My big, exciting, Horsham district year of culture commission.

The most involved, I really can not believe I'm doing this art project I've taken on so far...
A few months ago it was suggested to me that the Horsham District Year of Culture team 2019 (we'll go with HDYOC from now on) might like to commission a landscape painting to commemorate their big upcoming year. I was invited to a meeting, in a coffee shop, it went something but not entirely like this -

Nick - "We are planning this big, huge, massive, cultural event to take place throughout 2019 in the Horsham District and we'd love for you to be part of it"
Me - "Sure - Cappuccino please"
Nick - "We want to involve theatre, dance, singing, craft, heritage, comedy, music - everything and everyone, we want people to be part of it, enjoy it, gain from it and we want you to create a painting for it"
Me - "No problem, cake?"
Nick - "We want you to paint an image to encapsulate the whole of the districts landscape; we live in a fantastic, beautiful area with towns and villages and saxon churches, bluebell woods and rolling hills, we have rivers and lakes, valleys and castles, breathtaking sunsets - we want you to paint that, all of that"
Me - "In one picture?"
Nick "No - we want four pictures and we want the people of the district to choose the views in those four pictures and we want the people to see you at work and to talk with you about the pictures and we want an exhibition where the people can see the pictures - and prints, we want prints so as when the people of the district have chosen the views, watched you paint them, seen the exhibition we want them to be able to take a little bit of the district and you home and keep it forever.
Me - "Shit" (Sorry mum)

I didn't actually say that - I like to think that what I did say was something along the lines of...

"Wow Nick that all sounds terribly exciting, what an amazing opportunity for both myself and for the whole district - I would love to contribute to the year of culture in this way, Thank you so much for considering me"

The second meeting was better. I was prepared, I had a folder and a personalised map of the Horsham district (truth be told Geography isn't my thing and I wasn't entirely sure where the boundary lines were) the team were impressed. I also had stickers (Stationary is my thing) so as when I found a likely spot I could mark it on the map with a sparkly star or a smiley face -obviously as I was trying to be a "grown up" and my stickers were sparkly I didn't "show and tell" them. We had discussions and made decisions; we decided on four landscape paintings, no city or townscapes. We made a timeline and drank coffee and then despite the fact that I had recently been rained on so heavily my socks were still wet Nick and I made a short video for the HDYOC facebook page all about the commission and asking people to start thinking of places they loved and would like to see painted.

My very own, personalised map of Horsham District.... love it.

If you'd like to see the video we made you can watch it here I apologise for my "I've just been rained on appearance"

Last week Lisa (my other point of contact on the HDYOC team) created a very lovely, way more professional than mine, blog all about the commission on the HDYOC Website page - they are now accepting submissions for landscape ideas, for views in the district that people love, feel connected to or take their breath away. The suggestions have started coming in - some of the views I am aware of, some I have never heard of or seen before. Visiting these places is going to be a mammoth task, I will need to visit Seawhites to purchase more sketch books, I may need to buy walking boots...

If you'd like (and I'd really love it if you would) to suggest somewhere for me to paint you can email me here with your suggestion - add a reason as to why you love the view so much and maybe even a photograph (a google map reference would be super helpful if you can but I can manage without) We will be choosing and announcing the four views I'll be painting at the beginning of August (next blog post sorted) I suspect I will paint several more of the views eventually and I might just fall in love with yours.

Lastly - if like me Geography really isn't your thing you can type Horsham District Boundary Map into Google and find a bunch of really useful images to help you narrow down your search for the perfect, I want this painted and on my wall View.

Thanks for reading folks
Please feel free to share and re post, email me or even comment (if I can work how to turn the commenting facility on my website on - websites are also not my thing)

Sarah x

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