Hello There! I hope you are all OK.
So many friends have come forward to express how hard April was, as if the air pressure was intense, holding us down under the grey sky, keeping a deep cold in our bones but we all seemed to have turned a corner, including me and emerged into a slightly hedonistic time. That was one long spring!
Deciding to transform from being a work obsessed hermit I throw some tea parties, there was kayaking, long walks and I set the gym up outside, this has resulted in some very precious friend time because last year my feet hardly touched the ground then suddenly 12 months had passed with no social interaction at all.
Now this year is starting to feel as if it’s going to be a blast.
Thanks to 6% of separation Duran Duran inadvertently helped me discover my new look for this years shows.
We have a close friend from LA, who used to do King Crimsons sound, he now travels the mega shows for all the big bands Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire, this summer he is responsible for Duran Duran’s huge arena tour.
DD’s tour started in Manchester and our friend wanted to see us in Bredonborough en route, so we arranged to pick him up from the station on Thursday, the day before the DD set up.
Our friend is jet lagged and an e mail arrived saying “see you Weds at 11.30am). Well Wed is a full social media filming day for Frippy and I so we decided to get up a few hours earlier, complete our filming and collect friend from the station.
With this I had to rush the concept, something I usually have a day to plan for when it comes to Sunday Lunch, no problem , I threw an outfit on, threw bronzer and white powder on both of us, slavered hair gel on both our heads, turned the camera on and WOW, I looked amazing…………..we both decided this is my look for the new shows, it’s a kind of old glam Hollywood meets bad secretary with chains.
Filming done we rushed to the station in full make up, waited for our friend…..the train arrived, no one got off.
My immediate thought is “ is he OK”
We waited, we phoned, we e mailed……our friend from LA had confused the days.
Next day he stepped off the train and he presented us with a large box saying “this is a gift for you, lots of cheese.”
It dawned on me the origin of these gorgeous untouched cheeses may have been from the DD rehearsal catering table. Which made them even more enjoyable.
Thank you to our friend for inadvertently helping me find my 2023 look.
Leigh Francis came back into my life thee weeks ago (Keith Lemon) we where partnered on a TV show I love…. PORTRAIT ARTIST OF THE YEAR.
Laurence Llewelyn Bowen was with us too. He’s almost a neighbour living 16miles from our front door. With both Laurence and Leigh set loose on set it made for a fantastic day of wise cracking laughs. Both are accomplished and educated artists, my style is very organic, work at the speed of thought and use materials quickly to capture the moment and then tidy up and improve once the image has been committed to. A kind of dyslexic approach to life.
I love art, I love to live with art in every room, seeing it as I wake, meditating on pieces as the day winds down….BUT creating it is another thing and doing it in public is like dreaming you are walking down the street naked and everyone is looking at you.
My nerves increased through the weeks as the shoot day came closer, once on set my hands where shaking all day.
I always find creating something relies on my being “in the moment”, yes technique is absolute but if I have a brain fog that day nothing is going to look good.
It’s so exposing on every level.
About 90% of my close friends are renowned artists, incredibly good friends, helpful to the point of being educational, until you trespass into their territory. Artists really critique their own.
It could have been my nerves or my feeling like an imposter but I certainly felt the hard bite on set of the art experts opinions when asked “why hold your pencil like that”, “why position the figure on the paper where you have” it was like doing my CSEs again with the wagging finger of authority in my face, not knowing if I had done good or done bad!
Afterwards we all stayed behind to toast Baroness Joan Bakewell’s 90th Birthday. She was fabulous. Joan looked amazing. She governed the room with grace, insight and focus. In fact she was deliciously observant about my work, with a knowledge about folk art, which is a huge influence on all my creativity.
The following morning I had an interview at Virgin Radio for the Sunday Lunch Tour and in the reception was Donny Osmond, I don’t know Donny, I’ve worked with Jimmy who is a wonderful human being……I gladly tell you, all you Donny fans, Donny looked amazing!
My knees did go weak. Yes I remember my pre-punk days, coming home from school and watching The Osmonds.
Sitting in a cinema last week, watching my husband’s documentary KING CRIMSON AT 50, a woman in front of me turned around and said “I write for THE ARCHERS, I wrote your scenes, I am a near neighbour.”
It’s a small world. My guess is none of us are ever more than a mile away from Ryan Renolds or Tom Cruise these days.
It’s only days till we open TOYAH AND ROBERT THE ROCK PARTY LIVE.
We cannot wait, the set list is written, the songs are rehearsed, all we need now IS YOU!
Tickets / dates at www.toyahwillcox.com/gigs
SEE YOU OUT THERE.
BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE HEARD!