Memories of Bedfont, UK
I received an email from a lady in the UK, who had found me on Instagram and wondered if accepted commissions. Commissions haven’t typically been the largest part of my art practice. To make someone else’s vision come alive is challenging. During our correspondence, my client wrote to me about her reasoning behind it, and has allowed me to share it. She grew up in a town called Bedfont near Heathrow airport outside of London. For more than forty years, her father took the number 203 bus, to and from work. This bus stopped at both sides of the road at the top of their cul-de-sac, and the rest of her family also used the bus to get to the local shopping towns. Near to their stop were a couple of old but beautiful derelict school buildings which her dad, with the help of some other locals, converted into a community center, in the 70’s. He went on to become chairman of the centre, and served in that position for more than 30 years. My client lost her dad in 2005, and recently, her mum passed away. Her family home is going to be sold this year, so the intention behind this commission was to have a keepsake to remember this place and the good times she experienced there. We talked about putting meaningful landmarks from Bedfont into the picture. One was a distinctive tree beside these buildings called the umbrella tree by locals because of its shape. More often than not my eyes welled up whenever I worked on this. At the beginning when she told me the story, I felt a real connection to it and was glad I took the commission. I feel moved to write about her story and share a little of the process behind this commission. With her kind permission, she has allowed me to tell her story. Thanks for taking the time to read it.