An Exhibition

My friend Pip held an art exhibition last night. The room was packed, the pieces were displayed beautifully, and the crowd was full of friends and colleagues who Pip has made in her time here. Pip’s husband played the role of MC, and after talking all things arty while shining perspective on the work, he then thanked the appropriate people and gave a heartfelt tribute to Pip. He spoke of how proud he was, how Pip had created something out of nothing on foreign soil a long way from home. “I’m just so proud of you” he was beaming and genuine. Between that and Pip’s son arriving with flowers for his mother I found myself having to inconspicuously wipe away the tears. I cry at everything but when I turned to look at G who I could see had also welled up with emotion, it confirmed that it was a truly beautiful moment. We were all touched.

My girlfriend Jacqueline helped organise the exhibition, she writes a blog about Antiques, Art and Design, she was buzzing with excitement throughout the evening. “This is what I love, I love doing this.” And you could tell that it was, she was born to put exhibitions together.

While artists display their work, and writers write books/posts and articles, most of the world quietly goes about doing what they do without an opportunity to showcase. I think everyone should get to have an exhibition. I was thinking last night on the way home of all the people I know who deserve an exhibition. A room full with friends with a display of the work they’ve done. I’d begin with my sister. Her exhibition would be full of older people, people who walked with frames and needed assistance at home. People whose lives were touched by the rays of my sister’s sunshine with the work that she does as a home carer. I figured we could walk around the room and the older people could be placed just like artwork, and instead of reading their description on cards these people could tell us stories of Michele. About the time she was the only person who visited them that day, of how she shopped for them, washed, cleaned and hung the towels out to dry. It wouldn’t only be old people though, they’d be girls in netball skirts, teams of them. They would tell stories of when she coached them in the under 15’s and under 17’s, they’d talk about the cold winter nights at training, the endless Saturdays of volunteering, and the driving from town to town to watch them play. They’d be parents and peers, people thanking her for umpiring, scoring, driving, and helping. Her husband could thank us for coming, and be just a little blown away when he’d seen just how many people there were, how many lives she’d touched.

I’d like to organise an exhibition for my friend Carol who is always the one to arrive with flowers from her garden or wine from her fridge. It is Carol who implores you to keep writing, keep going, keep doing. Carol’s exhibition would have people from all walks of life, from the country to the city, the well to do and the struggling to get by. They would all tell the same story, that it was Carol who offered to collect, to drop, to drive, and to help in their time of crisis. That it was Carol who opened her house with a spare bed, a warm kitchen and an understanding tone to people who were temporarily lost. The school fees that were paid, the job that was found, the laughs that were supplied. There would be a fight over who would stand in the middle of the room to give Carol’s speech because we all want to say thank you, we all feel that she’s ours.

I think everyone should get to have an exhibition.

Who would you have one for? Or whose would you like to go to?

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