Tuesday, 3 December 2013
A Blog About An Art Gallery
I spent an hour or so the other day (Friday actually if you must know) chatting to an ex work colleague and all round good egg Lucy Hook-Child, she of the double barrelled surname and 100% Essex blood running through her veins. Well where else would you expect her blood to run? I ask you.
Lucy has recently opened a new gallery and I was keen to find out a bit more about it. So I paid her a visit and demanded some answers. Well what else is an intrepid blogger, aka nosey bugger, supposed to do?
The gallery in question is called Hazel Gallery, named after her Nana, a keen artist herself who, coincidentally, was also called Hazel (Not Gallery). Lucy used to spend summer holidays at Nana Hazel's house and was encouraged to take part in her various artistic interests, painting and crafts. Her love of art began here. This inspired her to study for her GNVQ in Art and Design and then a degree at Colchester Institute graduating in 2000. Lucy then worked at Colchester Library where I first knew her (and also knew her Mum and younger sister as they used to visit the mobile library), and a new age shop The Cusp. After a spell of teacher training in Bristol Lucy returned in 2007 to teach on the GNVQ art course back at Colchester Institute until early in 2013 when, faced with reapplying for the job she was already doing saw it as an opportunity to follow her heart and made the courageous decision to say thanks all the same but no thanks.
She spent the summer, and her redundancy money, setting up Hazel Gallery in an old newspaper kiosk that used to form part of the also redundant bus station in Colchester, right next to the old waiting room/café. I used to wait for my bus there, many years ago. And more than likely bought a paper or two and some sweets from the kiosk itself (and probably the odd packet of fags, but don't tell anyone).
It's now a new community initiative designed to regenerate the area from the ground up, by involving the local community, under the banner of St Botolph's Waiting Room or just the Waiting Room, if you want to be informal. And I know you do. It's all very exciting. And there is a magnificent view of the new firstsite gallery and a big red London bus.
She has added a complete new open frontage and inside is a feast of art, Cards, paintings, handmade gifts, bound journals and some of her own work. Well you would, wouldn't you.
Lucy also has her own studio at Cuckoo Farm where her lovely artworks are born. Lucy is a mixed media artist inspired by nature, the environment and music. All stemming from growing up in the countryside and long hours spent admiring trees and the moon.
Oh, and bye the bye, not content with all the above for talent, commitment and general all round clever clogginess (I made that word up), Lucy also happens to have her Level 1 BSL, that's British Sign Language to you and me. Crikey!
You need to get yourselves down there don't you, for a good look and to do some Christmas shopping. Hazel gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am - 6pm. And for good measure this Saturday is the Christmas Art Fair with 'art, craft, vintage and acoustic music all day'. So it's telly off and shopping bags on.
And when you're there, as I know you will be, say hi from me.