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Welcome to the 31 Art blog


Each week one of our artists will post a blog

It Never Rains… - Mike Higgins

By justanact51, Apr 28 2015 02:12PM

I first got interested in creating art as an adult after a visit to Dame Barbara Hepworth’s studio workshop in St Ives. If you’ve never been, it is a wonderful mix of the house where she lived, the studio where she worked and the garden with some superb examples of her sculptures. It also has a little shed with a day bed in it where she would go for a nap. Those of you who know me well know that I like nothing better than a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. It is like pushing the reset button on my mood. Anyway, I think that was when I decided I would like to create art. “Wouldn’t it be lovely,” I mused, “to spend all day in this fantastic setting, creating sculpture, stopping only for a nap and perhaps a cream tea. Then living in St Ives with the light and the food, popping up to London occasionally to visit an exhibition of your work or collect a damehood”. Ah, the naivety of a novice. The reality tends to be somewhat different.

I recalled this idyllic view with my head stuck under the sink, elbow deep in water trying to fix a dripping washing machine hose in advance of the Open House. Yes it may all look almost professional as you walk in, but whatever you do don’t open the door to the bedroom or look in any cupboards. The last weekend we had before we opened was spent pruning trees in the garden, fixing leaks, power washing the decking and trying to find places for the masses of stuff that we seem to have acquired since last we did the open house which was only in 2012.

Apart from the practicalities of the venue, I’ve been getting my poems printed, making the pendants to fix them on, and selecting and trimming the prints to go with them, as well as ensuring I have all my fixings (have you tried getting hold of 60 bulldog clips?) and some prints wrapped for the browser. Oh, and I can’t quite resist getting another linocut and hopefully etching done before we open. Alongside the physical integration of the work there is also an emotional integration – seeing a set of disparate works come together to be something that says more than any piece individually.

This last minute creativity is of course a double edged sword. I have exhibited with the four other artists at the other four open houses we did but there are always… tensions.

As I try to attach a replacement hose to finally stop the leak, Aref calls out to me urgently. “Mike, Mike”

What is it Aref?

You haven’t got a plastic bag for the recycling bin.

I take a deep breath and in a superhuman effort remain calm. I bet Babs never got this from Henry Moore.

May 3 2015 01:15AM by A Fan

It all looked fabulous darling! Babs would have had a ball x

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