Finding my Noire Rebelle

Finding my Noire Rebelle

by Chantal Marcotte UKCPS silver

As my drawing was accepted by the UKCPS GALA exhibition, I was getting ready to post it overseas. As it is we must now do all the paperwork online for customs before you can bring your parcel to the post office.

However, yes, there is a however, I am presently being treated for PTSD after having gone through an armed robbery a few months ago, so I was not as focused as usual. Indeed, I never double-checked the label printed at the post office that was put on my parcel and missed a big mistake. Some important information was missing. All the instructions provided by the UKCPS for shipping overseas had been very clear, it was MY mistake.

Noire Rebelle's artwork shipping box, ready to leave Canada

The tracking allowed me to follow the parcel and I noticed that once it arrived in England, it left the post office and was returned to it with the note “insufficient address”. It went out again and came back. This back and forth happened 3 times.

“All the instructions provided by the UKCPS for shipping overseas had been very clear, it was MY mistake.”

I had left the correct phone number of the place where the parcel needed to be delivered but somehow nobody ever thought to phone them and ask them for the missing information on the address. Eventually the parcel was delivered but whoever signed for it was unknown by those who worked at the place where it should have arrived even if the post office assured me that it had been delivered at the right place.

At this point I realised that my “Noire Rebelle” was lost. Where could it be? So perhaps it had been delivered to the right street but it was definitively not at the right door. So what could I do? I live in my little village in Québec and my drawing is somewhere in the big city of London. What could I do to find it? I started imagining some stranger having inherited my drawing or worst, being chucked away and lost forever.

Noire Rebelle in her artwork shipping box

Last year had been unpleasant and stressful enough, no way I was giving up my Noire Rebelle. What would Sherlock Homes do? Hang on, private investigators do exist, I decided to hire one. I made a few inquiries and at some point a nice lady answered me. First I verified that Sarah Martin was a member of the Association of the British Investigators and then discussed her fee and way to proceed. At some point, we agreed to communicate via What’s App. Her voice was calm and pleasant (I could not see her), it was easy to see that she knew what she was doing. She explained to me how she was going to proceed and I realised that she had already made some research and come up with a plan. I was confident that she would find my Noire Rebelle.

She realised that there were 5 or 6 blocks or flats on an estate called World End Estate that housed about 2,500 people. I then thought that it would not be that easy to find. In her inquiry she used the geo location of the driver’s itinerary to see where he could have left the parcel. It was supposed to be delivered to the Chelsea Self Storage but ended up being delivered to the Chelsea Youth Club that was then in repairs.

You can see just a part of the box

Because it would have taken her too long to go in person to look for the parcel, she asked the help of the manager of Chelsea Art Moves to see if he could go check the block besides his own. He did so and looking by the window of the Chelsea Youth Club he saw something that looked like the package that should have been delivered to him. (He took a photo Included here) and sent it to Sarah Martin who confirmed that it certainly looked like it. So he went back to the place, asked to see the parcel and yes, it was Noire Rebelle. So he brought it back to the storage. Chelsea Art Moves collected it and brought it in time to the UKCPS gala exhibition so I could get my UKCPS silver status this year.

“The morale of this story : “Always double-check!” It cost me a fortune but it was worth it.”

In the end, it took Sarah five days to find and retrieve Noire Rebelle. What five days those were.

Darn Noire Rebelle, she has devil horns and she knows it, many friends told me to think twice before giving my drawing such a name. Rebel, yes, she was. The morale of this story : “Always double-check!” It cost me a fortune but it was worth it.

Once the exhibition ended, it was shipped back home without any problem and now adorns my lounge wall.

My thanks to my friend France Bauduin who helped me translate my text.

ABOUT Chantal Marcotte:

Chantal Marcotte grew up in Canada surrounded by animals. Animals and nature are always fascinated her. She often has special inspiring moments when an animal looks at her intensively and directly in the eyes. This is this kind of communion that she wants to express in her drawings.

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Comments (3)

What incredible story !
Chantal Marcotte must write a novel about it … she has yet the drawing !
Thank you to share it with us.

Sylvie - Dec 21, 2021

Bravo Chantal Marcotte! What an adventure you had! Artworks are like our babies, we spend so much time with them. Preparing for them, in a way nurturing them and finally, accepting that we cannot do more, they are completed.
To lose them is a big deal. She is beautiful your Noire Rebelle.
So happy everything worked out, good on you to not give up!

Mireille Dalpe - Dec 21, 2021

— Thank you for sharing your story – what a terrifying experience — glad it all turned out well.❤️

Linda H clark - Dec 21, 2021

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