A year ago the Wapping Group was very busy with preparations for our usual annual show at the end of February, and with finalising the annual painting programme. We were having all the usual debate about places to go, pubs to list for the end of day, guests to invite, and all the rest of it. We were, in short, looking forward to another year’s painting, with nothing more serious to worry about than the weather forecasts. None of us could possibly have imagined what was about to happen.
We just about squeezed the 2020 exhibition in before coronavirus struck fully. Then it was lockdown, and we converted the annual painting programme into a virtual one, not going out but working from reference in the studio. Much later, in the summer as the situation eased, some of us ventured outdoors to paint for a few of the dates. But then things got worse again, and in November we took the decision to defer and then cancel altogether our plans for the 2021 annual show.
We are sorry to disappoint all our many followers, not to mention ourselves, but any prospect of a show in 2021 is still too much like wishful thinking. Meanwhile we hope, like everyone else, that vaccination will eventually liberate us, and on that basis we are planning our painting programme as usual for 2021. It gives us something to go on even if we may have to miss a few dates at the beginning, and we know we can always fall back on ‘virtual’ painting. Those of you who followed the virtual programme on Facebook through 2020 will know that each week brought fascinating work to look at, and we hope to keep posting this year, whether virtual or not – keep your eye on it!