What a year. Twelve months ago, Follies for Follies existed in the form of a paper bid, a lot of pipe dreams, and a two-thirds-finished 'Vigil' sculpture....at that point, the biggest piece I'd ever made (at approximately 50cm tall). That sculpture now stands on a dresser on the stairs, and fits there quite nicely, if I say so myself. When I started this journey, I could not have imagined the amount of support it would receive - in 2012, Follies for Follies appeared in print 19 times, in publications ranging from local newspapers to regional lifestyle magazines and national art publications. But even more importantly, hundreds of people have turned out to see a folly, took the time to comment on a blog post or Facebook status, supported the project by sponsoring a strand of Rapunzel's hair, buying a Lady Mary bead, painting a wine glass for the Rotunda chandelier, or sponsoring a ship for the upcoming Sea of Memories. Nearly two hundred children helped visualise the story of Rapunzel, made a flower fairy, or engaged with the concept of 'memories' for the upcoming exhibition. To all of you, who have supported my ickle little project so enthusiastically - THANK YOU! The words 'I couldn't have done it without you' sound like platitudes, but are meant from the bottom of my heart. From the very beginning, Follies for Follies was meant to engage, and I could not have wished for a better first year!
Strictly speaking, the Follies for Follies year is not over - on Wednesday, I will be at Kirk Balk Community College's Christmas fair, getting people to decorate wine glasses for the chandelier. However, I have been teasing you, and I think it's only fair that I let you know that one 'maybe' mentioned in previous posts has reached a happy conclusion.......
Lady Mary is going..........home! You might remember that the Sun Monument at Wentworth Castle Gardens is dedicated to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, but you might not know that Lady Mary was, essentially, a neighbour, living a few miles down the road at Wortley Hall. Fast forward a few hundred years, and Wortley Hall is now a four-star hotel, restaurant and conference centre, and I have just returned from a meeting with general manager Johnathan Da Rosa, during which we decided that a spot right above the comfortable leather sofa in reception would be the perfect spot for her. So, just as soon as I can organise the right fittings, and get her over there, Lady Mary will once more preside over Wortley Hall. I will, of course, show you pictures once she is in place - until then, thank you once again for all your support, and have a wonderful holiday!
I am not a patient person. If I could, I would sing news from the roof tops before they are confirmed, but of course, counting chickens before they are hatched is never a good idea. Over the past few weeks, however, I have been juggling no less than four bits of excitement....I don't know if they'll all come good, but I can't stand it any longer, and so I'm going to give you at least a little outline to hopefully get you just a teensy weensy bit as excited as me.
First of all, one 'folly' may find a new home. That's all I'm saying right now, but I'm hoping that this one might come true before Christmas. It would make my year, so keep your fingers crossed!
Second, there might be a 'lucky no. 13' folly - even though not all 12 project follies are identified yet, this one doesn't strictly qualify, as far as the Arts Council is concerned, because...well, it's not in England. It is truly special, though, owned by lovely people, and early in the new year, we'll be getting our heads together. I can't really see this one going wrong, but I do have a strict 'not confirmed = no share' policy. So.......you'll have to wait until late February/early March for news.
Third, Follies for Follies may expand...beyond follies. The timescale is about the same as above, and I am really, really hoping this one comes off!
Fourth.......no, I can't share that one......it's too vague at the moment, but it would be fabulous! :o)
So, keep your fingers crossed, and I'll be sharing news as and when I can!