As we steam towards our winter exhibition in November, the art begins to roll in. Whilst most work flies in by air, sometimes it chugs into our local train station. As was the case this week, when I met Chris Nel, husband of talented SA artist Sonja Nel, on the 13.36 from Solihull to London. En route to a conference in Helsinki, he had kindly couriered over four new oils by Sonja ready for our next show. Cornucopia of fresh fruit and flowers in the style of the late great Irma Stern, as well as a striking portrait reflecting Sonja’s recent lessons with Hennie Niemann Jnr, temporarily adorned Platform number 3. It may not be the most conventional way of exchanging art but it works; is cost effective and provides a passing vignette of culture for commuters.
This method of meeting the train has been tried and tested before, when earlier this year I met the exhuberant Russian artist Nadia Kisseleva, fresh from Kenya, on the fast train from Birmingham to London en route to Austria. On this occasion she did not even get off the carriage, but passed her new paintings to me out the door and, with a hug and a wave, pulled out the station.
Our next exhibition runs from 14th – 28th November 2015.