Three weeks ago I received an email from Jill Stein’s PA, with details of a new restaurant and request for information on prints and any originals I might have. Trying not to get too excited I sent all the information back and waited.
Within a few days I had a request for seven prints and six originals. I was home alone and openly admit to doing a few whoops and jumps around the kitchen.
Within ten days, the prints were done and framed and I was driving down to Porthleven with a car load of artwork, fit to burst.
Roll back a bit, and you are probably all wondering how she found me, what the connection is?. Well, two years ago an interior designer Cathryn Bishop found my work via my solo exhibition at the Castle Bude and a new beach hotel who had commented. This resulted in me working with them on a few projects in the Padstow area. Then, this year whilst at Port Eliot Festival I bumped into Jill and we had a chat about my artwork and this chance meeting sparked renewed interest.
So the day had arrived.The weather was against me, but David from Stable Arts loaded the prints in and the large framed ones were huge and just fitted flat.
I always consider there to be three corners of Cornwall, Bude, Penzance and the Lizard; and Porthleven was 90 miles away very near one of these distant corners.
Clay Quay is a big old historic building on the quayside, a warehouse for shipping china clay out of cornwall. On three floors, it is a magnificent building, light and airy with thick cob walls and plenty of display space.
I met with Jill, Viv, the Porthleven team and maintenance who were busy prepping the building for the evening opening celebrations. David Pearce from Padstow Fine Art also arrived with his artwork and during the morning we managed to hang six of my prints, 5 originals and around 6 of David’s originals as well.
It was now only lunchtime, but I sauntered around Porthleven and took a few photos as well as driving out the coast road towards Rinsey and managed to pass a few hours.
I’d brought a change of dress and changed in the car in a lay-by which I have to say was a bit unnerving, and arrived back at the restaurant with time for a quick spruce up before meeting more of the Stein team, which included the chairman, operations manager and the man himself.
We chatted about the paintings and we talked a little about Bude before he had a few words to the invitees of the opening. Local people were a little sceptical about the ‘Steins’ coming to Porthleven, but he brushed it off a little saying he always finds the Cornish to be ‘careful’ which I think sums it up very well. Not adverse to change, it happens slowly and with caution, careful not to impact on the communities values. Porthleven is already quite a little food mecca, with a festival every year. No chains there yet, so retains its charm with small independent shops around a large harbour and iconic clock tower which gets a real hammering in the winter storms. It felt like Padstow thirty years ago.
It would have been nice to stay for longer, but probably just as well. The champagne was the bee’s knees,but I had a two hour drive home and the weather had come in really blowy and rainy again, so I said my farewells and headed home.
It just took me a couple of days to come back down to earth.