Kerry Lemon - That Remarkable Artist I Met, London.

I met Kerry Lemon a couple of weeks ago and, since then, I've struggled to write of that meeting. 


Well, she was so remarkable that I have had no idea where to begin ...

There's an interview that gives you a sense of her.  But that's complicated, due to the fact that she's being interviewed by another truly remarkable being ... Elizabeth Duvier. 

I met Elizabeth via her blog - Mystic Vixen. Over the years her writing and photographs were that place where I wandered when I needed beauty and intelligence, and some soul-soothing too.

And so, it has to said, Elizabeth is also remarkable, for many reasons but perhaps SQUAM is her biggest, most beautiful and inspirational thing.  Well, that and her beautiful writing, and art.

Their conversation follows ... however there is more.

The meeting happened like this ... Elizabeth put out the call, writing to her friends, that I was new to the UK.  Kerry Lemon replied, saying she was madly busy with work but how about meeting up on 'this date'? 

I said 'Sure!'  

And eventually that date came round.  I headed for London, and met up with the delightful woman you see in the photograph at the start of this post.  I took photographs along the way, and managed to capture Kerry caught up in the awe and wonder she felt when viewing the work of one of her favourite installation artists, Rebecca Louise Law

Kerry is short and cute. Spending time with her, I decided, is a little like spending time with a very alive fairy.  One who sprinkles fairy dust where ever she goes, engaging all those she meets in delicious conversations that leave people smiling.

But more than that.  She's talented, driven, self-disciplined, intelligent, and entirely inspirational.  And wise.  So very wise.

Do you see what I mean?  How to write of this Kerry Lemon ... how to share something of her remarkableness.  It's difficult.

We met at Waterloo Station, under the big clock, and we clicked.  Just like that.  I felt like I'd known her forever.

But she's like that ...

She was taking me to the Columbia Road Flower Market, Sunday morning magic.  I'd never heard of it. 

What a sensory overload.  Meeting Kerry Lemon and visiting the Flower Market too. 

Yes, I promise, it's impossible not to adore her.  I imagine that's clear.

I could have followed her around for weeks.  I wanted to try and capture something of her fairy-dusting all those she met while she wandered.

It was a good day with a remarkable soul. 

And that's about as clear as I'm able to get on Ms Kerry Lemon.

An Absence ...

One of the most difficult things for me in these days is the absence of beauty.

I've always been a bit of a monster about my need for a particular kind of 'beauty'.  It's necessary for me to be happy, somehow.  And it's not about skin-tone or weight, it's not about fashion.  For me, it's just all about my environment.  A favourite beach, an old chair on a wooden verandah, a pier, or a view.

My history is littered with places found and colonised by myself ... and back home, in New Zealand, there were dogs too.

Belgium has challenged me.  In NZ I was known for not liking brick houses.  Not at all despite them being a sensible option.  They felt wrong to me.  There's a lot of brick here in Flanders.  Our house is brick however the Belgian bloke did paint the walls so that we live in a space filled with various shades of yellow through into terracotta.

And in all of the places I've lived there's been that place I would run away to.  The place that somehow restored my soul.  I don't know how to describe it.  It's a need not dissimilar to my need for music, perhaps.  I have a 17 song playlist that creates some kind of 'space' for me when I work.

I like what I like and it's looking more and more like I'm particular.

And so here, in this incredibly industrial city, located on the crossroads of Europe I struggle.  But I had found a variation of wandering.  I discovered the blog of Mystic Vixen - created by Elizabeth Duvivier, and she took me wandering with her and her dogs, via her words and her images.

But it's been summer, she bought a house too, she organised some massive international gatherings  ... I've missed her.

I also wandered with Nina Bagley, over on her blog called Ornamental.  But it's been summer and Nina, like Elizabeth, has been busy.  And so there's been no virtual dog wandering out there in Nature via my Plan B escape routes.

So I thought, 'Okay Di, if it's that important to you, why not write what you want to read?  Go find it here in the city.'

