“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” John 8:7
While I was still living in France, a friend came to visit. During her stay our days in Paris went like this: museum or gallery in the morning, shopping in the afternoon.
Thus ten day in a row.
The story behind the endless shopping goes like this: M would buy something for herself, then buy a gift for her son, then for her husband, after which she would say "I am buying this fine bracelet for my mother", "I am buying this precious brooch for my mother in law", "I am buying this unique wine bottle holder for my father in law", "I am buying this lovely dress for my sister in law”, and so on.
In the evening when we got home, pleasantly tired from walks, museums, talks, wine and lunches, but above all from M's shopping, M would take out the day's catch, spread it around the lounge and, looking at the bracelet bought for her mother, say "Hmm hmm, this is rather nice. I think I should keep it". Then she would look at the precious brooch bought for her mother-in-law, put it to her chest and look at herself in the mirror and say "Ah, now when I think about it, this brooch would perfectly suit my green dress. I think I should keep it”.
Then she would marvel at the unique wine bottle holder bought for the father in law and say "Now when I think about it, I remember that my mother in law gave my father in law a quite similar wine bottle holder. I think I should keep it for our serving table". Finally she would take the lovely dress meant for her sister in law, put it on and say "This dress suits my sandals. I think I should keep it".
And so, day after day the same piece of theatre would nightmarishly repeat itself: M would buy presents for her mother, husband, son and in-laws and later decide to keep them for herself.
Eventually M left for home with about 50 gifts well arranged in a new suitcase especially bought for the purpose.
By the time she went away, I was so mind blown by M's present-distribution logic that upon her departure I took a deep breath and then stopped talking to her for about a year. Hence, I don't know which of the presents eventually reached their initially designated recipient, if any did.
A few years later, here I am assisting with the installation of Nico & Vittorio's stall at the pocket art fair at the Crows Nest Gallery when during the process my little eyes spy something rather marvellous next door. It is half a wall covered with magnificent ceramic plates of all sizes and shapes, in all the dark tones of the blue spectrum. On each plate is represented a 'creature with a tooth', or other fairy being.
There are unicorns, Amanita muscarias, anubises and other magical folk. I get hypnotised by the image of a vampire princess emerging from a lake of green and Persian blue . Next to her, through the oval of a plate a beauty in red looks at me through the light spring-green of forest leaves, while a black muzzle with long ears stares at her.
While I scream pointing at one or another of the fairyland-gate-plates hanging on the wall (which is my usual reaction when I like something), I hear the voice of A aka Vittorio coming from a distance "I like the Nosferatu. He looks so vulnerable" and then I see the Nosferatu. Actually the three of them: the Nosferatu scarily gazing at a cross, the Nosferatu curiously staring at a pentagram, and the Nosferatu hesitating between a cross and a pentagram.
Next thing, I am pointing at the Cross&Pentagram Nosferatu saying "I will buy this for Lottie (which would have been my niece-in-law were I third time married). Her mother collects signed pottery, floral and fruits. It is about time for Lottie to start collecting signed pottery too. And then this is Nosferatu. A vampire. Every teenager is into vampires. Julie Goldsmith is a wonderful beginning for a life-long mystical creatures pottery collection".
Saying this I grab the Cross&Pentagram Nosferatu, take it home. Hang it on the wall, point at it and tell it menacingly : "You are never getting out of here Nosferatu! You're never leaving this house" and end with a sinister laughter "HA HA HA HA" (You know, the sort of laughter with the many, meaningful exclamation marks at the end).
And no Hohohoho for you Lottie.
At least not from me.
Nor from Julie Goldsmith.
The moral of the story?
An art and craft piece is the best gift you could possibly receive.
An art and craft piece is the best gift you could possibly give as long as you can let it go.
More on Julie Goldsmith (Kindred Studios) www.instagram.com/juliegoldsmith/