As regular readers know, Dee and I would follow sidetracks and detours to the end of the earth in pursuit of the arts we love. Nevertheless as our artist friend, Claudie, reminded us when we visited her one-day exhibition at her house in Orzola
last week, we had actually been unable to attend two of the last four exhibitions. We rushed into a list of excuses about Sunday being the day we skype our son and his family in South Korea, and how for half the year Sunday is also full of football matches and the Strictly results, and we live in the south of the island and she is in the North,,,,,,, she interrupted, because of course she had only been teasing. Instead she welcomed us warmly as always and introduced us to some of the other visitors including the ubiquitous Victor who also has a few items on display as usual.
Claudie was born in Hamburg on April 18th, a Sunday, in 1966. Given that three months later England defeated her country of birth in the Football World Cup Final at Wembley by 4-2 (Hurst 3 and Peters 1 and Bobby Moore wiping his palms ready to shake hands with the white-gloved Queen to be given the golden Jules Rimet trophy) she has nevertheless remained the epitome a Sunday´s child as described in the well known poem.
I say this not only because Claudie loves the fact she was born on a Sunday, but because she was only aware of, rather than familiar with, the poem and was unsure of the child she should still resemble !
So, for Claudie´s benefit, here is the poem in a common modern version:
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living.
And the child born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, good and gay.
This rhyme was first recorded in A. E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire in 1838 and was collected by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-19th century. The tradition of fortune telling by days of birth is much older. Thomas Nashe recalled stories told to children in Suffolk in the 1570s which included “what luck eurie [every] one should have by the day of the weeke he was borne on”.
There was considerable variation and debate about the exact attributes of each day and even over the days. Halliwell had ‘Christmas Day’ instead of the Sabbath. Unlike modern versions in which “Wednesday’s child is full of woe”, an early incarnation of this rhyme appeared in a multi-part fictional story in a chapter appearing in Harper’s Weekly on September 17, 1887, in which “Friday’s child is full of woe”, perhaps reflecting traditional superstitions associated with bad luck on Friday – as many Christians associated Friday with the Crucifixion. The fates of Thursday’s and Saturday’s children were also exchanged and Sunday’s child is “happy and wise” instead of “blithe and good”.
Blondie described a very different Sunday Girl on their hit single of 1978, of course, but the Claudie we know is far more akin with ´the child born on the Sabbath Day´ described in the poem.
Her great artistic talent emerged in her early youth and today painting, design and photography remain her passions. All these and more were os show in her art studio today.
In those early years, the internationally renowned portrait photographer, Jochen Blume, (perhaps best known for his Ï´m A Berliner´capture of President John F Kennedy) was Claudie´s mentor and inspiration. In fact, shortly after graduating with a diploma Claudie moved to the burgeoning city of Berlin in 1991.
Since then frequent long visits to places like the UK and New York have influenced her artistic expression. Her current canon reveals this wide artistic spectrum.
Claudie first met Lanzarote on her travels in 2007, and it was an encounter with consequences.
The island became a great inspiration for her works. Fire, lava, the sea and its tides,…from that first meeting she has continued to create abstract acrylic paintings, employing sand and ash and her collection of ´tidal woods´ (found items along the shorelines). In these works nature merges with photographic perfection.
This is a marriage that reinforces the character of both the island and its artistic partner and at the same time creates something new. and Claudie reminds us that ´coarsen´ of the motif is intentional.
Each piece is a unique artwork, and that is what makes any stroll around the exhibition such a delight.
The great joy of this kind of open door exhibition is that we the spectators and, invariably, purchasers can speak to the artist about the art works she has created. Claudie often speaks of her strong affinity with her creations, and how she ionvariably finds herself hoping that ´they will find a good home.´
These conversations take on a light bohemian air when set against the smooth jazz background music easing out of the blue tooth. That lovely, laid-back, slap bass run that lends such a counterpoint to Peggy Lee´s frenzied Fever sends Claudie and I drifting off the topic of visual art into the realms of audio art. I recommend her to listen out for Karla Harris and the Joe Alterneck Trio album of Moon To Gold, especially for their wonderful re-imagining of Blue Moon. As dee wandered round identifying some artefacts our granddaughter Olivia might like, Claudei and I let our conversation drift exponentially towards singers like Melody Gardot and Madelñeine Peyroux.
We first met Claudie a couple of years ago when she was exhibiting in the beautiful (but non-traditional) gallery space that is La Ermita on Marina Rubicon. On that occasion she filled even that huge arena with hundreds of pieces of different art forms, in an exhibition that ran for a week. The logistics of that event must have been pretty complex as sometimes those kind of venues can be prohibitively expensive for short term rents.
I love Claudie´s art work but more than anything I love her creation of an artistic life-style. When I tell her this she laughs that she does feel like she is currently living in a Gallery. It seems that this might continue until later in the summer as she is aware that not everybody can squeeze in a visit on any specific Sunday and she says that this exhibition in her home will remain in place for a while. She says that anyone interested in paying a visit can therefore make an appointment without obligation by contacting her at 641 79 22 29 or at https://calla-artwork.de
Take that opportunity,…. you won´t be disappointed.
As we drove home my wife Dee was waxing lyrical about Claudie;
´She is full of fun and is always smiling and when she does her eyes sparkle. She creates art in all shapes and sizes using inventive ideas for various projects. She creates fridge magnets (re-invented) and makes art out of driftwood and she frames unique artistic cork-noticeboards and big, beautiful paintings that would grace any gallery. And we always have such an easy time when we go there !¨
On previous visits I worried we might need a bigger car to carry our purchases from Claudie´s lovely Orzola home-studio back down south to our house in Playa Blanca. Today, though, we actually focussed on smaller items as we were purchasing gifts for our family in South Korea and postage costs from here to there can be very high.
So our granddaughter will soon be receiving art works that are small,…but perfectly formed.
The journey North along the coast road from Plaay Blanca is a delight and the long stretch of road (by Lanzarote standfards) that runs from Arrecifw out to Orzolo passes the incredible Jameos Del Agua and the white sand a dunes and hidden beaches as befiore you turn into town and down to the quaint harbour from where the ferry boats head to the remote and beautiful and often mostly deserted island of La Graciosa.
Apart from Claudies gallery 7 home there is plenty else to see in Orzola, and if you walk through the residential area you will see some lovely properties before you find yourself heading to one of the most spectacular cliff lined beaches in the world.