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Would You Like To Come Back To Our Hut?

I have been asked to write something about my recent experience of exhibiting my work in the Netherlands. I am an Associate member of the contemporary gallery Backlit and they asked for submissions for their exhibition called, “Would You Like To Come Back To Our Hut?" a comment made by a character in Auf Weidersehen Pet, a 1980’s BBC comedy show, about builders having to find work in Europe. The Backlit Gallery building was filmed in the show pretending it was in Newcastle.

Eight Nottingham artists were chosen (including myself). My work was an installation called “The Hut”; a child’s play house, large enough for adults to sit inside, with Perspex mirrors inside and out, wooden bench seats, and workers lamps and hats. Using light, shadows and reflection, exploring the found and made materials. Connecting the child’s pretend play and adult reality and the structures of ‘make believe’ in TV and films. After exhibiting for two weeks in Nottingham the show went to the Club Solo Gallery, Breda in the Netherlands.

To get the exhibition with “The Hut” to the Netherlands we took two vans on the Hull to Rotterdam ferry, driven by my husband John, with me giving directions (shouting keep right!), and by the Curator at Backlit Matthew Chesney. We had an opening and closing party, with a band, dancing, food and drink; the Dutch like to party! I also ran a children’s art workshop, and the exhibition was very well received, with a video made of the event. Breda is a lovely city with a cathedral, south of Rotterdam. I was paid something towards my time and materials used, and John and I were able to make a bit of a holiday out of it as well, we travelled to the coast and Le Hague, and as a visiting artist was given free access to the Rotterdam art gallery! It was a great experience, I was taken out of my comfort zone somewhat, (which wasn’t such a bad thing), and I met some warm friendly arty people.