Closing Drinks for Grotto
Closing drinks (or the finissage, as Warren Neidich would have it) are always slightly odd, but quite relaxed affairs. They lack the mad energy that accompanies an opening and generally have a quiet little air all their own.
Tonight is the closing party for Grotto at Studio 1.1, the huge group show they have run through Christmas. There's so much work here. It has been a massive, 150 plus artists show. Even I have a work in this show, above (a magazine cover, with all the text collaged out, using cuttings of the background colours taken from multiple copies of the same issue.) Some stuff is great, some less so. It's impossible to see it all.
I do, however, see Kate Street there and have a chat. She tells me about a flayed squirrel skin she has just bought, and a dead magpie. Seriously, I'm not kidding, she's like that. When she used to work at the shop with me she was continually having boxes delivered filled with dead things she'd bought off ebay. I always expected to receive a package one day with blood dripping out of it.
While we are talking I overhear a conversation with a woman asking if it's possible to collect the Cathy Lomax piece that she has acquired. I'm assuming that means a sale for Cathy. There is evidence of other sales or collections too, squares of velcro that delineate the corners of a invisible squares or rectangles sit within the hang. I get introduced to Oliver Bancroft and at last have an opportunity to tell him how much I liked this piece he did.
I also bump into Rosie Spencer who I met at the Hayward Gallery party for Art Monthly. Yesterday I saw her coming into the Guy Hilton gallery as I was leaving. We talk about that show. She says she felt like the house was about to fall down. And what was going on in the basement? And Will Self just creeping around. And what were all those people eating in that back room? It looked like a swan. Ah yes, I had forgotten the little frenzy of picking at the swan that overtook everyone after Mark had taken his ceremonial mouthfuls, but yes, everyone was in there getting a piece of the greasy meat. Rosie introduces me to Jess Baines, who along with Rosie, produces White Collar, the small, odd, literary journal. It's an interesting piece of work.
I stand outside for a bit in the cold and talk to Kate Street again who can't find her name on the poster outside. It isn't on there. Mine is, so I take a photo.
Then I say my goodbyes and head up to Associates; it's on my way, and I'll catch whatever is on. I get there. The blinds are down. There's no one else around. I stand there for a bit, like the poor kid who has turned up to the party on the wrong day. If I had a balloon in my hand it would now be gently deflating, looking like a giant raisin. I wait for a moment wondering if something might happen.
I leave the balloon on the pavement and trudge back home.