Deep thought of the day, what are you reaching for?


As I write the title I suddenly realise many people may be reaching for the end of the working week, the bottle, the next bar of chocolate, the next holiday. We do all reach for that comfort but what are we blocking out.

I have been a bit pre occupied these last couple of weeks not blocked with writer’s block but literally with ‘block’ blocks in researching minecraft parties. I am going all out this year with a Minecraft themed home party for our soon to be 8-year-old. Family birthdays, lots of sculpture events happening and a very busy sculptor means I find it harder to sit and write. Perhaps, just an excuse really however as this next week is half term I am trying to get this written before having the boys and really no time for writing.

Reaching 2

‘Reaching’ by Sam Shendi outside the studio

I have had a few conversations recently about ambition. What it means and why some of us have it and some of us seem to lack it. In conversations with my husband I reach for the dictionary. I must have had the foresight to know it would be useful to request it from a dear friend when we got married and she wanted gift suggestions. The definition of ambition is ‘an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment’.

My husband thinks he wasn’t ambitious as a child. He didn’t aim to achieve what he has achieved thus far more a determination to better his situation perhaps. In my mind he is definitely ambitious to fulfil a dream but more crucially has the unbelievable determination to strive for its attainment. Meanwhile, I like being in the presence of that ambition and almost make it become my own in many ways but  power, honour, fame, wealth have very little interest for me. I don’t have the drive to reach further or the ability to sustain any determination not for things materialistically. I have a very circular way of thinking. Say like taking a further step my writing into writing a book then I wonder why? for what reason? My mind goes into a spiral of being able to talk myself out of it.

Reaching 4

‘Reaching’ can be seen at Newby Hall, Ripon. June-September ’15

We live in a world where success is often measured in material wealth and possessions. Although we do need those to a certain extent in this western world, aiming to achieve your dreams is something quite different. I guess it is all about purpose. What is our purpose in life. I am too much of a day-dreamer, my personal ambition is reaching into the realms of spiritualism, for something beyond this world…. but I guess it is ok to have these lofty ambitions when your husband is working hard on the ground!!  So this Friday thought is. What are we reaching for? Why are we reaching for it?

Yesterday the sculptor took this piece along with several others in a new collection to  Newby Hall, Ripon. N.Yorkshire. So if you are looking for some inspiration, a wander in the grounds of an 18th century house, something to do over the summer the exhibition will run from the 1st June ’15 until the end of the season – 27th September ’15. 

Sending Sculptures

Colour, Galleries, Public Art
'The Kiss'

‘The Kiss’

Just before we went away we had exciting news that ‘The Kiss’ had sold through Saatchi Online. This really eased our holiday and return back to business. The arrangements for shipment were made for Friday 9th so my husband had time to prepare the sculpture, flat pack it and pack it up. I was really impressed by his precision and arrangement for the packing. This series of work has always been my favourite but the fact that it can be flat packed to ship I think could be the way to go! After printing out all the necessary paper work, the DHL driver arrived on time but took one look and lift and refused to take it. The volume weight was larger than had been booked. I tried to rearrange it but we had to go back to Saatchi.

So a quick email to Saatchi USA was sent, but of course due the time difference they wouldn’t be opening until 5pm our time. So we made a few phone calls and left some messages. Finally we got a call at 9pm on Friday evening to check if the package had been collected. So it was just luck they called us. After emails and reprinting labels it was finally collected on Monday so yesterday we said goodbye to ‘The Kiss’ and sent it to Panama. Not sure that the driver instilled much confidence when he recounted another delivery of a precious stone horse that he delivered where the head fell off in the unpacking. Might have to do constant tracking…

At the same time that we were in communication with Saatchi online we were emailing back and forth about the next potential sale with ‘The Hay Hill Gallery’. Last week after picking up ‘The Family’ from Berkley square, whilst doing so my husband said he brushed by a gentlemen dressed in a long grey coat and tight jeans and the “stains of snobbiness” dripped on the floor behind him. HIs account of this interaction to me just one of his social observations that he continually notices. Instead of bringing ‘The Family’ back to Yorkshire as planned it got taken across to Hay Hill gallery and was left there, within 48 hours there was a potential buyer. The work is really on a journey now. It’s been a successful start to 2015 and with the sculptor being busy I am in the shop.  Hoovering, dusting and washing up have dropped to the bottom of my priority list. I wonder if we sell another piece we could afford a cleaner?

