The 'Ben Fearnside: Metal on Canvas' exhibition at Gallery 40 has now opened for the Brighton Fringe with a private view for supporters. Bidding has started for on 'Containment 12' (below), the painting on auction for The Sussex Beacon.
The private preview was a 'thank you' to those who've supported me creatively or practically, or who've bought paintings in the past.
It was a very successful evening. For a start, the forecast torrential rain held off: absorbent mats, towels and umbrella-holders were not required.
Everyone we invited came, except for one person and their dog (it is a dog-friendly exhibition btw). The atmosphere was warm chatty and bustling, but not so packed you couldn't see the art. Perfect!
Jason Warriner (left, with me) came along to represent The Sussex Beacon. To place a bid on 'Containment 12' come to the gallery and put your 'promise to pay' in a sealed envelope. The envelopes will be opened on Saturday 13th at 6pm and the winner announced. All money from the successful bid will go the The Beacon. Although the bids are sealed, Cava-bubbles talk so we do know we have one bid over the £200 mark, which is encouraging!
Elsewhere on the walls, one painting was sold and two others are reserved. So we're off to a very good start. But then came the less-good part. I was dragged up to make a speech... oh no... and I forgot to mention the most the important people. So here's the public 'thank you' list.
Thank you to Donald Reid and Jose Antonio, who not only provided the drinks and flowers but also acted as attentive co-hosts. With a gallery on two floors, I couldn't have done it without them!
Thank you to SPONSOR chocolatier Bob 'Gilchrist of Plumpton' who provided a platter of wonderful Caramel Limes and Sicilian Lemons for 40 people. The high cocoa-content kept the event buzzing!
Thank you to Richard Leeming at Gallery 40 for the lovely space, to Sally Sharpe and Kate Fairhurst for publicity mentoring and Annique Tate for the website design.
And... a special round of applause to Vikki and Essi who came all the way from Norway!
But the biggest SHOUT OUT goes to everyone who braved Sunday trains and threatened rain to be there. Thanks for kicking off the exhibition with such enthusiasm and for being there on my artistic journey past, present and into the future.
Exhibition runs 1st-14th of May
11am to 7pm daily.