When scrolling this morning, the above photo appeared in my "TimeHop". It was taken in August 2020 to promote an art exhibition, FLORA, showing the beautiful work of local photographer Andrew McKerlie. A stunning photographic collection, capturing the intricate, delicate beauty of floral blooms. ( www.thestunningbride.co.uk )
Apart from the beauty of Andrew's work what struck me about this particular photo was how few books we had in stock at the time. When I took the reins at Madhatters back in March 2020 my intention was to take out a business loan to add to the stock already there but then we all know what happened across the world so I decided against a loan and opened with limited stock and an idea to promote local artists and so The Rabbit Hole Art Gallery was born. As well as Andrew McKerlie we had exhibitions from Brian Sinfield (www.briansinfield.com), Sally Wyatt (www.sallywyatt.com ) and Nic Vickery ( www.nicvickeryanimalartist.com ) Regular visitors to the bookshop will recognise 'Prudence' a portrait of a puffin by Nic who still remains on our wall today.
Whilst I miss our artists and the new audience they bought into the shop, we are, and always will be, a bookshop first and I am delighted to see how far we have come. Every shelf in this room is now bursting with our hand curated titles from Dolly Alderton to Barbara Pym, from poetry to politics and of course our favourite fiction titles. Not only have we survived our first year, we have survived the pandemic and we have our new venture to look forward to, Burford Literary Festival! (www.burfordlitfest.co.uk )
A massive thank you to all the team at Madhatters with the biggest hugs to Mary and Immy and of course every single person who has given us advice and support or simply bought a book - you are all very much appreciated.
We raise a cuppa to the next 12 months, to putting Burford on the Literary Festival Map and of course world peace. I borrowed the 'world peace' from my Miss World speech - hey, who knows what is possible after we have come this far!