For two decades, Marion Hicks has been visiting our gallery, rarely missing an exhibition. We know she certainly purchased sculpture as far back as 1996, but she may even have been a regular since we opened in Buckinghamshire after our move from London in 1994.
Marion has a keen eye and whilst appreciating all aspects of our mixed shows, she has always shown a particular interest in sculpture. Her acquisitions over the years tend to be in stone, but she has occasionally also branched out into the unusual medium of stainless steel.
A regular visitor with her late husband Anthony, she was once firm in her correction of my husband Simon’s salutation, who, having read an entry in our visitors’ book of Professor Hicks, thus greeted them as Professor and Mrs Hicks the next time they arrived. “I’m the Professor” she told him in no uncertain terms – and quite right too!
Slow to make connections, it was only last year, after a lengthy conversation with her about her family, that I realised that one of her grandsons is a great school friend of our eldest son, and I have shared many hours on the edge of a hockey pitch and rugby field in Oxford with her son, Nick, encouraging our respective off-spring. Knowing I ran an African art gallery, I asked Nick if he had never thought about where his mother bought her sculpture. His reply was that he had asked her and she had just said; “from a girl called Debbie” which was a description he had never associated with me as a Magdalen College School parent!
Now unable to drive, Marion is kindly brought to our exhibitions by her friend David. It is always a delight to host them and heart-warming to see them still inspect the whole show with keen interest and have a view on most artists and works. They don’t always agree either!