Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Flickering Visions - before, during and after the event

After a busy few months which threw up many of life's distractions the exhibition 'Flickering Visions' was finally installed. Planning a solo show was actually quite scary, putting out into the public realm all the work that you have spent months of blood, sweat and tears over can be dawnting to say the least. This said the whole experience has been a positive one and I have been motivated to think about my work as a whole rather than focusing on each individual art work, which in turn has not only made me think more professionally but has also opened up new avenues of enquirey for future projects.

I decide to self-publish a catalogue for the show, which I must confess was mainly for personal reasons, as a record the event itself and to document where my work sits at this moment in time. I did not see it as a commercial venture, lets face it, my work isn't that marketable as yet and as such the print run is small, for friends and familly. However, I have learnt a lot from this experience and hope to take this forward to produce a limited editioned artist book, that will include written references from that/those which has influenced my work, biographical and work related essays/reviews, as well as notes and sketches that show where my work has evolved from.

Not only has this event made me re-write my artist statement, clarifying my vision for my work but I have also produced a short essay - Artist's Notes - which provides an explanation of where my inspiration and ideas originate from, in 'plain-speak' rather than 'arty' language, as I felt it was important to make it accessible to a wider audience.

I find it extremely difficult to talk about my work formally and in public, which in todays climate is expected of an artist and I have been thinking of a way around this. Obviously providing copies of my 'Artist's Notes' at the exhibition helps but it still wasn't enough. My daughter is a poet and she was talking about the trend for performance poetry but felt that it was something she would find really difficult to do, her musician friend had suggested filming her and putting it on You Tube. At the same time some galleries are doing virtual tours of their exhibitions and filmed interviews of their artists. So my plan now is to create a film about my work, my processes, my inspiration; I have managed to find someone with the technical know how and skill who can help me come up with a script for it. This could then be used on a monitor in the gallery and/or as a link on my website as a way of informing the viewer about my work and making myself more accessible without having to perform publically. Watch this space!

They say you learn by your mistakes which is just as well. The thing about putting your work out there is that you do get a lot of feedback and this is important to the growth and development of your work. I thought long and hard about wether or not this space was right for my work but after some misgivings decided to go ahead with it. The gallery itself is bright, open and full of light but situated as it is above a cafe/craft shop the quaint atmosphere is not matched by the gritty nature of my work and some of the customers have been quite put out by the style and subject matter of my paintings. Don't get me wrong, a little controversy I think is all good but I think that the venue didn't bring anything to my work and was also reflected in who came to view them. Of course at the back of my mind I knew this really but I was confirmed by the feedback I had about the show. Next time a disused industrial unit I think! Lots of positive feedback about the painings themselves though, I just have to re-think how they are displayed.

For now though, it's time to crawl back into my cave/studio, to close the door on any outside interferance and get back to want is most important, my painting. Can't wait.