Johnny Bull

a wonderful success
private view

In my introduction to the presentation of Johnny Bull‘s show ‘A Day in the Life… and other stories’, I suggested that seeing so many people coming together to celebrate the work is what art is all about … community. The unified voice of enthusiasm all meeting and speaking in support of each other.

I believe that this is true. In these days where the powers that be are cutting funding, demoralising and undermining the relevance and importance of art it is our duty to gather and remind ourselves of our own belief in the cause. We do this because … it is important.

I know that when Johnny registered the amount of people that had come to support him, he was a humbled man indeed.

The work was hung beautifully

And thanks indeed to Anne who presented the show and created this magical space in the newly appointed Slade Centre. If you haven’t been, then you must visit. The space itself is light and gracious, offering itself in welcome and it seems to proudly present the work which it holds.

There is a café; organic drinks and cake with art books strewn around for the casual browse. The space is designed to delight the art enthusiast and it does so with not a fanfare or vulgar call but subtly and with respect to the art within.

After sending out a newsletter inviting all our subscribees to the private view we had a rethink as we thought it decided to be a little more of an ‘event’, after all Johnny is a character that is as exuberant and witty as his artwork suggests. Working with him on making the right selection of from his portfolio allowed us to get to know his character more intimately and we wanted the whole show to be as upbeat and diverse as he is.

Our thinking caps provided the solution; wood-fired pizzas for people to enjoy whilst chatting and looking at the work.

That worked a treat and our heartfelt thanks go to Dan the Bakerman for taking a risk and setting up his ovens and prep tables … I think he sold 40 pizzas that night and is eager to join forces again. We recommend him for parties or social gatherings as well as his charming and helpful daughter.

The evening began and ended in genuine warmth and right in the middle was the highlight. Johnny agreed to tell us a little about himself and answer a few questions. And with great thanks to his daughter, Phoebe, we have managed to record it for posterity.

Johnny’s charm and wit had people chuckling along with him, enjoying his humility until he asserted that he felt he was not ‘an artist’. My own feelings aside, it is clear that many people disagree.

Over 75 people came, some from as far as London, to join in and congratulate Johnny and celebrate his work.

It is witty, warm, exuberant, whimsical and celebratory and in these difficult days, what more could we possibly want?

Little Utopias ebook

If you might enjoy a reminder of Johnny’s show here at the Slade Centre, please feel free to join our mailing list and receive a FREE copy of the ebook ‘Little Utopias’ where I interview him about his work and process in creating these mini marvels.

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