lovely jubbly:

British informal, used to express delight or approval: fish and chips and a few beers on the way back from a match – lovely jubbly! (from lubbly Jubbly, a 1950s advertising slogan for Jubbly, an orange-flavoured soft drink; adopted by comedy writer John Sullivan in his BBC television series Only Fools & Horses.’)

I always love a good story. This report about an error on thousands of pieces of royal souvenir china caught my eye recently and made me smile. A spelling mistake on thousands of pieces of platinum jubilee merchandise celebrating the Queen’s jubilee this year refers to the ‘jubilee’ as ‘jubbly.’ It’s a word that’s used a lot in the ‘Only Fools and Horses’ sitcom, primarily by Del Boy himself – ‘lovely jubbly’ is a classic phrase of his.


I love the fact that something such as the manufacturing of royal souvenirs, so revered and admired in certain circles, should fail so spectacularly. And in this particular case, to top it all, to be compared to one of the UK’s most iconic working class characters in the shape of Del Boy (for those who don’t know, the character created by John Sullivan for his ‘Only Fools and Horses’ sitcom, brilliantly played by David Jason).

It also called to mind a piece of my work, ‘Mugs’ which I made for the ‘Push the Boat Out’ exhibition at the Art Academy, London in 2018. This piece highlighted another major royal merchandising mistake which resulted in mugs with images of the wrong prince next to Meghan Markle being produced. I quickly snapped up a royal mug with Prince William situated next to Meghan! You can see it on the top shelf next to a mug depicting William, also next to Kate.

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I was surrounded by some amazing colourful art over the weekend and it’s helped me feel more optimistic than I usually do at this rather drab, grey time of year. It also felt good to be out and about again, visiting galleries and having proper, real life conversations with other artists after a long time of not doing so. As a result, I feel more inspired and motivated than I have in some time.

First stop was to see Paula MacArthur’s amazing, vibrant paintings in her solo show, ‘Still Light’ at the Rye Art Gallery. I was once again struck by artist Graham Crowley’s description about Paula’s paintings in his essay from 2014:

‘Light is not only the subject matter and content of Paula MacArthur’s luminous and rather exquisite paintings but it’s also their medium. Paula’s paintings draw us into the now. For most of us; light can be many things, but for Paula; it’s a celebration of the senses and an affirmation of values. This isn’t simply a celebration of light but of life. The key to this sort of achievement is transformation. This is one of the principle elements that distinguish painting from illustration. This is the transformation from paint into light and space. A kind of latter day alchemy.’

What lingers after seeing these extraordinary, luminous paintings is a sense of joy. This is a celebration of light, life and love.’

None of the photos I took on the day do Paula’s work any justice and in honour of her ‘luminous and rather exquisite paintings’ I won’t include my poor images here. Best go to see the show for yourself if you can, or click on the link below for improved images of her work.

Paula’s ‘Still Light’ show is on until March 20th 2022 and more details about the exhibition can be found here: http://www.ryeartgallery.co.uk/exhibitions-events


Alongside her solo show, Paula asked a group of contemporary artists to respond to some of the flower paintings held in the permanent collection in the same gallery. ‘Still Life with Flowers’ also continues until March 20th and includes artists Hermione Allsopp, Miranda Boulton, Graham Crowley, Rachel Lancaster, Angela Lizon, Paula MacArthur, Joe Packer, Narbi Price, Judith Tucker and myself. I’m delighted to be in such great company and very pleased with the pairing of my work, ‘Nora was deflowered by a man who worked at a soda-water factory’ alongside Mary Stormont’s beautiful ‘Orchids’ painting.


Hastings Contemporary gallery offered another explosion of colour with ‘Ignition: the exhibition’ which showcases art works made during the 2021 residency in the gallery and works from the archive by neurodiverse artists and makers from Project Art Works. The show continues until the end of February. To read more about it, click here:



Then onto see ‘A Generous Space’ exhibited over two floors of the main gallery. More than 300 works from all over the world were selected from the Artist Support Pledge (ASP) community, bringing online work into the real world. The amazing story behind this groundbreaking idea is best explained I think, by the founding member, Matthew Burrows in the following ArtReview interview:


There was so much good art to see in the exhibition. It was clear that the work had been thoughtfully selected and placed and it was pleasing not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it. On top of all that, reminders that the Artist Support Pledge (ASP) community provides a ‘generous culture and dynamic economy in support of ALL artists’ added another whole layer of positivity while seeing the exhibition. My visit left me feeling inspired to prepare some of my own work for sale as part of the ASP community. It’s exciting to think about how that might play out. Details of how to apply can be followed on this link:



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