Desmond Jones - Nepalese Embassy Visit


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On March 15th 2017, Desmond Jones' daughter, Elaine Samuels, as organiser of the "Extraordinary Charity Art Auction", was invited to an exclusive preview evening of a fabulous Exhibition by celebrated artist, Stephen King. Stephen has painted a marvellous collection of work featuring the mountains of Nepal, which is well worth a visit (both the exhibition and Nepal, by all accounts, as you will see below)! Having been invited, and armed with flyers for the "Extraordinary Charity Art Auction" (in a slightly larger than A5 sized and newly acquired handbag), Elaine was, as well as seeing the wonderful paintings and meeting some interesting people, hoping to be able to "spread the word" about the Desmond Jones Art and events. She says...

 

It was a lovely, quite balmy, late afternoon in March when my husband and I strolled up to the Nepalese Embassy close to Kensington Palace. The Embassy was adorned with many streams of colourful flags and we were ushered to the marquees in the garden.

On the way to the garden, we met the talkative and interesting character Dr Ben Wright, an author and university professor with numerous doctorates, who helped found an amazing project called "Clarion Call". Dr Wright told us all he had flown all the way from Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the USA, to be here for the exhibition because he rated Stephen's work, as well as the man himself, so highly!

The first thing we did at the garden was to accept a glass of wine and then wander along inside the large marquee, getting a close up look at Stephen's wonderful Nepalese mountain paintings.

Photos taken by Clive Turner

On the opposite side of the room was a display of historic photographs of Nepal emphasising the special, good relationship between Britain and Nepal over the last 200 years.

The crowd seemed to be settling in seats in front of a stage area and screen, so we took a seat ourselves and met artist, Caryl Stockham, based in East Sheen.

After a while we were treated to a series of presentations to mark the 200 year anniversary of the special relationship between Britain and Nepal as well as that 2017 is being marked as "Visit Nepal Year"!

 

There followed an address by the Nepalese Ambassador and a number of other officials. Then there were a number of talks from Nepalese tourist ambassadors about what a marvellous country Nepal is to visit. We also witnessed the launch of the "Visit Nepal Year" web site and watched a Nepalese tourist information film, which encouraged the audience to spend a mere 5000 on a holiday in Nepal and to do a large range of adventurous activities, like trekking, paragliding and mountain biking!

There was a table near the stage area devoted to tourist information, with maps and posters of Nepal, which the visitors were encouraged to take home.

 

 

Following all the talks, dinner was served, which was a delicious range of Nepalese curries, rice and salad.

We chatted to the Mayor of Lewisham, after dinner, who was very friendly and along with Dr Wright had quite a discussion about Donald Trump!

Nigel Planer was a face amongst the crowd, which I recognised. I had seen, from the artist, Stephen King's web site that Nigel had become aware of Stephen's paintings, when he was doing some gardening work for Nigel. There is a press piece on Stephen's web site where Nigel says how he loves Stephen's paintings.

 

 

As I didn't really know anybody else, I boldly decided to see if I could meet Nigel Planer and have a chat, so I wandered around to the group and hung about expectantly until I was noticed, whereupon I said "Hello", introduced myself and began explaining how I knew the artist, Stephen King. It wasn't very long before I got onto the subject of the "Extraordinary Charity Art Project"!

I explained how I had been forced to come up with a creative idea, as my late father had left me with these wonderful paintings and I had nowhere to keep them.

 

 

I handed out my flyers and mentioned the Desmond Jones Art web site. One of the gentlemen in the group said he knew who I was and had already seen the Desmond Jones Art web site because he had designed Stephen King's web site and Stephen had shown it to him as a good example of another artist's web site!

Nigel was very interested in how I was storing the Desmond Jones paintings too because, it transpired, that he also needed to store his own father's paintings, since he had encountered problems with selling them at fine art auctions too!

    

 

In this last image I am smiling across the room to the artist himself, Stephen King (directly below)!