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What a very different week at the studio!  There are artworks being made and thought about!!

My upcoming show will feature a number of new works that are inspired by missing pieces in a second-hand jigsaw that a friend and I started last Christmas.  The original jigsaw that we began together but which I only completed long after my friend’s return to London took months to finish (it was actually Easter when I put down the last piece).  A combination of other commitments and adverse work conditions (a cramped bedroom with poor light) made the ultimately rewarding activity a somewhat arduous task.  How different it has been to have time and light at the studio in which to work!  I am amazed at how engrossed I become and at how quickly time passes.

I am becoming fascinated with the processes and thoughts that I experiencing.  It has been a while since I was so aware of looking.  Looking and looking, and how seeing – seeing where a piece belongs – is so different from looking at the piece.  It is as though I am able to look but not to see, that is to say that I consciously look for a piece but the seeing it seems to happen elsewhere or at least differently.  I feel that I can challenge myself to look, but seeing remains elusive to me – coming when it chooses rather than at my command.  Perhaps because I do not draw I am particularly aware of the looking that I am doing now as I make these jigsaw puzzles.  This is something that I want to return to.

It has been a wonderful week – and I mean ‘wonderful’ as in ‘full of wonder’.  Funny that a week ‘full of awe’ probably should not be described as an ‘awful week’.

Next week, being in London and at my grandma’s funeral in Devon, is going to be considerably different, but absolutely not awful.  My grandma, like John, left few but very clear guidelines for the service, neither of them wanted people to mourn – they both enjoyed a good party and wanted a ‘good’ send off.  With her “green door” coffin, three uplifting poems, and Frankie Vaughn singing “Green Door” my grandma is going to have the service she wanted.  The secret that the green door has been keeping is not a secret to her anymore – she is on the other side.

My grandma decided years ago, and told family and friends, that she was going to have a “green door coffin” – I thought that she wanted something ecological.  But she was actually referring to the Frankie Vaughn song that was a favourite of hers, and she carried in her glasses case a cutting from an advert for coffins painted to look like doors.  My brother’s partner – a very talented draftswoman – has drawn up the design for what will be a unique ‘green door’ casket.  And in her purse my grandma carried three poems about ‘remembering fondly’ rather than ‘mourning’, in one of them she had amended a man’s name to “mum” and now it makes perfect sense for my mother to read it about her mother.  I will read the poem titled ‘Death is nothing at all’, the funeral will be just a few days after the seventh anniversary of John’s funeral and the sentiment seems especially poignant

” … Nothing is past; nothing is lost … “