on my doorstep and I never knew......I have just spent a most magical afternoon at the Keeping Gallery. The gallery is housed in the home of Renate and Charles Keeping in Shortland, Bromley, Kent. This is the home of a wonderful love story and amazing art. Charles, who died in 1988 was a book illustrator, born in the East End of London. He worked in pen and ink, mainly in black and white but in the children's' stories, he wrote himself, he works in glorious colour. Renate was the daughter of a doctor, a refugee from Germany in the early 1930's. The story of how they met and their artistic lives together is enthralling. Renate's art has wonderful paintings (see the Aging and Changing Room) and textiles. Her Apple series,(make sure you click on the apples) which mirrors our own aging process, makes you want to touch and hold and keep. You would need to spend a week (or a lifetime) to take in all detail in the part of the gallery which holds her life story, the explanation text is worked in tiny stitches. I urge you to go and explore the virtual gallery better still arrange to visit and be enchanted by Renate, her amazing home and the wonderful work they created.
For anyone who has ever bought a dress making pattern Hoppo Bumpo has written this "Ode to a Paper Pattern"