Pure excitement, deep pleasure, considerable satisfaction all tinged with a momentary touch of disquiet. That is what the last couple of days have been like.
I am writing this sitting on a houseboat in Amsterdam, after delivering a bronze piece I was commissioned to do for a memorial for a gravesite.
Just over 12 months ago I was asked to design and create a sculpture which would capture the essence of a lady dear to the hearts of many here in Amsterdam. After going though the design process, she was finally fabricated, and I was able to bring her over here myself with arrangements made so I could install it in its final place.
Now this is the wobbly bit – literally just after arrival (28 hours in the air + stopover connections) I receive an email the cemetery authority has ‘moved the goalposts’ and it now cannot be installed for at least another few weeks. Needless to say I was initially gutted – especially after adding an extra day at the last minute to allow adequate construction time. But there was nothing anyone could do, so making the best of the situation all those involved got together, had a good discussion with the next stage plans, and the now happy new owner took me on a 5 hour private walking tour of this fabulous city.
I am extremely pleased to report that everyone involved has been ecstatic with the final result – to the extent I received this email last night from one of those closely involved: “Dear Keith, such a pleasure it was to meet you, and how I love the bronze bike you made. It really is as if you knew Madeleine well. ‘On the pedals!’ we say in Dutch when speedy action is required. And indeed, one does not sit down on the bike saddle then….”
So, that was the business part of the trip completed. Now onto my version of R&D. In the next couple of days I will hit a couple of the major famous museums immersing myself in their heritage, go on a local gallery crawl to see what their contemporary gallery scene is like, and then down to Antwerp for a major art fair.