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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, October 09, 2006
    Mutual encouragements all round

    Good today to meet Peter Murphy, icon artist who has featured in these pages from time to time. His new George Harrison hangs in gleaming gold alongside a Hendrix at the Stuckist exhibition in the 68 Hope Street Gallery, alongside provocative, witty and sometimes surreal paintings by the likes of Naive John and Charles Thompson, and the wildly exciting Sardine Attack by Jaime Braz. We talked about all sorts of stuff including Peter's other current work at Hereford Cathedral, the absurdity of taking the Mappa Mundi on tour, and the similarities between James Beattie and a wheeliebin (hey - we can say it, we're Evertonians). And completely forgot to mention the stuff of recent emails and postal exchanges - Steve Turner's Greenbelt talks and Johnny Cash in concert.

    It's good to make friends via internet. Later on an email hit my inbox from Matilda Harrison, who has just discovered that her Madonna of the City (my title, not hers) was my Pic of the month in April 2004 - the actual picture has been in my life and on my walls for the past two decades. Her Virgin Mary was one of her very first commissions after leaving St Martins Art College and she tells me that the model for the picture was a very beautiful, serene-looking fellow student called Bobbie, who posed for the picture on Long Acre in Covent Garden and was wryly amused when Matilda told her what she wanted to use her face as a model for. "Later that week she was slightly more discomposed when a film maker stopped her in the street, and asked her if she would come and do a screentest, as she thought Bobbie would be perfect to play the Virgin Mary."

    Matilda also wrote, "As an illustrator you always wonder if anyone ever stops to look, let alone like what you have slaved over." I guess the same goes for a blogger too. Mutual encouragements all round. Lovely.