Apart from a slight hold up getting an all day parking pass at the station, the train trip to London passed smoothly. Even though I was carrying the painting myself I had wrapped it well, just in case I had any unfortunate encounters that could potentially damage it, and I certainly didn’t want ANY chance of that. The cab journey from Paddington went smoothly too and surprisingly quiet (I thought London cabbies were a chatty bunch…. Maybe I looked too preoccupied taking in the sight of London out of the windows) and I arrived at Christies in good time and with my precious cargo snug and safe in its bubblewrap coat.
With the few hours until my train back to Bristol was due to depart, I helped the ladies from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation unpack the 60-70 paintings and sculptures. The works were to be hung around the room in the order they appear in the catalogue. When I arrived they were already well into the process of placing the paintings on the floor under the wall panel where they were to be hung.
It’s a funny thing…. When I left Bristol my painting was a fairly decent sized piece, yet sitting there on the floor, propped up against the wall along with all the other paintings it had shrunk in size……. it looked diddy and much smaller than when we left Bristol. I have experienced this phenomenom before with my work arriving at an exhibition, but this was quite a marked difference in the perception of its size!
There were a lot of paintings to fit in, with a number turning up later, so there was a lot of thought and juggling done before everything was placed where it should be. Then we removed the packaging and wrappings, which is the exciting bit, as you get to see the work unveiled. There is some stunning work going on show, which should make for a good auction. I was surprised at the size of a few of the paintings…… huge pieces over 8 foot! Very impressive; they will add a very dramatic dimension to the exhibition.
Once everything was unwrapped and placed, ready for hanging by some of Christie’s staff, we took a break to tackle our sarnies. After which it was time for me to head off home again. I was disappointed I didn’t book a later train, as I would have liked to have stayed, to help them finish. I felt like I was leaving before the work really started! Everything would have to be finished by that night as the ‘Viewing Days’, where the public can come in to see the paintings prior to the auction, start the next morning.
The walk from Christie’s to the nearest tube station was just a few minutes and then an easy jaunt round to Paddington on the Circle line, arriving in good time to catch my train home.
Now I am full of anticipation for next Wednesday and the actual auction.