So the trip to London was a fantastic success. And by fantastic success I mean I want to move to England. (No one at home was surprised by this.)
Firstly, let's be honest: I am a much better communicator in English than Spanish. I did have one brief conversation in Spanish at the show, mostly in a camaraderie with the person that hailed from Colombia... but in all honesty while there was conversation we both agreed that he was a better English speaker than I was speaking Spanish.
London pros: toilet paper can go directly in the toilet once used. I nearly wept for joy in the Heathrow bathroom upon arrival.
People wait their turn in line and apologize for things that may or may not require apologies. Any rudeness is both infrequent and subtle. To my American mind this is a small slice of heaven that will not be soon forgotten.
Crosswalks exist for a reason, and cars will stop for you rather than run you over. However frustrating this must be for drivers and traffic in the city, it took me the whole weekend to realize that it was indeed safe to step blindly into oncoming traffic. See above: heaven.
The food felt like home again. While I am not pretending to be British in my recent heritage, the food was comfortingly familiar. I ate more cheese over my 5 day journey (with gusto, I might add,) than I have had in the last 6 months where I live. I'm not knocking the local queso fresco, but there are only so many ways to slice it, if you know what I mean. Yaaay for cheddar!!
Plus Fish and chips. Say no more.
Parks. Architecture. Accents. I mean, need I go on?
In Lima's defense the cost of living can't be beat— certainly not by London; and especially with 3 children. So there's that. Plus local fruit has fairly ruined me for imported bananas elsewhere that taste like... I don't think they really have a taste. My kids would be shocked and disappointed. (plus 2 cheese, minus 2 fruit... I'll have to go back in the summer and run a second test ;).
And Lima also gets top points in "sense of adventure." Take this for what it's worth. ...so there's always that.
As for the show:
The space was gorgeous. I'm still working on uploading video to give a better feel for the atmosphere. but the building was one of a dozen delightfully old and stately edifices that permitted us to come and stay for the weekend.
And it truly was an international event. Of the other artists that I met, one had flown from Finland, another from Sweden, and next to me was an artist who had driven from Edinborough... which sounds equally lovely and additionally chilly. There was even another artist that hailed from Peru but has lived in England for 10 or so years. Of all the places!
Of the work represented there were also all sorts. Sculpture, glass, tapestry, photography— much of it lovely. Paintings and drawings were the majority, and so much to see for both the visitors to the show as well as the other artists.
I think that it is fairly safe to say that the work I brought to sell was by and large the most vibrant. (In fact if they were distributing awards, I would be top place in "bold colors.")
I am well aware that this is not something that appeals to everyone... and I make no apologies for this —sorry, England... I know in general reflexive apologies will help me better fit in.
But it's the notion that some people learn and others don't: that if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. And losing yourself somewhere in the process. And more often than not, feeling really badly to boot. So. Some people loved it, and some people, didn't.
Truth be told I would be thrilled if everyone who came through loved it. But that's hardly realistic. Until I'm fabulously famous. And even then that's debatable.
I would much rather spend energy and joy making the work that resonates in me, and put it out there in the hopes of connecting with those who feel the same. Working on my technique and pushing personal artistic boundaries rather than trying to "convince" other people of the art's value or worth seems so much more satisfying than something more fearful to the contrary.
So there we are. With certainly more to come. Thanks London, thanks Parallax, and thanks for all the love and support to do my very best not just this once, but for a lifetime yet to come.