Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Exhibition Opening ...

Well it was fabulous but mostly because I have the most incredible friends and they made the night for me last night.

The setting was even better than I had realised, with Districthuis Borgerhout really shining for the artists. The grande dame wore her reception clothes well and enhanced the artworks hanging in the reception hall.

The evening was made for me, seeing friends and family arrive, finding someone new each time I looked up. Gert arrived before me, straight from the office, and stood in as me until I escaped from de Lijn and their horrible re-routing-for-the-street-festival-nachtmerrie and associated traffic jams.

Peter and Hans arrived first, bearing the most stunning bouquet of flowers I've received in a long time. We talked and I watched as Peter went to work with his camera ... that was me, camera-less for the first time in a long time.

Next to arrive were Gert's parents and their lovely friends, Jan and Rosa. It was so nice to have them there and that's not written because of the kilo of beautiful chocolates or the Spanish cava they gifted me with.

My cup was overflowing by now, grateful that people had simply come.

Then I found Helen and Heather, lovely kiwi friends from Brussels who had survived the horrors of the Brussels and Antwerpen ring roads to come. Ruth, a friend and a work colleague arrived next and then Paola and Simon arrived having fought their way through too.

(Amanda wasn't so lucky but it was all about timing and route, complicated by a traffic accident over our way in the end but thank you for trying and you know I look forward to attending or hearing about your photography exhibition one day.)

Peter arrived from places far away, as did the delicious Steven and Isabel from Ieper.

At some point, I realised the speeches and presentations were getting in the way of our partying but all party issues shall be resolved in the near future, or that's my plan.

People said good things about my photography ... which was a huge relief to me, as I had been horrible to live with in the 2 days leading up to the exhibition. I had slowly disappeared into the land of stress and misery after hanging the photographs and realising that they were now on display.

I did manage to exchange a hongi with Hugo, the organiser, when he presented me with the flowers of peace presented to all artists and key people in the event. I don't think anyone heard me laughingly call him a rat as our noses were pressed together.

Returning to fellow New Zealander and friend Helen afterwards I said, 'Well that was my first hongi (as per the photograph) and it happened with a Belgian bloke.' We both laughed ...

My dentist arrived and it was so good to see her. You see I discovered both her and my physio are photographers and invited them along too.

Jessica, my daughter was there too, although reaching the exhibition space on public transport on public transport was a whole other story ...

It was a truly excellent night, made so by friends and family who turned out to support this kiwi chick during her first art exhibition.

Thank you to everyone!
Party soon.


Peter said...

It was a great vernissage night Di, with some very special people who were more than interested in your work.

We got home safe and slightly drier (though slightly drunk), although I almost had to carry Hans (the wine did the trick) and now I'm facing all these very high ISO shots with an amazing amount of image noise at very low speed.

I'll get you a CD but I noticed the 'official' photographer had some more appropriate equipment: small lenses just don't cut it in these relatively low-light conditions without a decent flash and a large DSLR sensor.

I'm glad so many people enjoyed your opening night,
see you later!

Manictastic said...

Your work was awfully beautiful and you have so many interesting friends. Never knew that the district's house of Borgerhout was that nice. Keep on snapping pictures ;)

awomynda said...

Sounds so wonderful. So sad we missed it :( Will take the afternoon off for the next one :)

RD said...

Fantastic, Di. It sounds like so much fun! Wish I could've joined you. I think this photograph of the hogi is one of your best (of what I've seen, that is).

furiousBall said...

i love explaining the Honji shot that is hanging in my living room to all my guests. in fact, i've done it twice this week. your work is inspiring lady.

Di Mackey said...

Hey thank you Peter, I was so busy talking to friends that I didn't really get to see or hear what was happening with my photographs.

We got away not long after your tram pulled away, then moved from tram to the bus that was filling in in the places the tram couldn't go. My little high-heeled Italian leather boots had become instruments of torture by then.

I love your photographer's eye Peter, so I'll be curious to see what you captured.

Hope to see you for coffee (and/or wine) during the week ahead Peter.

Thanks Manic, there has to be a party soon, as I was sorry not to spend more time talking with everyone. I'm glad I caught up with you and aren't Steven and Isabel (the Ieper crowd) lovely :)

Lol, we'll see who has the next art exhibition. Maybe I'll be coming as a guest to yours. The traffic was appalling, don't worry about not coming. You were missed but we're trying for a party late September/early October.

Thank you RD. I wish you could have come too! If you're ever over this way we must have a gathering over at my place, so you can meet all these people you read about.

Hey guys, it's Hongi, with a hard 'g' sound or that's how I say it, although all native speakers of other languages I've tried to learn will assure you you should never listen to me give advice on pronunciation :)

Thank you for your kind words too, Van. I'm glad you're enjoying the photograph and that people are curious.

paris parfait said...

So glad it all went well - but then, how could it not? Can't wait to see it for myself, later this month. xoxox

Di Mackey said...

Thank you Tara, I wish I had had your certainty in the days leading up to the opening ...

See you soon.

Simon said...

Thanks again for the invitation, it was a lovely evening. I've posted a few photos here.