It can be sad when you loose a friend, even when they are old. My friend Nina passed away last week, just short of her 89th birthday. We shared many interests, art, silk painting, knitting, spinning and weaving, but I think that our most shared passion was for gardening.
Nina had the most wonderful garden, it was always such a pleasure to visit, spending time sitting in her garden and enjoying her company. The photo of the Mermaid rose is from Nina's garden, it had a trunk as big as and apple tree! In spring the garden was ablaze with Flanders poppies, love in the mist, irises, roses and too many more flowers to mention. Nina's pride and joy was a large thyme lawn, total luxury to sit on! The long drought became a difficult time for us all and even more so when you are old and getting frail, as we can only water outside with a bucket or watering can now.
In 2004 I wove this tapestry in collaboration with Nina. The tapestry is a section of an oil painting that Nina had painted of her magnolia tree. The experience of the collaboration was very rewarding and time spent with a friend. For my work experience I curated a retrospective exhibition of Nina's work. Titled 'Fantasy Figure's' the exhibition included mono prints, collages and large paintings of Nina's love of ballet, literature and nudes. Vases full of spring flowers from her garden along with scarves of colourful painted silk decorated the gallery. This was the only time that most people had ever seen Nina's art and many were amazed by the contemporary feel of the work to find out that Nina was in her early eighties!
These are photos that I had taken of my son Coen in the garden at Nina's house. In some of the photos he is almost two and others almost three. You get a sense of the garden with it's riot of spring colour. Coen who will be twelve in January was always more engaged with talking to Nina than looking at the camera. I am so pleased to have these photos as they bring back some wonderful memories.