#57: Mrs Hurst

My Gran's friend and neighbour, 80's & 90's

Lots of my feelings about modern art trace back to meeting Mrs Hurst. She was was my grandparent's friend and neighbour, a widow whose husband, I think, had been a sculptor and an art collector. My Gran used to take me over to her place for a cup of tea and a biscuit and it was like entering another world. It was very proper - I would have to be on my best behavior and I always felt like I was going to break something. She had a quiet voice and a European accent so I had to listen to her very carefully, but she was witty and always very friendly to me.

But best of all her house was filled the most amazing art. Art that I didn't understand but that gave me a feeling like there was more to life than what I currently knew. Something mysterious, sophisticated, elegant and complex, but also somehow dangerous and exciting.