Practicality and the art of tidying

Colour, Connections, Exhibitions, Galleries, Philosophy, Relationships, Soul searching

I have been itching, quite literally, as my eczema has been so bad but an investment in a pair of marigolds seems to be helping with the problem. Suggested by my husband, no problems only solutions. However, that was not my point. I have been desperate to carry on with my sorting and de-cluttering since the boys went back to school on Tuesday. I have been at the shop though, as ever practical, my husband ordered a storage unit for the side of the studio to put in work which is not in exhibition but finished so to create more space in the studio for creating. He has been impatiently wanting this solution for a while.

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storage 1








He booked out a whole day to wait for the delivery, only to be told they couldn’t make it as they needed a special machine. They said they could bring it at 6pm so my husband waited until 7.30pm and it still didn’t arrive. 8am the following morning we received a call saying they were outside the studio. We both wonder why we are so excited about storage and tidying at the moment.

Today, the sculptor was up early (3.30am) again London bound as we have excitedly sold ‘Madame Butterfly’. Then he and his right hand man are heading on to deliver the remainder of the calligraphy collection to the Hannah Pescher sculpture gardens.

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Some of the calligraphy collection heading to Hannah Pescher

So I have been in the shop all week unable to carry on my house de-clutter project. However, since my last post which resonated with many people a dear friend pointed me in the direction of the KonMari method. So, I have had time this week to do a little research. The method has been created by a Japanese lady Marie Kondo.

Japan and all things Japanese are in my blood, it feels or has definitely have influenced the shaping of me in someway. When I was 18 I went to a small village to live and work in a Leonard Cheshire home. At that time I had only ever been to France and Holland, so the culture shock was huge but I embraced and enjoyed the deep and spiritual meaning which seeped into every aspect of the lifestyle and way of being.

This sculpture, ‘Madame Butterfly’ is the outline of a woman wearing a Kimono. A geisha girl. The opera is very much about the meeting of east and west and there is such contrast between the attitudes and styles of the western world and the eastern traditions. As in the simplicity I desire for the home, this style of the theme of work by husband is about stripping back the outline to the simplest form.

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Looking into Marie Kondo’s style and her art of tidying was a great reminder of the Japanese art of being and living. Something I have not been doing and not obviously picked up from my time in Japan as I looked last night at the disaster and disorganisation of my domain. So, eager to implement it, I ‘KonMari’ -ed my wardrobe which is where she suggests to start. With clothing. This seems where I have been going wrong. Starting with all my Japanese memorabilia, letters and souvenir boxes was too hard. I need to learn how to sense whether an item ‘Spark’s Joy’ or not. According to her, by the time I have worked through clothes, books, documents and miscellaneous only then can I tackle those things that have meaning.

In just two hours I folded my huge pile of clothes, origami style and feel instantly inspired. Today wearing a skirt I have never worn before, so much so that the boys were shocked this morning and wondered if I was taking them to school with it on. A skirt which I bought in Egypt when I was staying with my sister-in-law for an extended period of time during maternity leave. So immediately the item has a memory, a story attached to the item of clothing and in this case it spark’s joy. Although, I did have to negotiate the steps up to school a little bit unused to the length of dress.

In today’s busy, constant buying and consumer driven world we all seem to have a deep desire to get back to a more basic way of life. Once we have detached from the past we can focus on the here and now and have no fear of the future- this is the theory. Can we put it into practice?

As the sculptor parts with another sculpture to someone who has purchased it as an item which will hopefully spark joy for them, I wonder what to do with my treasured kimono? Defiantly not something practical to be wearing on the school run.

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Kimono Section of ‘Madame Butterfly’

Dress Code

Colour, Egyptian, Exhibitions, Galleries, Public Art

‘Wordless, Part of the Keyhole Family collection’


I read something today that was stating that when it comes to fashion men either give credit to their wives picking it out for them or it happened by accident, they have no relationship with what they are wearing. In America if someone is well dressed they would say, is he gay or is he British? Apparently British Men are more dapper !?

Well, what about an Egyptian born British Sculptor, whose wife is certainly not dressing him. Last night he was in ‘atypical male fashion’ having a dilemma about what to take with him to London. Hope he won’t mind me for saying this, it resulted in, a ridiculously big bag, in my opinion being taken out of the cupboard so that all options could be taken. All this is quite absurd to me, who perhaps conversely is a untypical woman, but also spending most of my days bumbling around with children in Yorkshire. I am not overly offay with the fashion world (perhaps a little more so since being married to someone who is) however it is not a preoccupation of mine. I spent a very happy three years at University in rowing gear which for me was comfy but also carried the street cred without having to worry about it. I look back at my early twenties and half think, what was I thinking, why wasn’t I interested in shopping. However, it is very different for woman there is so much more wrapped up within the fabric of ‘dressing’ (That’s another blog). I am now learning there is a lot to dress code, in the sense that there does need to be a certain degree of dressing well. People do make judgements, rightly or wrongly. First impressions do count. There is no point in still throwing on the comfy jumper that has been washed endlessly it no longer has a shape…is there? You never know who you might bump into.

So in trying to get to the bottom of my husbands concerns about ‘what to wear’ I asked him what the dilemma was exactly.As I write, he is at BIB&SOLA (which I blogged about yesterday) upmarket event at Mayfair.

So, my husband said there was a need to be looking both smart for the collectors but without looking like a ‘banker’ and with a fashion edge to relate to the arty types. Then, tomorrow night he is at the young master’s auction in Kings Road, the space is tight and so it’s going to be hot, people need to be smart but cool, as there isn’t going to be the space people will be more face to face talking than physically observing. He was thinking of all the variations, scenarios, impressions…even down to the facial hair and the hats I may add. Shoes…well, trust me it is not just woman who like shoes.

It would appear ones dress code is an art itself. I began to see why he needed his wardrobe with him. If he wasn’t a Sculptor, he could be someone’s personal shopper. I don’t know whether it is the eye for what goes together in the 3D form or the eye for design but it’s great to take him shopping. Wonder what he is wearing….