Solo Exhibition Opening

Yesterday was the Opening of my first solo exhibition – ‘My Dark Companion’ at Floor One Gallery, Rugby Hall of Fame. My artworks will be on display until 11th of January 2018. I am still totally overwhelmed with excitement. If you would like to visit, information about the address and opening hours is available on this page.

I got back home last night and reading all the lovely messages left in the guest book and in the greeting cards, I was seriously on the verge of tears… The support and appreciation from friends and family, as well as total strangers and likely new friends, means so much: makes me shine from within and gives me a good feeling for the things that are still to come.  I met some extraordinary people, including a lovely lady who shared that she found herself in my paintings and felt an instant connection. She told me about the art of Alfred Wallis whose works she adores, with the powerful display of the sea, the rough and honest expression, the inner energy and strength that his artworks contained. Then there was another woman and her grandson who visited the exhibition and the little boy took particular interest in my depiction of the dragon.  Apparently he really enjoys visits to the Art Gallery and this is a regular stroll they take. It was so heart-warming to learn that. There were many other extraordinary people I got to meet, for which I feel extremely thankful.

My multi-talented friend Maria Hopper helped me with the installation of the artworks, drilling into the walls with a power drill and measuring so that my artworks are not floating across the walls on all directions, haha It was a fun and productive day.

I’ve got the news about being approved to make an exhibition at Floor One gallery as early as June 2018. At that time it seemed like I had so much time to prepare and to present the best work I have. But time goes so quickly that you don’t realise and before I know it my exhibition was fast approaching.

Those of you who know me would be aware that I usually create my artworks after work or on weekends. This can be challenging for various reasons, especially in the winter when there is no daylight after 3pm. However, I keep going because as I often joke ‘I rest by working’, because of all the incredible support from everyone around and because art is a vital part of me, it helps me understand things that happen, it helps me express things I cannot say in any other way, it helps me relax completely by forgetting everything else and just enjoying the pure freedom of creation, of adding fragments to the universe.

For this exhibition I challenged myself in various ways. I created the biggest artwork I’ve ever painted – ‘Little Owl’ – based on a  pagan belief about the little owl being a messenger from an outer world. I also tried to improve my technique and try to paint elements I previously felt uncomfortable painting. I photographed my own hands for some of the painting or used photographs of women set in similar positions I was aiming to re-create or transform for my paintings. My black cat Shadow was always by my side with his endless curiosity and brush-stealing intentions. I got inspiration from various fairy-tales, myths and legends, dreams and stories. I depicted some of my childhood nightmares as a way of letting go. I found a way of expressing personal experiences through symbols, colours, gestures, creatures, tiny details. This exhibition is something very, very important on a personal level as I’ve been completely sincere and unrestricted in its creation. I thought about each artwork and how it’s working with the rest. The centrepiece by which the whole exhibition is titled after – ‘My Dark Companion’ – was the most challenging to create. It had to be worthy of what I wanted to express, it was like a little miracle that would help me fill for a second a big emptiness. I hope my art speaks to you in a familiar language and tells you something about you that you perhaps already know but never had the chance to discover in new light.

For those of you who are still to see the exhibition, I really look forward to reading your comments and hearing your thoughts…

2 thoughts on “Solo Exhibition Opening

  1. I’d been looking forward to going to this ever since it was announced. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the opening as I was working that day. In fact today (11th) was the only date when a day off work coincided with a day when the gallery wasn’t closed, so I considered it fortunate that I could at least get to see it on the last day. After an hour’s journey on the bus from Leamington I was gutted when I entered the Floor One Gallery to find blank white walls and just a tool box on the table. When I spoke to gallery staff they said that the artist had to take the exhibition down a day early for personal logistical reasons. Before leaving today I had looked at this website, the gallery’s website and the Facebook event page (which was reminding me that I was going today as I had clicked ‘going’ yesterday evening!) and none of them mentioned the premature closing and still stated the 11th being the last day. I now see that a line had been added to the gallery’s page about the exhibition saying ‘Closes early afternoon 11 January 2018’…a very vague statement…I arrived there at 2pm to find it not only closed but (I would imagine) long dismantled, as there was no longer any activity or paintings remaining.
    Although I’m annoyed about the time and money spent travelling to try and see this exhibition on my day off, it’s nothing compared to the huge disappointment at not having the opportunity to see your first big solo show and to be totally immersed in your artistic world, especially as it included one of your largest works. I can only imagine the impact of seeing so many of your vividly coloured works in a relatively small space…I envy all those that managed to see it!

  2. Dear Jon,

    I am really sorry to hear for the disappointing experience you’ve had. My apologies it hasn’t been better announced that the exhibition had to be closed earlier for which I take full responsibility. Unfortunately it was last-minute decision and my only option for dismantling. Thanks to a very good friend of mine who volunteered to do the dismantling, it was at all possible as I couldn’t be there today. I have now finally got the chance to speak to her and she informed me the dismantling started at 12:00 noon today.

    It really means a lot that you’ve gone through all this effort to see my work and thank you for the wonderful and kind words despite not being able to see my exhibition. It’s been a really challenging time for me and I’m sorry this has impacted on your planned visit. I would like to apologise and thank you by sending one of my post cards to you. I know it’s not much but I hope you would accept this gesture as an apology. Feel free to drop me a line with your address and post code and I’ll pop it in the post as soon as possible. You can do that via the contact form on my website:

    Kind regards,

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