Hello to all the Westend Creatives. Some of you maybe aware of this very sad news, but last week we lost one of our most creative and amazing artists Glen. I adored her, she was smart, sassy and really was beautiful inside and out, this is often a phrase over used, but was absolutely true to Glen.
I first met Glen in the early days of The Exchange Creative Community. She came into the shop with a 38 degrees petition to sign, to my shame I can’t for the life of me remember what the petition was, but I know that it would have been something to do with social justice, because as I got to know Glen, I know that she lived her life with a constant awareness of justice and fairness for all; as it happened I’d already signed the petition on line, but I told her that I was delighted that people were also collecting signatures off line too. I asked her if she’d like a coffee and to sit down.... and so started our friendship. On this day Glen was wearing a necklace, which was large beads, I commented how much i liked it, Glen said she had made it, she then told me about all her creative activities. On that day Glen stayed for about an hour. I told her about the Exchange creative community and what we were and what we were trying to do, I told her that we had an opening evening coming up and invited her to come to it.
The next time I saw Glen at the open evening, I was truly pleased to see her and that she hadn’t forgotten about it, I was also delighted to see that she was with her niece Paula, who I’d known for many years, but had no idea they were related, it didn’t surprise me that they were.... they were clearly kindred spirits.
After that Glen was a regular visitor, I remember our chatting and giggling about all sorts of things. Glen held one of our early workshops, silk painting, our painted silk hankies were proudly displayed in the shop and were often commented on. It was on this occasion that she told Jo and I about how she’d once converted an attic on her own, carrying great boards and stuff upstairs and up ladders.... well you’ll all know Jo is not scared of a bit of manual labour, but we were both agog, that this tiny lady did this all on her own.
Glen had some of her glass work displayed in the shop, I was fortunate enough to purchase a beautiful piece as a present for my daughter. Glen attended all the events we had at the Exchange, she supported lots of other community groups too.
When I left the Exchange I continued to see Glen at her lovely home on Regent road. Whenever I visited, I would have a look in her studio and she’d tell me what she was working on... She was always working on a new art piece. Every time I made comment about anything in the house it was always something she’d made, painted or refurbished... her talents were endless and she had an eye for what worked and didn’t.
I remember another friend had made an art piece out of fabrics, Glen had bought it, I knew that my other friend had been understandably reluctant to sell the piece, because it had sentimental value, it being made out of her children’s old school uniforms. But when I saw the piece in Glens home, it so suited the room and her unique decor, I let my friend know that her precious artwork looked perfect in its new home.
Over our catchups, coffee and cake Glen told me about all the other professional work she’d done over the years, she managed probation homes and services for many years and she’d been a trainer. She’d worked at a young age to get her qualifications, whilst working and living on her own in London. She was a political activist, involved with CND and women’s rights movements.... in short she was amazing, kind and thoughtful. One of the things she used to talk about was how pretty her sister was when they were younger with her curly blonde hair and rosy complexion and I used to say to her.... but Glen you are beautiful too; Glen had sky blue eyes and even later in life she had wonderful facial bone structure.
Glen died peacefully at home, I will miss her immensely and I feel honoured to have known her and to have been a friend.
At some time in the near future we hope to be able to hold an exhibition of Glens art work, which I hope will be a good way of honouring her life for her family, we will let you know where and when.