My first solo exhibition…..eek

On Wednesday I finally set up my long-planned (I booked the space a year ago) , first ever solo art exhibition.

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I did what I always do when out of my comfort zone. I wear ALL the colours and blag it. So here I am heading out to the gallery (via the hairdresser) to meet the curator and set up my show.

And here I am with talented illustrator and wonderful friend Amanda Rose , post hair transformation (thank you Sadie of Meraki Salon, Llandrindod Wells ), and somewhat more relaxed , having nearly finished the set up .

So that was Wednesday.

Friday evening was Preview night. The venue, Amgueddfa Sir Faesyfed (Radnorshire Museum), in Llandrindod Wells, county town of Powys.

It’s a weird thing exhibiting your own work , well certainly so the first time, I can’t speak beyond that. The overwhelming feeling for me is embarrassment. I’m an untrained artist, other than some local community lessons both in art and in glass, I didn’t study it at school or university. Part of me thinks I’m going to be unveiled as a fraud or laughed at. Another part of me, the biggest, feels typically British… one does not invite ones friends around and layout their stuff and ask them to publicly say nice things about you and your things “Come on people, praise me!”. My fear that my lovely friends would come along and feel they had to be nice because I needed some positive affirmation (which I did/do) but which might not be genuine. I’m transported back to being a child and handing a picture to a parent with great pride, and as it’s blue tacked to the fridge door them saying “that’s lovely dear, what is it?!”.

all glammed up (all the colours!) ready to face the crowds

But the other feelings I had by Friday evening other than fear and embarrassment, were excitement and pride. I was desperate for Hubby to walk into the room for the first time. He was genuinely emotional and very proud. I knew then that I’d done OK. Actually, I think I knew on Wednesday. The gallery space at the museum is fantastic, well-lit, good proportions, nice feeling. The curator, Will Adams, is fabulous, both in his skills and in his reassuring nature. My friend Sue helped me with pricing and then offered so generously to cater the event with some of her amazing canapes had provided oodles of encouragement and reassurance. Sues catering is second to none. She founded the business Tea ad Sympathy, which continues to offer excellent services in the Wiltshire areas even since she retired to Wales. Her and husband Paul arrived early too with said canapes and it was reassuring to get feedback on the exhibition from them before the arrival of others. Paul is an amazing wildlife artist in his own right (despite what he may say himself), his skills are incredible.

The evening was fabulous. I received so much support and it wasn’t just friends and people I knew . I’m going to leave you with a gallery of images from the night and you can decide for yourself. If you are in Mid Wales between now and 17th March, please do pop in and take a look. If you let me know you’re coming I will try to come and meet you for coffee and cake. The local Herb Garden Cafe is excellent for that sort of thing.

Pictures courtesy of Hubby, the museum, and good friend Craig….

“Out of the Darkness, Comes the Light”

When I began this body of work in 2014 it was as a result of the awe and emotion evoked when I looked out at the huge expanse of the dark night sky from my home in rural Mid Wales. There were so many more points of light and smudges in that darkness than I had ever seen before, having previously lived inner city. I would look up, with wonder at the prospect of the infinite new beginnings and endings; the energy that must be existing, living, dying and flowing beyond beyond.

Then I started looking at images taken from space telescopes and felt a spiritual connection to all that light and energy exploding out of the darkness. These energetic outpourings millions/billions of years ago still shine bright today; still impact on the here and now. For every action, no matter how large or small has an impact. A smile, a frown, a wave, which road we take, which path we walk. Everything makes a difference.

They say that something as a small as the flutter of a butterfly wing may ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world…

Bernice Benton – acrylic and stained glass artist

Before moving to Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Mid Wales I felt there was ‘an artist within’. It wasn’t until I moved here with my partner and our son in 2005 that I felt I had the opportunity to explore and develop my creativity. We all say that our landscape inspires our art and creativity and it definitely does. By finding the time to connect to the earth and the sky, I also began to tune into my own inner rhythm; was more able to connect to those around me; and to follow my own energy patterns, which has enabled me to find a balance, joy and a vision I did not find before.

I attended some art classes and stained glass sessions, and for those tutors I am truly grateful for their enthusiasm, inspiration and guidance. They gave me the basic tools, confidence and energy to explore and develop. The journey is far from over and for that I not only thank my surroundings, but the amazing people whose souls and personality have guided and enhanced my vision. If you are reading this you are probably one of them.

Every chapter of my life to date has led to this one. Those beyond will evolve from these now. Each moment that has been experienced, guides me through the here and now and forward into the light of my future.

Everything is connected.

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