Wonderland Exhibited at the Royal Palace of Milan & Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
It’s been almost a year since I last wrote in this diary, something I regret but also feel like I’ve needed this time away. Life as a working mother is drastically different to how things used to be and whilst I desperately try to juggle family life with running a business, Wonderland exhibitions and books sales, as well as working every spare second I have on my new series, there is little time to put into words all that I am feeling throughout it all. But this is also a precious private time for myself, after pregnancy, birth, cancer, cancer treatment, reconstructive surgery and the blur my life felt like it had become, I am now in a far happier place. We moved into a new home last summer and ever since I have been quietly working alone on my new series, finally given the space and time to pour all I have experienced into fresh work. A project that in all honesty will be ten times more emotional than Wonderland, something through which I intend to face the past two years of my life rather than run away from it. Some days Wonderland feels like a lifetime ago and then once in a while it comes flooding back as a new show begins and another door opens. This month two exhibitions opened, my solo show at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in America and then a room dedicated to the works in the Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale Milano) as part of their new summer show “Luxus – Lo Stupore della Bellezza”. The exhibition is described as a journey of aesthetic education aimed to understand the history and meaning of Luxury curated by Stefano Zecchi. The display explores the idea of luxury through an eclectic collection of objects aimed to show through aesthetic education, how luxury has accompanied beauty in western culture as it constantly intertwines with eastern culture. The show is contained in 10 rooms of the royal apartments and runs from July 12th – September 30th, 2018. This is without doubt the most prestigious location my work has ever been presented in and is something I still have to pinch myself over. Wonderland has come a long, long way from being made in my kitchen and back garden all those years ago!
I flew to Milan for the opening and press conference and in truth spent the evening running from room to room trying to record everything as faithfully as I could in the limited time I had. I doubt anyone knew I was the artist, but that also gave me the pleasure of being able to observe everyone as they entered the room gasping “Belllllla’ which made me smile and stand on one foot every time I heard it over and over. The Palace is of course incredibly beautiful, it was an amazing experience to see the works in such an ornate interior, which once again changed their entire feel for me – something I always love to experience with each new show.
And so of course…. being my usual camera shy self I didn’t get a single photo of myself next to the work, only realising after I’d left the building. Instead I quickly blurted out a message for Instagram and this is all I have! A rather excited me, not quite believing where my work has ended up!
My other show at Fort Wayne Museum of Art, opened in June and is the same collection of pieces travelling on from my exhibition held at the Paine museum last year. This show will run until September 2nd and also stocks the Wonderland book in their gallery shop. The museum have agreed to take US orders over the phone for the book too. Below are some snapshots sent to me by the curator. Currently there are talks for this show to move on to further venues, I will of course keep you all updated when I know more information.
And so here I am … back down to earth with a dramatic bump, jewellery back in it’s box, dress in the wardrobe and back to power tools, chemicals, sand paper and broken fingernails! In all honesty this is where I am my most comfortable, out of the spotlight, head down and pouring all my emotions into my work. I’m currently in the prop making stages for the new series and you can follow my video diaries of how it’s all progressing mainly on Instagram but I am also putting together clips for my Facebook page too.
Finally I have one cliffhanger to leave you all on, something I have been dying to share and STILL have not been given the green light…. but while you are here I wanted to say that at the end of this year, December … something utterly incredible will be happening for Wonderland. I will at least explain it is an exhibition, but an exhibition on scale that has never been seen before. I truly hope that my next diary entry will be announcing the details soon xx