“This is all a bit last minute, Elaine,” he sighed on Tuesday night. My fella was right. Photographer Rossena Petcova was arriving in less than 24 hours and certain, essential components of her stay with us were not in place.

I won’t bore you with the details but an early morning Charles Schulz-style “Waaaaaah!” in the form of an email to local writer Sue Miller resulted in the sort of instant, community-minded action that deserves a write up in the Whitley Bay Guardian. Thank you Sue and Keith Miller!

Rossena Petcova’s debut solo exhibition Feeling-at-Home Places opened yesterday in Gateshead’s Shipley Art Gallery. Her arrival on Wednesday night was part of a year-long journey she and I shared. It involved finding her exhibition space, crowd funding to get her and her work over here, choosing the images and getting them printed in Bulgaria.

Rossena, my fella and I worked flat out from Wednesday night to Saturday lunchtime to get the exhibition ready for yesterday’s opening event, an informal “in conversation” session. Thanks to those who came and supported us on a hot, sunny day.

Feeling-at-Home Places shows the North East landscapes and people through Rossena’s eyes (and lens). The project is ongoing so if you want Rossena to photograph you and you family then get in touch asap! She’s here for a fortnight.

The Shipley is open Tues to Sat 10am to 4pm and Sat 10am to 5pm. Entry to the gallery and Rossena’s exhibition is free. Next Saturday 14th July, Rossena and I will be in the gallery from 1pm to 4pm giving informal small group tours of her exhibition. Please join us.

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