RSVP revisited (2011)

I was teaching part-time in three different colleges and had just bought a ramshackle house overlooking a park in a street where I was to be burgled annually and had sometimes to get up for a bath in the middle of the night to get warm. I was thriving in a small pond work-wise and smothered in a relationship. The house was fun and lots of people came to stay and to visit. I had a solo show at Cornerhouse and felt bullied and undermined at work. I went to see the Matisse show at a sunny New Year in New York and was stuck in the subway at midnight. In the summer I went back to New York for a Triangle workshop and fell half in love with everybody I met and felt like I had never been happier in my life. After the workshop I'd wander through Soho and hear people call to me from fire escapes Hi-Roxy-How-Are-You I felt like New York was my home. Back home in Manchester I wrote and wrote and wrote postcards and letters and finished my relationship and wrote and as though for dear life tried to hang on to those new friends I had just met. I drove to Dorset and Cornwall in a borrowed car and planned to go back to New York. I slogged away at some turgid paintings in the studio, and in the evenings made hundreds of drawings of Daphne on deckle edged dance tickets. I went back to New York in the spring with a proposal for a show. In Fanelli's, my lucky bar, I ran into John Lavelle, from college in Manchester, whose friends were just about to open a gallery on Grand Street. I showed him my proposal and met his three friends and two weeks after I got home they got in touch to say yes, we'd love to do a show - can you do it in 6 weeks?

Before her prayer was ended, torpor seized on all her body, and a thin bark closed around her gentle bosom, and her hair became as moving leaves; her arms were changed to waving branches, and her active feet as clinging roots were fastened to the ground-- her face was hidden with encircling leaves.-- Phoebus admired and loved the graceful tree, (For still, though changed, her slender form remained) and with his right hand lingering on the trunk he felt her bosom throbbing in the bark. He clung to trunk and branch as though to twine. His form with hers, and fondly kissed the wood that shrank from every kiss.

Ovid, Metamorphosis


Roxy Walsh, RSVP Annika Sundvik Gallery, New York 1994 Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin 1995