It is with trepidation as well as excitement that I unpack the boxes when they arrive at Fillingdon Farm. Each piece of art has had a long journey. It is months since I travelled to Africa, met with the artists in their studios, talked about their work and personally chose each piece destined to make the journey across to UK.
Numerous emails cross-referencing images, codes and prices exchange in cyber-space, before the work is lovingly and expertly packed by the artists themselves, to ensure no breakages, and delivered to my freight agents in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. If wooden boxes crates are involved they all have to be fumigated before leaving South Africa.
The consignments are then booked onto a BA flight straight into Heathrow airport where I pay my clearing agents to do all the necessary paperwork and satisfy UK customs dues, before they deliver them here to me.
It takes quite a few days, sometimes even weeks to unpack, due to the diligence and quantity of packaging used to safeguard the precious work. For environmental and economic reasons I salvage what bubble wrap I can to be re-used when a customer buys from us.
It is a virtual trip down memory lane as each piece, last seen in a studio in Africa, is finally freed from its’ wrapping, before being cleaned, photographed for the website, priced and eventually displayed. No wonder we consider ourselves the “Slow Art version of Slow Food!”