ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 120-121

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
This was my third visit to New York from England – my first as a professional artist – and it didn’t disappoint. Two of my four children
met up with me to offer their support, my eldest and youngest – both sons. The eldest had studied at Columbia five years ago and he
rallied the support of his friends. My youngest, who is about to start university in the UK, captured the eye of a Broadway star, who, as it
transpired was a family friend from UK: Joanna Christie, who is playing the lead role in “Once.” She became a welcome part of our little
adventure, that was somewhat surreal, as I kept noticing her face on the buses passing us on 5th Avenue as we tried to take in some of
the many splendours of New York. She also has my available works in her apartment for viewing!
Agora and its staff were so welcoming and it was a joy fitting names to faces. My fellow artists in “Pathway to Abstraction” were
delightful and, one in particular, Tiril, was just so encouraging, telling me just what I needed to hear. She is in her 3rd year with Agora.
Her advice was, “Take it slowly.” That’s not something I usually do, so it was important to hear. Our private viewing was packed out
and quite thrilling. I went to the gallery almost everyday for a week and felt I bonded with the space and the area. I loved walking the
Highline nearby. It is incredibly atmospheric, and was one of the things I brought away with me to inspire new work.
We took in as many of the sights as we could manage – there was a heat-wave which made it harder. MOMA is always wonderful and
I got to pay homage to a “Rothko” always especially moving for me. We did The Frick Collection, a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty,
Central Park, the Empire State Building and the most motivating of all, “Ground Zero.” Particularly cathartic was the survivors’ tree -
seeing the area five years on was incredibly emotional. There is such a stillness there.
We stayed in an apartment in the West Village. The village vibe is as strong as ever. Something so cool which cannot be put into words.
Of course, we Brits love to shop when we visit. “Flight Club,” a trainer store in the East Village was a particularly crazy experience for
me. The trainers are trading for upwards of $2,000. There is a mini trade screen above the cash register. It took some getting my head
around the whole place. As we say here in the UK, “only in America”. Finally, thanks to Joanna we were able to see “Once” on Broadway.
Absolutely wonderful show. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
All in all I had a truly fabulous time. I am really excited about my next show with Agora and cannot wait to visit the Big Apple again. It
really is simply awesome!
“ the Highline...was one of the things I brought away with me to inspire new work.”
Biddy Hodgkinson
This was my first visit to New York.  A beautiful, huge, vibrant city with so much to see, especially art from ancient to modern.  The main
focus for our visit was the reception and exhibition at Agora of my work in ‘Out from Down  Under & Beyond: Fine art from Australia
and New Zealand’. A few other Aussie and Kiwi artists also made the 31 hour flight.   I loved Agora Gallery and was very impressed
with the professional approach shown by everyone. After almost twelve months of email contact it was great to finally be in New York.  
We stayed two weeks in NY and packed in a lot visits to many amazing sites and galleries such as the Guggenheim, MoMA, the Met, the
Frick, Brooklyn, Chelsea and Soho galleries and more.  We also explored the High Line, Times Square and took in two Broadway shows -
Jersey Boys and Fantastics.  The Ground Zero memorial  was a very moving experience and architectural greats like the Chrysler, Empire
State and Rockefeller Buildings were impressive, especially by night.  The city lights viewed from the ‘Rock’ was a dazzling sight and the
Statue of Liberty an icon of NY which can be seen up close on a Semi circle cruise around Manhattan Island offered a great view of the
many skyscrapers.  A two day trip to Niagara Falls was unforgettable and on our way home a visit to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
completed our USA experience.  Did I mention the shopping and restaurants? We hope to return one day as we loved every minute. 
“A beautiful, huge, vibrant city with so much to see, especially art from ancient to modern”
Sylvia Ditchburn PhD
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