Today I had a very special visit. ‘My Little Friend’ came to see me at my London flat and I was thrilled! ‘My Little Friend’ has a name, her name is Charlotte and she is still my friend although she is no longer little. Charlotte has grown into a beautiful young woman. I have known Charlotte since she was born and she was always enchanting. I loved the way when I visited her house she would take me by the hand to her room and show me her special things. She was always enormously creative making anything from beautiful art works to cup-cakes. Sometimes in life you feel a special bond with someone and this is something I always felt with Charlotte. I now live in Greece and she lives in New Zealand so our paths rarely cross but never the less I still feel there is a bond between us. Thank you beautiful Charlotte for taking the time to visit me yesterday I hope you enjoy your gap year and your life is filled with all things beautiful.
A pop up exhibition of recent work by artist, Matthew Usmar Lauder , brings together his diverse stlyes and eclectic interests. From Thursday May 16th May until Monday May 20 at ‘Show Off, 13 Harbour Street Whitstable. Come and take a look. PROFESSIOAL ARTIST 2003- Selected Solo Exhibitions, 2009 Fable, Newlyn Art Gallery 2008. Fable, Fred [London} Ltd. 2007 Fred [London] Ltd, London, Fred [London] Ltd, Leipzig. 2003 Mobile Home Gallery. Selected Group Exhibitions, 2008 John Moores 25, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Import/Export, Painting From The USA And UK, Fred [London] Ltd, Leipzig. 2007 Traditional But New, Binz And Kramer Gallery, Cologne. 2003 Portrait Award Show, National Gallery, London. Summer Show, RA, London 2000 Art And Architecture, BA Headquarters, London. Selected Collectors Museum Of Contemporary Art, Israel. British Government Collection, King Hussein Of Jordan.
Last summer I held a little exhibition at a local village coffee afternoon . I hung around 250 postcard size images of local people I had previously photographed on a fence outside one of the cafe neas. After the photos had been viewed by one and all I let people take them, the fence was stripped bare within minutes. I photographed these beautiful brothers on the day.
The village Easter procession last night, wonderful to be there.
Yesterday was a superb day here on the island. We seemed to have skipped spring and just gone straight into summer. Just back from Sydney I had woken early and Matthew and I decided to take the dogs along the track towards the sea, a familiar and beautiful walk, especially at this time of year, with the abundance of wild flowers bordering the track. We took off on our walk with three very excited dogs, Hector, Nellie and Tollie. Quite some way down the track probably about 1.5 kilometers we saw a group of people heading towards us. At first we thought it was a walking group but on closer inspection realized it was a large group of refugees. There were about thirty of them, young women and men and two children. They had risked their lives crossing the Aegean Sea over night on a small boat from Turkey. Matthew and I stopped and spoke to them, a couple had some basic English and we learnt they were from Somalia and Syria. These people asked where they were. They had no knowledge they were on an island let alone in Greece. They were beautiful people with nothing more than a few possessions carried in a bag or rut sack. They were tired and thirsty and anxious to find the nearest town where they would present themselves to the police, they were still a long way from that. People often say to us that we are ‘Living the Dream’ and in some ways we are but as Matthew pointed out on seeing these people, they are the ones ‘Living the Dream’. Their dream is escaping their homeland, risking their lives to find a better life without war and persecution. The meeting was a thought provoking experience and I have to admit to a sadness that has hung over me since. We did what we could, loaves of bread, cheese, bottles of water, biscuits and chocolate for the kids but it’s haunted me that it wasn’t enough. Where are they now? Will the find a place to settle and make a new life for themselves, will there be any opportunities? I leave you with one image today an image of the end of the day where the water is still and calm and my thoughts are with the beautiful people.