I won’t lie, life has been a rollercoaster since I last sat down to write. Some of the early – and perhaps overly naïve – promise of spring got trampled by the heavy boots of wider events, but there is still a tangible light at the end of this very long tunnel ...
The biggest disappointment, although understandably necessary, was the extension of the lockdown rules. My event schedule was almost immediately shredded. The theatre side of my life that chugs happily alongside curation, mentoring and talks, was to be reignited this month having been asked to narrate an enormous event in Plymouth to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. A huge, international enterprise, playing to thousands, it was the first casualty of the lengthening of restrictions. The next was Handmade Oxford for which so much work had already been done (the cancellation naturally based on the soundest of reasoning, but hard to witness evaporate). And then we’ve had to pause Boulevard Market at Islington Square for a few weeks while technical issues are rectified ... A triumvirate of disappointments! Nevertheless, I refuse to be disheartened, there is still much to be positive about.
Canopy Market moves on apace; I got to visit ceramicist Louise Bell at Artefact at Chelsea Harbour (her work as ever stunning) and sculptor Ian Marlow in his Somerset woodland garden, and I’ve continued one-to-one mentoring. The Richard Seager Annual Arts Award met virtually, interviewed the shortlisted makers and chose this year’s worthy recipient, and in collaboration with The Green Republic, Vlad Mukhachev and I have put together a photography and video deal for makers to help them raise their games and succeed (the deadline is 6pm on Sunday 18th July by the way. Follow the link for details). I am once more a judge for the Global Design Graduate Show (thank you Arts Thread and Gucci) and I even managed a few precious days away. With talks and exciting projects filling the gaps created by the cancellations there is much to keep me busy (and buoyant!), and the setbacks, although painful in the moment, haven’t ultimately dulled my spirits.
This hard time hasn’t quite left us yet and it seems, for the time being, to want to hold on at all cost, but with determination and an eye on the future we can hit misfortune’s fingers with positivity and watch it fall off the ledge!