family sold

‘The Family’

Stung by a wasp and butterfly cakes

Connections, Philosophy, Relationships, Soul searching, Steel

I have a feeling of foreboding or a sense that something isn’t quite right at the moment and I can’t seem to shake it. Yesterday, whilst dropping off my eldest son another Mum said I looked pained.  I decided to go for a quick run despite my little boy oddly saying to me that he didn’t want me to go for a run whilst he was at nursery. I was feeling a bit slow and lethargic when suddenly I had a stab in my arm, looked down and saw a wasp fly off my jumper. It had pierced its venom through two reasonably thick layers. Oh the agony! Now I was pained. I ran home and searched for an antidote. vinegar. Sugar. Ice.

I then had 18 cupcakes to make for my father. After quickly making, I dashed off to pick my little boy up to then drop him at our shop with my husband before driving to foggy Bradford for paint for sculptures. Returning in the pouring rain to pick up three boys and take them home. I finished decorating the cupcakes with coloured sugar butterflies amongst keeping the boys entertained with Lego, bashing on overturned pans as a drum set, printing out delivery notes for sculpture to Wells, phone calls from my husband to ask whether it was worth taking the sculpture to Wells at all. I feel I am zipping around like a stunned angry wasp and can’t get an aura of calmness. So this is more about me and less about sculpture. All in a day as a sculptors wife.This morning, however we found out that ‘The Toy’ has been selected for an exhibition in London at the beginning of next month but more logistics to sort out.

I am also plenty aware that so many more women out there including my mother, my sister, my friends have much busier mornings, more frantic structures to the day, frenetic exchanges and impending deadline. “I just don’t know how they do it”. I am finding ‘my rush hour’ in the morning makes my day feel like I am trying to catch the calmness of the floating butterfly for the rest of the day. So this sculpture is to forget the angry wasp and send out a smile to all those having busy days and to finding a moment to catch a butterfly.

freedom of speech

A third of the sculpture ‘Freedom of Speech’


Exhibitions, Galleries


We have had a flurry of ‘You have been selected’. All the pieces got selected for the Bradford Open (28 September – 19 January ) Yipee! The mad dash panic last week was worth it. My husband came in the other night and said, ‘How far away is Wales’? I’ve just applied for something there. Let’s have a look I said. WELLS not WALES (roll of the eyes yet again) in October, like we need anything else to do.  A ‘soul’ piece got selected for the Wells Open. Followed by an email asking if we were interested in a solo exhibition next year in the North West. Also, selected to be an associate member of The Royal British Sculpture Society, so can now put ARBS after his name. So a pretty good week in terms of ‘selection’.

This piece above, simply titled ‘Sperm’ has been selected for the Bradford, Cartwright Hall. I think how ‘Selected’ links with this piece is pretty obvious, well, it puts a smile on your face, right? Enough said!


Then & Now

Exhibitions, Soul searching

So much is happening I haven’t had chance to write. Actually, I have had time to write I’ve been reading instead. No, it has been busy and is very busy. Last week, it was London again for the private view of ‘THEN & NOW’ which is currently showing at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery. It always preoccupies me, that thought of when you are in a moment it is the ‘now’ and if you really savour the moment it can become an ingrained memory. Becoming the ‘Then’. When significant things or extraordinary things happen it is a little easy to do. For example, I can remember when I was in Japan stood on the balcony of the Leonard Cheshire Home where I was working and looking out at the trees and thinking, I may not be here again, I must remember this. I do remember that, although it seems like it was a different person then to the one sat here now. Now, this morning, I told myself must savour this day with my 5-year-old off school unwell. MMMmmm with a 2-year-old unable to have his afternoon nap it got a little chaotic to say the least. Not sure my mindfulness was in full focus as the day went on. May well not go down as one of those remembering days. Partly also because I  got increasingly stressed trying to sort out ferry journeys for the next exhibition this week, Amsterdam. Here, I come….I wish. Perhaps, for me these exhibitions will be in the future, ‘then’.