Oddly enough there are parallels to be drawn between the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland and the reception here for Brian Wildsmith, who reached the venerable age of 80 this year. Besides the outpouring of good wishes from a record crowd of attendees for Brian and his paintings, on show in Britain for the very first time, the guests were buoyed up by a pyroclastic flow of bubbly and erupted into a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday both in and outside the gallery bringing to a halt pedestrian travel on Bury St. Brian's ensuing heartfelt words gave testament to his fifty years with Oxford University Press whom he described as like family.
Subsequently marooned for some days on the rougher side of St James's he eventually forwent his flight back to the Mediterranean and sprang aboard the Eurostar to resume his self-styled 'hermetic life' in the south. We are sorry to see him go. His Yorkshire charm and good humour enchanted so many, as have his colourfully resonant paintings. We raise a glass and wish him a swift bon retour, less so his Nordic counterpart.