Meeting Kerry Darlington

A couple of weeks back, Mum and I decided to head into Newark to visit a friend and explore an oldy worldy art shop. Whilst we were there, we thought we'd pop into the Trent Galleries to have a look at some of the Kerry Darlington pieces which were on display and despite having already seen Kerry's work and style online, nothing could prepare me for how truly beautiful and mind blowing her art really is. We got chatting to Charlotte the gallery manager and having been in a few galleries before where art is for sale, I have found some can have very pushy or snobby members of staff who don't even greet you when you enter but Charlotte was an absolute angel. Enthusiastic about the gallery, knowledgable about the artists and their work and we discovered that Kerry Darlington herself would be at the galleries that weekend doing meet and greets. I had already made plans to visit a vegan fair that day but bailed on that, swapping my plans instead to try and meet Kerry.

We returned to the gallery a few days later for the meet and greet and found the entire shop to have been completely taken over with Darlington works of art. Everything else had been temporarily taken down and in their places were the most breath taking paintings and prints I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. We instantly got offered Prosecco and there was an adorable display of sweet treats but the crazy vegan I am couldn't munch on anything so I grabbed a wheelpop as a photo you do! We had a wonder around the gallery as we were a bit early and very soon more and more people started flooding in, but before long Kerry walked through the doors and mesmerised us all. She is incredibly elegant, not a hair out of place and was also very chatty, friendly, approachable and exceedingly charming.

The thing is, after my first visit to the gallery a few days ealier, I had fallen head over heels in love with a huge print called A Mad Tea Party and went home with my head in the clouds not being able to get it off my mind. Never before had I ever fallen so deeply in love with a piece of art that I could see myself investing in it, having it in my house and treasuring it for a lifetime. Never in my dizziest daydreams did I think I could ever own one of these unique edition prints as they alone are very expensive and the original probably cost more than my house. I had gone home and told James all about the artwork which had stolen my heart and to my astonishment, he told me to go back and get it for my birthday when I returned for the meet and greet. Not very much has ever made my stomach churn with excitement as that moment did and for the next couple of nights I was restless and barely slept; the kind of butterfly sensation you got as a kid on Christmas Eve.

So upon arriving back at the gallery, I viewed the artwork once again almost double checking I was as crazy about it as I thought I was because after all, it was expensive and it's not the sort of money we ever go splashing around yet I knew I'd regret it immensely if I let it slip through my fingers. I found Charlotte again and secured the artwork just in time - it was the only one left! Charlotte explained the artwork would be delivered to me during the next week and that as I'd bought a piece whilst Kerry was there, she could sign it on the back with a special message, we got to have our photo taken with her which would be sent in the post and also got gifted a little trinket keepsake which was a replica of the resin pieces which make Kerry's work 3D. I pulled out a little portrait of a woman which can be found in the Princess and the Pea artwork which was such a special addition to the experience and better yet, I had two stuck together so I gave one to my Mum.

I nervously waited with the rest of the now huge crowd and one by one, those of us who had bought a piece were called forward first to meet Kerry and have our newly purchased artworks signed on the back with a personalised message. Kerry was such a lovely lady, open and honest when asked about her techniques and what was involved when creating her work and we weren't rushed at all. We got a few snaps and whilst I look like an absolute potato, I'm so very lucky to have had this experience and also even luckier to have a husband who bought me this print for my birthday.

The painting arrived on the following Wednesday evening, delivered by Charlotte herself and I just sat on my kitchen floor with it and cried. I was overwhelmed with adoration for this artwork and couldn't quite believe it was now sat in my house. James came down and took the work upstairs to hide in his man cave until my birthday the next week yet I didn't feel the urge to sneak in and look at it even more. I just knew that in a few days, it would be on the wall in my lounge to look at all the time and I wanted to save that special moment for my birthday itself. I have never felt such a strong, crazy whirlwind of emotions towards a piece of art before and hopefully my photos do it justice and you're able to see why.

Thankyou so much for reading,

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