“Art rests upon a kind of religious sense, a deep, immutable earnestness.”

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I’ve been busy curating.

I have the great fortune to have an artist for a mother She’s an observer of life and the world around her, and a voracious reader, qualities fit for a writer, and, as it happens, for a painter. For years she has kept a studio here, a beautiful Victorian building where lively and interesting artists gather and show their work and raise funds for music and art scholarships. It’s a fantastic place filled with light, and always there is beautiful art on the walls, spilling out from the gallery to the hallways and the stairwells and the kitchen.

There is an art to arranging exhibits, as I have observed over the years from Mum’s work as gallery curator. It’s a question of balance, of ensuring that one painting is shown to its best advantage, which in turn shows the one next to it well, and so on. There are many determining factors, such as theme, colour, texture, or something as vague as mood, which, when hung right, will make a gallery glow.

Sometimes it takes my mother days or even weeks of lining paintings up on the floor beneath the hooks, looking from one to the next, thinking about them, and rearranging until they’re just right. It’s always worth the time she takes, and I’m sure her possessing An Eye for it has as much to do with instinct as it does her years of experience.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been mulling the order of the final two chapters of my novella. It isn’t as simple as changing the page numbers and reversing them; doing so shifts the balance of the whole book. Eventually it dawned on me that I ought to consider the preceding chapters while making the change, just to be sure that they all, like the paintings in a gallery, show each other to their best advantage.

It’s a little bit as though I’m lining paintings up on the floor beneath the hooks and thinking about them. They feel all right, but I’ll let them sit awhile (and see what my editor thinks).

PS – Speaking of curating, Mother Nature does as good a job of it as my mother. There were a thousand shades of green in the park today, each one perfectly placed. The sea air was thick with the scent of it.

Categories: General.