I was really pleased to see an email from the Kate MacGarry gallery fly into my inbox yesterday, carrying the news that my friend and supporter the artist Francis Upritchard will be exhibiting at this year's Venice Biennale (I think Makiko, pictured above, will be part of the show). It will be Francis's second appearance in Venice - she represented New Zealand at the 53rd Biennale in 2009 - and her work has grown enormously in range and depth since then, so I expect she'll get a pretty rapturous reception.
Francis of course did me the enormous honour and favour of drawing (and donating!) the section artwork for Midland in order to help me fund the book. If you're interested in her work you can read more about it in this a nice interview conducted in March last year by Rachael Vance for Ocula. And if you're really interested in her work you should know that three of the drawings she did for me are still available to buy via the Midland "original artwork" pledge level. These days her sketches fetch around £900, so £550 for one of the ones she did for me - with a Midland hardback, two tickets to the Midland party, and a Harry Harris CD thrown in for good measure - really looks like a bit of a steal...
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