On the 10 August the paintings went up on the walls of The Waiheke Community Art Gallery. It took over two days to prepare the walls and to fill and paint and place the work on the walls. On the first day Linda and I set the works out on the floor to decide on where the paintings should go. The two 120x240cm paintings found their positions quickly and the smaller works followed. The wall that is set on a diagonal axis seemed to suggest that the works on paper would be suitable there with two grid cluster groupings positioned perfectly in the space. The three round pieces that are 80cm in diameter were more challenging as I wanted them to activate the space of the gallery in a more dynamic way. I had the idea of elevating them in a diagonal row reaching towards the ceiling. The circles positioned to the right of The Honeycomb Clay Road Painting (120x240cm) worked well in the space.
After the installation photography was completed (photography by Peter Rees) the doors opened for the Patrons Private View at 5pm. A very well attended and lively event with almost feverish activity around the paintings with red dots appearing in quick succession mainly concentrated in one corner of the room but quickly spreading to other parts of the gallery. At 6pm the gallery was open to the public and the party began with large crowds.
The speeches followed with a touching introduction by Sue Flegg.
My speech followed with reflections of the residency and also a list of people that I wanted to thank and was eventually relieved and satisfied that the Exhibition was now officially open. A feeling of elation and a warm glow of achievement washed over my senses, the mission was now complete, all my efforts over the last three months had come together for this moment, seventeen works on canvas and panel and forty one works on paper, a total of 58 pieces of work in total had been made.
The night was one to remember, huge numbers of people and well wishers turned up which was a wonderful experience. After the private view a number of close associates and friends celebrated at Fenice restaurant in a private function room at the back of the restaurant, I had a really wonderful evening.