May 2020

12 May: Finally, after two and a half years of preparation, and a delay of seven weeks due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I took the 29 paintings I’d completed and framed, labelled, numbered, and wrapped them, and stacked them in the front hallway ready to take to the Tairawhiti Museum for my exhibition: East, of the Sun.

14 May: Today Dr Darling and I took my paintings down to the Tairawhiti Museum, ready to be hung for my exhibition. I was warmly welcomed by the director, Eloise Wallace and the curator Jolene Douglas. Eloise took a pic to post to their Instagram page. You can see on the floor where I’m standing that there’s a long piece of paper – that’s one of the four to-scale diagrams I made to guide the team about which painting to hang where. It saved us a lot of time. Those of you who know me will know that’s how I prefer to operate. I was determined all through the years of preparation that I wouldn’t leave anything to the last minute. I don’t like stress.

I went back a few hours later, and those 29 paintings had all been hung by the very capable Jonty. It was the first time I’d seen them all hung together. It was the realisation of a dream. It opens to the public tomorrow.

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