Chu Okoli's photo of
Rolf Leemeijer, Miranda Brouwers,
Me and Chu at the gala dinner for the
2015 Florence Biennale
Chu Okoli © 2015
People like me who love participating in art shows, and especially enjoy
international shows are missing that live experience now. I know I’ve
said it before, but it deserves being repeated. But what we gained when
we were in those shows are friendships that last, and are powerfully nurturing.
Today I got to Zoom for the first time with my friend in the Netherlands
the artist, Miranda Brouwers. And what was wonderful about that is the
same thing that is wonderful about teaching people online. There’s something
very intimate about talking to people when they are in their own space.
I’ve never been to Miranda’s atelier, or her home (although with her
incredible help I was in an exhibition in the Netherlands), and suddenly
I could see the scale of some of her work, her beautiful portrait of her
son, Hugo, and a sweet photograph of her sons Hugo and Marnix when
they were little boys.
So as much as we miss those shows, and can’t get together to display our
work because of COVID-19, what we found when we showed together
has lasted. And the friendships that I made at the Florence Biennale,
where we were together for 10 days, continue to matter five years after
the last show. That means a lot to me in this strange, and sometimes lonely time.
Stay safe and stay healthy.