This was my last piece for the Fundraising for Gaza exhibition in Galway; a calligraphic
version of Khaled Juma’s poem:
This photo shows the (sometimes tortuous) stages along the way…. And here’s the final stage of the piece…can you spot the mistake? I’ve written before about the curse of being a perfectionist…and about the illogicality of being a left-handed calligrapher…Well, there I was, at 11.00pm on the night before the Opening, filling in the colour of the outlined words. Being left handed I worked from right to left, (not to smudge the paint), and on the fourth line from the bottom I come across the first word…. ant….I’m like, What????? At that late hour, I had to just squeeze in the W, so the diamond shape does not “read” perfectly….and so it goes! After a three hour drive to Galway to deliver pieces, we went for a great, Al Fresco meal in Eyre Square, relaxed, and watched the world go by, playing Spot the Tourist,Guess the Nationality, and Spot the Students! When we went back for the Opening it was overflowing with donated artwork, and the gallery was so well attended that people were overflowing onto the street…Thank heavens it wasn’t raining! Lots of red spots to show pieces sold….Great! Wandering happily to our hostel at 10pm, on a wonderfully balmy night, there was entertainment all the way up Shop Street…and loads of tourists and revellers…a great atmosphere. This man was a great singer and guitarist, and we perched on a shop window to hear him sing. He was homeless, sleeping in a car with his two dogs, who were delightful, well fed and friendly and so well behaved…(especially for a Jack Russell and an indeterminate terrier!). It made me think how life can go from cruising along, reasonably happy and reasonably secure, to tumbling out of mainstream society in a few small disasters, a run of bad luck or bad planning. There appears to be an ever widening gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots…I thought of this brave and caring man as we tumbled into freshly laundered sheets for a well earned rest, and it made me sad. Here is a piece in the exhibition that really struck me…as an artist I did not have the money to purchase it, but I was glad I had a few euro for the man and his dogs…There, but for the Grace of God, the help of good friends in the past, and much Luck along the way….. (I believe the artist’s name was Shona McGillivray).