The vacant unit in Castle Quay centre, Banbury.

‘SomeWhereLand’ is the name of my new curating/ arthub project, initially inspired by the availability of a beautiful empty unit in the Castle Quay Centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

The location was perfect – opposite the museum and art gallery, an historic boatyard, and next to a coffee shop. A friend had been part of a group who had previously had an exhibition there, and I had a studio full of big paintings that needed to breathe and to be seen – a computer screen just doesn’t do it for large scale work. And the best bit? This vacant unit was totally free to occupy…

In March 2020, we all know what happened…lockdown hit all of us, and my hit came right in the middle of the MA Fine Art Painting I was doing at UAL Camberwell College of Arts in London, so my cohort was unable to have a real life show, and we never had a chance to say goodbye to each other or our tutors. (That became a subject of inspiration for some of my subsequent work).

So I then became determined to make the most of this opportunity, and ideas and planning began, hugely assisted by a chance meeting with a top curator, artist and lecturer who co-directed (with myself and my husband), the whole presentation – both of the exhibition, it’s promotion and advice on my own presentation regarding my website and Instagram.

After many weeks of hard work, the exhibition finally was organised, curated and installed! I learned so much, and after all the battling with the officialdom, (!) it was on the road, and looking pretty fine. As I said, there were so many great comments, and I now wish that I’d bought that ‘Visitors’ book I saw in a sale bin in the run up! But I didn’t, as I thought that there might be some well intentioned but anodyne comments, but I’ m now sure that there would have been some really complimentary ones.

Ah, well, there’ll be another opportunity, as I have it booked again for the second half of February 2022. Watch this space…..

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