But I can't.  And it's so very frustrating.  I've been home here in Antwerp for a few months now.  Here, where there's no dog and where Nature is somehow smothered so that I struggle to walk in that beautiful park where the 'mist' from the massive international highway next door wraps itself around trees and softens vistas.

And I know this seems so very negative and yet it's my truth and so I think it's okay for me to write of it. 

Anyway, I'm sure of my ability to find those places.  I've been doing it for years and have become an expert at finding that space my soul needs.  I'll keep searching because oh how I miss it.

Don't be surprised if you read it here one day, Di got a dog and life is good.

The photograph was taken at Hunter and Claire's place ... down in Manapouri.  In Fiordland, New Zealand.  I went out walking one morning, amongst the trees Hunter has planted over years.  The light, the air, the birdsong.  It was quietly spectacular.

Sunday Night, and a poem.

No matter how early I get up, the world
is already whirling; no matter
how silent the kitchen, the stove is warm,
like a great heart, the coffee beans
are sending out their dark signal,
the cat is half-awake, his second eyelids
partly glued to the two suns
of his eyes.  The oranges contain themselves
like glorious planets on the cheese tray,
the milk waits, luminous in its carton,
the round table abides, the day
grows wide.  Slowly I step into
its bright stream.

Matter, by Carolyn Miller.

I found this poem while I was lazily reading my way through the Squam blog, over here.  I've been busy of late.  Madly, truly, beautifully, crazily busy.  It has reminded me of crazy times spent running down scree-slopes back when I was young and foolish.  And while I didn't lose control of the beautiful madness and it stayed fun, I did need to keep that forward-momentum going just to stay on my feet.

My next blog post, outlined on a piece of pink note-paper just now, will be all about things I enjoyed during those days.  And really, there was so much.  But today I rested.  I lolled about.  I read.  I noted down quotes as I read.  I listened to music.  Baked bread.  Had 4 loads of laundry dry outside on the line.  I nibbled, searching for something to magically re-energise me - trying all but those scary vials of vitamins I bought a month or two ago.  Gert has taken to sighing when he asks if I've had any yet.  I have an osmosis theory about medicines and vitamins.  If they sit close by and I look at them sometimes, they work ... magically.  By osmosis.  Julie might snort laughter through her nose if she reads this ...

Today I didn't drink any red wine.  I sighed over all that still needed done but thought 'Tomorrow'.  Tomorrow is Monday and I will begin again then!' as if I really meant it.   And I do.

The house is clean and it smells of fresh laundry ... as the towels had to come in and finish drying on the clothes-horse I use instead of an electric dryer.  And the house smells of freshly-baked bread because the loaf finished cooking not so long ago.  And in just over 7 hours the smell of coffee will be filling the house, as my coffee beans are ground and become a rather lovely espresso.  Thank you to Wesley for selling me her exquisite coffee machine back in October.

And that is how it is here tonight.  The time is becoming midnight in another 32 minutes, I should be sleeping but somehow writing this became that more interesting thing that woke me a little.

The photograph ... taken while out wandering with Lynette, at an ungodly early morning winter hour, last Friday.  The posh fries shop made me smile.  It did.


The Magic of Myth, an enchanted journey by Elizabeth Duvivier

It would not be untrue if I wrote that I love this woman's blog best of all blogs.

I have written of her work before.  A snippet here and snippet there.  Mystic Vixen is where I wander when I need a fix of beauty, both in words and in images.  There's quite some wisdom to be found over there too.

Wandering there is like opening a window onto a beautiful view ... it simply restores my soul. 

And she shares her dogs too.

So, Elizabeth is even more than I knew her to be.  I've attached the video where you get to know a little about her and work.  She's responsible for Squam, as founder and director.  You have to read about Squam to believe it but obviously any place where I read 'creativity as a way of life' in the subtitle I'm going to be interested.

Anyway, the video below, it's all about Elizabeth and an exciting new offering she has created for Squam - The Magic of Myth, an enchanted journey. 

Take a peek ... see what you think.

the MAGIC of MYTH :: an enchanted journey from Squam on Vimeo.