Yesterday, I finally got to go and see my talented cousin Rhoda’s canvases, adorning wall space at the Brick Lane Gallery.

Artists’ credit: @wishartworks_@djnepopublic

When I arrived, there was a young lady, Farah, and who I assume was her sibling, taking in her work. Farah then took a picture of her sibling, positioned within the 8, turned 5 pieces featured.

I wanted to try and sneak a shot of the moment, but wasn’t quick enough. I did though ask Farah if she’d be up for doing a quick video message for my cousin. She was. It was a priceless untimed moment, and opportunity.

I’ve been enjoying Rhoda’s creative journey for a long time. I still remember exactly where I was, appx. 18 years ago, when she told me she’d made the decision to leave her job, and pursue her art.

It was a big step to take, at the start of a journey with an unknown destination. Rhoda has continued to take bold steps on this journey, and those steps have led her to some places she possibly hadn’t previously imagined.

Seeing the work of her hands on display was a proud moment.

Positioning myself within her work for a photograph, was both a visual and literal device.

Occupying the space, that 3 of her pieces previously inhabited, was a visual display of Rhoda’s artwork appreciated. Three portraits sold. Two now taking up residence in Israel, the other unknown. Their celebrated absence, created space for my presence. A literal becoming -but for a moment- part of the art. A living portrait, with some journeying to do of her own…

This exhibit is a significant milestone in Rhoda’s ongoing journey. She had the courage to put herself out there, on display for a wider audience.

“She believed she could, and she did.”

She is forging a path for others, and inviting us to join in the journey.

So proud. So honoured. And in the words of a another cousin,

just celebrating her achievement

We are each other’s tribe.

We should be each other’s chief encouragers, lead cheering squad, willing audience… giving credit, where credit is due.

We should celebrate one another.