’s delights.  A wonderful city.  I walked, I looked, I listened, I ate, I walked some more, I casually glanced at my phone……..oh!………I looked again………OH!  London took on colours more vivid than I’d ever noticed before as I floated down its streets, beaming broadly at everyone I passed.

Today, it was my great pleasure and delight to finally met Juliet and Raymond, and stand in their gorgeous gallery.  It is a truly beautiful space.  I could have stood for a long time, just absorbing the atmosphere.  However, it was not to be, as the place was a-buzz with activity – artists dropping off their creations, and preparations being made for the opening night of the exhibition.  I was dropping off two chairs, both made of Willow, with Yew seats.  When I took the protective covers off them and saw them standing in the gallery I could not help but smile, and my heart beat a little faster – they looked like they were created specifically for that room, like they were home.

I was elevated to even greater heights when I was asked, a number of times by some quite lovely people, if I minded if they sat in and touched the chairs.  That is exactly the response I wish for when someone encounters one of my chairs so I could not have been happier and eagerly encouraged them to run their fingers over the wood and try them for size.

Still beaming, Raymond took me out to the gardens, showed me briefly around, and enthusiastically expounded his vision for the coming year.  His enthusiasm was infectious, and his vision wonderful.  I have no doubt whatsoever that he and Juliet will make it all come to fruition. I sincerely hope they do.  What they have achieved to date is magnificent, and really quite beautiful.  Meeting Juliet and Raymond was a pleasure and a privilege; I am grateful to them both for affording me the opportunity to visit their wonderful gallery, and exhibit my work there.

I wrote about the creation of the chairs being exhibited in the articles, Reverie In Willow – Part 1 and Reverie In Willow – Part 2.  A full gallery of pictures can be viewed on the Greenwood Chairs page.

The Exhibition opens 22nd November and runs to 30th January.  If you get a chance pop along and see some beautiful works by local Artists, and, enjoy the wonderful surroundings and setting of Listoke House and Gallery.  Keep an eye on their Facebook Page for updates and news.

Thank you Juliet and Raymond – I sincerely hope the future of Listoke is full of joy, happiness and success.



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