I had to give out more of the portraits and then be at the Gallery, so that one's going to be delivered to her by Trinity Hospice shop internal mail.
The paper stall was closed, probably because it was lunchtime, so I went to look for the street cleaners.
I showed the portrait to one of them who was working alone in a side street and although his English wasn't that good, he recognised his colleague. 'Cromwell Road', he said. I looked it up on my phone and set off. But Cromwell Road is massively long; I walked down half of it and couldn't find him, so I headed to the Gallery because it was almost time to open up. Suddenly in the distance I spotted another cleaner in hi vis and crossed the road to where he was sweeping the gutter. I though it was him at first, but when he turned round I saw it wasn't. 'Do you know this man?', I asked. He looked at the drawing and creased up. 'That's my cousin! He told me someone had taken his photograph one day!'
Apparently his cousin was working over the other side of the borough, but he took the picture to give to him because they were meeting up later in the day for a break.
It was quiet at first in the Gallery, but later on a few people showed up and hung out for a chat. Some of them recognised people that they knew in the pictures, and I've found out a lot of names and stories now. The little boy who wrote a song at half term with me walked past with his mum, and then dashed in to talk. They are so interesting to have a conversation with, because they completely get the point of the project. They autographed the visitors tablecloth, which I keep forgetting to ask people to sign.
Finally, we went back via Fulham Broadway so I could seek out the flower seller. Some of the stalls were still out on North End Road (boy, those people work hard!). At the station, there were two women at the flower stall. I kind of waved the portrait in front of them, and they said they didn't know who he could be. Suddenly, the younger one looked again and shouted 'Oh my God! That's my boyfriend!'.
So that's a whole bunch gone off to the people who consented to be photographed for the project. I was sent a photo of the bingo caller at The Hub happily showing her friends her portrait too. I hadn't anticipated people being so pleased with these little framed pictures, and I was touched by their response. More to go- and there's still the possibility that someone might be annoyed by the way I've drawn them: I've been concerned about that. But so far, so good. I'm very tired but very happy.
Next Gallery days Wednesday and Thursday next week, 2-7 p.m.