Friday, May 27, 2016


Marvellous get-together at high noon at bookartbookshop today (or rather yesterday) with George Szirtes and Clarissa Upchurch, Ian ( "Vincent" of Wayfarers's Notes) and Karleen Mulder, and another friend who had also travelled some distance to give me their blessings and appreciation. How fortunate I am - things like this re-charge the creative batteries which sometimes flicker and fade. Thank you all.

I take the liberty of copying  George's wonderful boost to me on his Facebook page:

Rising at 5:30 I get ready, have breakfast at 7 and am in a taxi three-quarter of an hour later. Having booked a specific train I have to stick to it. This means buying a new ticket from Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway, letting a perfectly good train go and waiting another forty-five minutes on the platform for the booked train. It is sunny and cold at Parkway but warming up. Once on the train I begin to feel very sleepy and almost nod off once or twice on the way. At Paddington there is a delay on the tube because of a signalling problem but eventually one arrives and I go to Old Street via Moorgate and walk the quarter of a mile or so to Bookartbookshop in Pitfield Street for Natalie d'Arbeloff's exhibition. Unfortunately I arrive a little early while the shop is locked so have a cup of tea at the friendly Ned's Noodle Bar next door, but soon Natalie arrives, as do some of her friends, and Clarissa too and we look at Natalie's tiny exhibits in the tiny shop which is dedicated to book artists.
I would rather like to write a full article on Natalie's work, enough for now to say it is essentially narrative, autobiographical and philosophical, using words and deploying a variety of visual styles that tease, delight and move the viewer. Her work isn't very much like anyone else's but some of it is like a cross between a diary, a graphic novel, and sketches by Chagall.
Afterwards we have lunch at the nearest pizza place. There are six of us. It turns out not one of us was born in England. Our various birthplaces are Paris, China, Jamaica, Australia, South Africa and Hungary. We drink to that then discuss food, life elsewhere and the existence or otherwise of the soul. One of us, Simon, had been, among other things, a sports psychologist advising Crystal Palace football team, not recently but back in Dave Bassett days. We don't talk of that though I'd love to have asked him more.
Then we head off in our various directions. It's quite warm, almost hot now and we have dressed for something ten degrees cooler.
The train journeys are deeply drowsy affairs. Arriving home we drop into bed for an hour or two. We take longer to recover from things that we used to. My ankle is swollen from too much train sitting.
Below, a link to Natalie's website. Do explore it in detail. She is quite a treasure to find. Especially check out the marvellous artist's books.

My main website


Catalyst said...

Wish I could have been there, Natalie.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bruce, that would have been fun indeed. Any trips across the pond planned? I'd be glad to have a drink/pizza/coffee/tea/whatever with you and SWMBO -say when!

Bryan White said...

Sounds like a great get together. Good to hear that Vincent is doing well (I still keep calling him that, even though I've known otherwise for years.) Tell him we all miss his posts.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bryan, of course I'll forward your message to Ian/Vincent. I had only met him and Karleen in 'real life' once before and it was truly a pleasure to renew the friendship last week. Internet communication is good but no substitute for live meetings...even if Virtual Reality geeks think otherwise!

Vincent said...

Somehow I missed this, till Natalie wrote today & passed on Bryan's message, which I take seriously as always (and have already acted upon). Karleen and I were privileged to be in such company & it was great fun. Few are the fellow-bloggers one is able to meet in person.

I like George's succinct description of your work, Natalie, & hope he will get round to writing that full article.