Being an Exhibitionist Part 2

…and Failing Heroically.

I had planned on exhibiting my paintings and drawings in a number of places this summer. Unfortunately, there have been “issues.”

The first expo, which I was particularly looking forward to, was the annual local artists and artisans exhibition at La Biscuiterie in Céreste on July 17th. The LSH has done this every year since Manu and Carine, who own the biscuiterie, started running it. It was to be my turn this year. It’s a convivial day, even if it is a long and hot one, but it’s good fun and generally there are a lot of visitors, many of whom do indeed buy something.

The driving force behind the expo comes from two local artisans, Jean-Yves, ferronier extraordinaire, and Stephanie, who makes really pretty and delicate silver jewellery. But in the most bizarre and cruel of coincidences, both of them had a child in a serious accident on the same day in June.

Jean-Yves’ son was a passenger in a car that went off the road near Céreste.  Everyone else walked away from the crash, Jean-Yves’ son was airlifted to hospital in Marseille with neck and head injuries. He was in a coma for weeks and is now in a rehabilitation facility,. He may never regain full use of his limbs.

Stephanie’s daughter was on the French inline skating team and was aiming for a world championship team place. She had an accident in training and suffered serious neck injuries. She is currently in a rehabilitation centre as well. She has some use of her upper body and they are hopeful that she will get her legs going too.

The lesson here is that there are more important things in life than exhibitions. Hold your children a little closer the next time you see them…

When it became clear that La Biscuiterie’s expo wasn’t going to happen, I decided to participate in an artistic Brocante (like a car-boot sale). This was to take place on the evening of July 27 in the square in Reillanne. The LSH had exhibited his photos at this before but felt it wasn’t worth the effort – nobody wanted to spend any money! I decided to sign up for it nonetheless (it cost a tenner) and to exhibit my white on black drawings and some prints and greeting cards. I figured I’d have a good chance of selling the lower priced items.

A full week before the 27th, they were forecasting rain. Nah, it’ll change, we all thought. Every other year there’s been a drought, any potential rain never materialises… but this year was different. It rained buckets on the 27th. All.Day.Long. By midday, the organisers made the decision to move everything indoors, into the Salle des Fêtes.

All set up in the Salle des Fêtes

This was all well and good, we set up our stuff and we did indeed stay dry, but the weather was so bad that only a few very loyal and hardy souls braved the rain to visit the Brocante. It was a long, boring and painful evening – it was ten days since I’d cracked my rib and I was not a happy bunny.  See awkward posture in above photo! However, thanks to some of those loyal and hardy souls, I sold a lot of cards and made a reasonable profit.

The final exhibition that was meant to take place was in my friends’ house in Apt, Cent Cinq – check out their Airbnb page! The house opens right onto the main pedestrian thoroughfare, which has literally thousands of people traipsing through it every Saturday morning in the summer. Unfortunately, their household insurance wouldn’t cover me as a person using their downstairs for commercial reasons, I need to have my own insurance. And in order to get the right sort of insurance, I need to be affiliated to the Maison des Artistes. Which is something I must do, but I haven’t yet done it. I’m waiting for the accountant to come back from his holidays so we can work out what’s the best way to organise my affairs!

Long story short, this particular expo will eventually happen, but at a later date, probably in September.

Finally, to cheer up this otherwise rather gloomy post, here’s a picture of Albert the donkey wearing trousers.

You’re welcome.

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