Simple pleasures

Translation By: 
Alice Kok
圖 photos Eduardo Martins
‘A Day in the Sun’ selected for the 2nd edition of Art Thessaloniki
Macau-based Australian artist Beverley Lay’s collection ‘A Day in the Sun’ has been selected for the 2nd edition of Art Thessaloniki International Contemporary Art Fair
Macau is full of hidden talent and artist Beverley Lay is a great example.  As a mother of seven children, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t always have time to explore her artistic inspirations, but when she does, the results are always impressive.
Recently, her collection ‘A Day in the Sun’ was selected for exhibition at the 2nd edition of Art Thessaloniki International Contemporary Art Fair, to be held from November 23 to 26, 2017.
Comprised of 10 miniature prints and one larger piece, the collection was inspired by a trip made by the artist with her husband and two of her children in 2015 to her mother’s seaside hometown of Lindos, on the Greek island of Rhodes.
“We had a beautiful day, the kids were taking photos, and it was just the innocence of that moment, and the stories that I remember my mother telling me,” explains Beverley. “It was charming and simple, and that’s what I wanted to express in this artwork.”
Despite the miniature size of the prints, the artist manages to capture some of these simple pleasures like picking flowers from the gardens, the comforting chime of the church bell, enjoying the creativity of decorated black and white pebbled floors, snapping photos of moments in time, and the togetherness and spending time with close family.
 “There’s romance, going back to a time and place that is so simple. It was just really fun and I was inspired by the kid’s creativity and their photos,” says Beverley. “The feeling when you’re there, and what you experience, the senses are very enriched by what you see. That was stimulating to me, to be able to witness such beauty and the play of the children.  We tend to miss a lot of that during our busy days,” the artist adds. 
Beverley’s family lived on Lindos for generations until her parents migrated to Australia in the 1950’s.  But the artist has always been inspired by the beauty and simplicity of life in the small town. 
“My mother shared stories all her life about this little place she grew up in. I first visited when I was 21. There’s just something magnificent about it, like you’re going back in time, walking the streets paved with pebbles, there’s just so much beauty,” she notes. 
Beverley is just one of 300 artists selected to exhibit at the Art Fair, chosen from thousands of submissions.  Art Thessaloniki International Contemporary Art Fair is organised by the National Agency for The Organisation of Exhibitions, Congresses and Cultural Events (HELEXPO S.A.) It is an art fair that invests in the strategically important geographic location of Thessaloniki, its multicultural identity, its rich and long history.
This is the first time Beverley has participated in an international art fair.  She was encouraged to enter her collection by her cousin, Greek sculpture Evi Savvaidi.
“She submitted the works on my behalf and was very confident I would get in”.
However, when Beverley originally sat down to create the pieces, she had no plans to display them publicly.
“The works were not specifically made for the Art Fair.  I was actually just playing and not really thinking too much about it.”
And unlike her usual pieces which are more large-scale, detailed, and take a lot of time to create, these were all done in a very short space of time. 
“Usually I’m so particular and I take my time, but these were just done very quickly, with a real sense of spontaneity, so I’m very pleased with how they turned out,” notes the artist. “It was really fun, and I got a lot of joy from seeing the kids in the photos.”
While the miniature works were printed in Macau, the largest piece in the collection ‘She Sells Sea Shells’ took weeks to create, and was printed in Japan by master print maker Kawada Kenjiro, using a very traditional and precise method.
“The process is actually a trade secret,” explains Beverley. “The paper is not gold or gold leaf. The amazing thing is how he gets this very realistic gold colour to stay on the paper with the print over it.”
The Japanese master was introduced to Beverley by another Macau artist, James Wong, who has been teaching her print making for the past three years at the Macau Art Museum.
“James has been so generous and was such an incredible help,” says Beverley.
More than 10,000 art lovers from 22 countries visited the 1st Art Thessaloniki International Contemporary Art Fair last year, featuring 24 Galleries from nine countries.  The 2nd Art Thessaloniki fair will feature 300 artists, 30 galleries, hailing from 10 countries as well as five museum exhibitions.