Thursday, January 29, 2009

Social Graces

This afternoon, I began preparing for a lunch I'm hosting at my home, on Sunday, for a few of my collectors .
I'm very candid about myself when writing or making art but in life, I'm somewhat reclusive. I wanted to open myself up more to those who have supported my work and me.
Over the years, I've become skilled at organising large-scale events, like the opening nights for my exhibitions. I'm less confident when it comes to small and intimate gatherings, like this simple lunch. So I chose somewhere to start and kept on going. I found a local caterer to come to my house and make the food of my choice. My favorite florist will drop off some arrangements the night before. I've tidied my studio, which usually looks like an unruly tornado (me) has hit it – more than once – and I 've bought some inexpensive plates, cutlery and black cotton napkins.
The only things I remember learning from my mother were table manners and not drinking milk straight from the container. She was, still is, very bohemian and permissive but her upbringing was privileged, 'old money'. I am always surprised when I find within myself ideas of the 'proper' way some things should be done: for instance, I washed then ironed the new table napkins.
My life has been anything but conventional yet here I am doing just the sorts of things against which my unconventional but well-bred maternal grandmother would have rebelled.
I'm looking forward to the lunch. I have a fundamental connection with people who collect my work: they've responded to something that I've made. I hope they feel the same about the food and atmosphere they find here.


Mona said...

Immediately thought of this
by Linder.

Ebriel said...

...and I thought of this:

Tina Mammoser said...

Enjoy the lunch! It is hard to open up with people sometimes, I must follow your example.

As for the napkins and manners, sometimes little touches of 'old' ways like this (meaning things we were brought up with) are touchstones. Bits of structure and stability to guide us in social situations for those of us a bit more used to solitude and chaos. I'd probably iron the napkins too, and I don't iron anything. (my iron is actually a studio tool, not a household appliance!)