It has been an amazing year. We have loved it. We have been living in Hong Kong for the most part of it; Thailand for a month, Italy over the summer and autumn. Our boys have accomplished great things, placing their feet firmly on their journey and our art has thrived and we have some great new collectors of our art work.
Early this year, we were invited by the Yew Chung Education Foundation to be artists in residence at the Yew Chung Secondary Campus in Hong Kong and Beijing. This foundation has been a real patron to us, enabling us to live and create abundantly throughout the year. We have created some interesting projects there. Michael had the opportunity to do his first mosaic, 2 metres X 2.5 metres for the entrance to the school, using beautiful traditional glass tiles, called smalti, to create ‘Lost in the Cosmos’. He has also completed a large 5 metre triptych of ‘Setting free the Golden Carp’, a really lovely sunset on water painting. Shona had the opportunity to create one of her ‘Harvest’ series and was able to donate the complete bronze edition to the school’s charity fund, called ‘Seeds of Hope’, for building schools in underprivileged areas in China. She has also been asked to do a 2.2 metre sculpture portrait of the founder of the school, Madame Tsang, which she has begun.
Some doors closed and others have opened. After 8 or so years, representation of Shona with Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery in Hong Kong, finished this year as they made the decision to concentrate on Asian artists. Meanwhile, DeeM, owned by Debra Little, interior designer, has opened a shop on Hollywood Rd in Hong Kong, featuring the work of Debra’s favourite artists, (Michael, Shona and Jacob included), her own designed furniture, ornaments and fixtures, as well as the furniture and lighting of really great designers of the last 50 years. We are in great company and the exposure for us here has been wonderful already.
While we were in Italy this year, we did lots of work on our old properties and now have a gorgeous apartment and studio to rent on the river of Bagni di Lucca. Our little mountain house in the village of Pieve di Monti di Villa, has a new roof and a new chimney and our studios are getting better and better.
Over the year, Shona had the good fortune to have two of her sculptures placed in public collections in Regional Galleries in Victoria, Australia, with a third sculpture pending, through the generosity of a private collector of her work.
In the meantime, Jacob and Jaquelene have been living their dream in Bagni di Lucca, Italy, with Jacob writing lots of music and working with new music collectives in Europe. Together, they have been learning the ancient art of working a traditional olive farm in the hills overlooking Lucca. Jaquelene has continued with her internet and bookshop, Jaquelines, and in their spare time they have clambered over the mountains with Jake taking beautiful photos of the area, which he is now selling in Hong Kong.
After his Tuscan retreat, carving marble in the mountains, Sollai found work in the huge mechanism of the back stage manoeuvres of the production, Zaia, of Cirque du Soleil in Macau. While thus engaged he became very distracted by a lovely young trampolene artist, Danika, who is now his sweetheart. Sollai lives in a wee little Portuguese cottage in the heart of old Taipa, the tiny old space strewn with Sollai’s paintings and drawings, paints and tools for sculpture. Danika is teaching him circus tricks so the two of them can perform together.
It has been a very lucky year for us all. We are surrounded by great and lovely friends and family wherever we have gone in the world. We have all thrived in our working life. We have great good health and we are all growing into an even better year next year. We wish you in the year 2012, fortune and happiness and abundant growth.
Lots of love to you all,
Shona and Michael