May 24 2013
Although not quite the balmy May evening we had envisaged when planned last November, the warmth came from within and the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) buzzed for the launch of Jenny Halstead’s hot-off-the-press, book, “An Artist’s Year in the Harris Garden“. It was very exciting. Visitors started arriving well before six o’clock and the exhibition was packed with people keen to acquire their very own copies of the book signed by the author and artist. Artists, academics and garden lovers were there. No music just the sounds of Prosecco popping and happy people. Someone said later, it was so friendly with everyone discussing the work to one another and enthusing. We had calculated 90 visitors but 138 (counted by MERL clicker) came, wine had to be replenished and glasses re-washed!!
When asked to describe the evening author and artist, Jenny Halstead said “I was too busy to fret. The exhibition was up and everything worked: the sketchbook work shown on a continuous loop, the iPad with sound. The book itself arrived just the day before (a bit too close for comfort!!). Cards were printed and on display, plants arrived for courtyard, pop-up banner and posters all in place. So hoped it would all be OK and it was!!!
Vice Chancellor, Sir David Bell, started the speeches and I followed, then Trevor Pitman Chairman of the Friends of the Harris Garden, then Sally Mortimore of Two Rivers Press with the book and finally Adrian Blamires reading his sonnets. It was great. I flew home!!!”
The Private View was held Thursday 23 May 2013 at 6pm at MERL.
For more about Jenny and her year as artist in residence at the Harris Garden please click here.
MERL will host an exhibition of Jenny’s works from her year as artist in residence at the Harris Garden, An Artist’s Year in the Harris Garden, from 24 May to 30 June, 2103.