In my last post I briefly mentioned the ‘Lincoln A to Z’ exhibition at The Collection this December.
Lincoln A to Z is a two year multimedia project ran by two men, Paul Tyler and Johnny Haw. They generate 52 grid squares at random on a Lincoln map, making a radio programme about each site and collecting photos/objects etc. They explain what they’ve been up to much better than I can on their website, here.
Paul approached me at the gallery over a year ago, telling me a bit about the project. Straight away I knew that it was something that I wanted to be involved with, having grown up in Lincolnshire and living here in Lincoln for the past 8 years. He told me that The Collection had given him a space in which to show an exhibition of the culmination of their grid square objects as their project finale, but that he also wanted to get local artists involved too, using ‘Lincoln A to Z’ as a reference. I hastily emailed all the Lincoln artists that I knew, getting our brains in gear about what sort of art to make.
I knew that personally that I wanted to paint a portrait and instantly Colin Mcfarlane came to mind. He had been mentioned to me already twice that week, how he’s extremely charming and a local Hollywood celeb. They weren’t wrong.
I Tweeted (I know, what’s a fangirl to do?) him that very day and got a response the next Direct Messaging me a contact number. Pretty soon and after a little explaining I went to meet his family at his house and couldn’t have felt more welcome!
His wife Kate (in charge of all of the correspondence so far), was chatting merrily about projects that they were both involved with and very enthusiastically looked through my work samples as we waited for Colin. In he beamed, straight from the gym and just as eager to see what I’d brought (small studies of him from internet-sourced snapshots).
I suggested that I’d like him to sit for me just how he was, without the suits and lights and makeup (which he explained weren’t really him) and he very kindly obliged.
Not only did we sit and talk for a long while, he advised me about London life and the art world, business plans and people he knew both there and here in Lincoln. It seemed so surreal to me, meeting these successful and ambitious people so keen and willing to help others (that they’d just met) with their knowledge and hospitality. Leaving a while later, completely charged and with a smile, I promised I’d keep them updated on my progress.
His hands, the foreshortening, his expression: I wanted them all to capture him perfectly… sat there in his gym clothes in the conservatory, down-to-earth, funny, family-man.
I added a few of my signature drips to my washy, lively marks, encased with a simple black frame.
The opening night at The Collection on the 19th December was lively and welcoming. The display looked impressive and the turnout was fantastic. The man of the hour even stopped by and was kind enough to take a picture!
The exhibition is on until the 24th January 2015 at The Collection, Lincoln. It is definitely worth a look!