'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Art, come rain or shine

Well - Art on the Common took place last weekend on Harpenden Common and was a success, raising a nice sum for Cancer Research UK. But not without some trial and tribulation! I swore last year that I would never do it again after spending hours holding down a gazebo in a gale force wind, and by 2pm on Saturday I was wishing that I'd stuck to it.

It all started out OK with overcast skies and the odd smattering of light rain (see above). It was a bit of a pain covering and uncovering our precious stock and carrying our browsers under the cover of the gazebo, but we weren't complaining. At least, the others weren't. I confess to the odd bit of whinging and moaning. But then the heavens opened and it poured and poured and poured. Not just any old rain, but 45 degrees angled rain that would insist on joining us under our bit of green canvas.

Gazebo with everything out

Gazebo with everything in (including us)

We threw everything we had over - well - everything we had. My blue Irish wool blanket started to smell like a very old wet sheep on a Kerry hillside. Pools of water built up on top of everything and we began to realise that we couldn't pack up without getting everything soaked, so we were pretty much stuck. Water started to gather in lakes on top of the canvas and Hillary got herself soaked trying to release it. I bet Picasso never had to do that.

Eventually we decided that pack-up we must, so we started from the inside out, beginning with things that were a Bit Damp and progressing through the Rather Wet to the Jolly Well Soaked. We tossed it all higgledy-piggledy in our cars just as the sun came out. I could type a very rude word here, but I won't. Driving home in a very wet car, with everything gently steaming inside, I decided that this was it. Never again! But on Sunday, guess what? It was lovely. The rain mostly held off, the sun peeped in and out. We had so much extra space around us that we spread out and made a picnic area with seating for guests. We considered the benefits of hiring a triple pitch next year with a paddling pool and BBQ. Visitors came past steadily and bought things, and we said to ourselves 'How nice to be on Harpenden Common in a bit of sun and doing something worthwhile'. So - yes - see you again next year!

All photos © Sue Wookey

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