Well plan A ‘Champaign, private viewings, music business royalty and wild opening parties’ was blown out of the water by the unexpected pandemic and lockdown which stopped the work for a while, normal responses from suppliers and artists alike screeched to a halt.
Plan B was devised a slower less dramatic opening more of a slow burn introduction all covid secure and by special invitation only. Individual household bubbles starting with friends, carnival people and influential locals developing into bookings on line as word spread in the community. To provide a covid secure space cleaned down between family groups with an exhibition of colourful carnival paintings, carnival photographs, calendars from carnival years gone by, a covid corner with some sparklers.
On the last few weeks while finishing getting ready and recovering from my operation planned to send invites to our first visitors, when we heard the rumors that we could be facing a second lock down, to start with I could not believe it our figures in Somerset were very low – admittedly going in the wrong direction but only a little bit, we carried on, then on the 31st October it all came crashing down second lockdown announced to start on the 5th November couldn’t have been worse timing for our opening plan – invitations all cancelled then, It was said we could be open again on the 2nd December but many commentators thought it would go on longer so with plan B in tatters as it was very season dependent – does not make sense to have a carnival exhibition starting in December or January
So work slowed down again enthusiasm to finish it quickly waned started looking at using it as a stage set for the web page rather than the planned carnival opening of plan B. Gradually the lethargy wore off and we looked again to the future working towards a digital solution as we could no longer open it would ease our disappointment a little to use the time to work on this area.
Still struggling with a good plan C had not got a Christmas theme set up to replace carnival – had planned to continue with Carnival & covid theme then move on to a more general mixed exhibition before my Solo show ‘Round Bridgwater’ in February – may have to delay this until Easter to give covid situation time to resolve now we have a vaccine or two. So plan C with our smart plastered, painted walls, new side door, with filmed walk throughs, photography of a general mixed exhibition mainly launched on-line and some invitation only visitors to the physical gallery to start with, followed by bookings on-line a controlled trickle until the spring 2021.
Well it’s the first Friday in December so it seems a great time to install and turn the lights on in reception, tea & coffee area, with emergency lighting and wired in smoke detector. The only disappointment of the day was the toilet light fitting was a screw fixing so will have to find a bulb for that.
Looking forward to decorating the windows with card displays and a Christmas window next week, meanwhile in the garage the floor has an appointment with a paint can, the garage doors already have their front teeth and the toilet sliding door is ready to assemble. There will be diamonds on the ramp and the hand rail will be lovingly finished. The tea & coffee area will have it’s cheerful bright kettle, chrome cups sparkling in the light from the three chrome overhead lights. Reception is looking forward to its new vinyl floor and slate skirting on Monday. So slow start opening is now hesitatingly re-set for 16th December for the week up to Christmas.