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By: Julie Dodd
The day to day life of a struggling artist.
# 258 [6 October 2012]
It's been one of those days! I've been invigilating all day today and in part yesterday at the Bridewell. I set off today without my flask of coffee and without any make up on. So I called into the shops on the way over to grab some mascara, eye liner and coffee! There weren't many visitors but I brought plenty to do so I was kept very busy. On the way home I through away the bag with the new makeup in by mistake!
Yesterday was the p.v. of my two friends work in the bomb out church in Liverpool. It well worth a look, absolutely stunning especially at night.
I found out today that I'll be installing the work at the hospital on Wednesday after my last workshop there. So tomorrow I'll have to make time for a trip to the diy shop or garden centre.
# 257 [3 October 2012]
what a day! I'm exhausted. I spent the morning at the Royal in my residency placement. We had another great response this week and I only have one week left now. Lots to do this week in preparation for installating of the work. Then on my way home I phoned two friends who are installing work in Liverpool for the independents to ask if they needed a little help whilst I was still on that side of the water and ended up there for the rest of the day. Between down pours of rain we got quite a lot done but I think they will be there all day tomorrow as well.
# 256 [2 October 2012]
It was the p.v tonight at the Bridewell and it was the first time I'd seen all the work in the show. I was surprised how differently artists responded to 'inhospitable'.
It was really lovely to meet so many new people, especially you Jean. I'm going to go back and take some more photos when it's not so busy.
# 255 [30 September 2012]
I know I've already posted today but I wanted to share some more photos with you. This angle won't be shared with the visitors to the gallery because they were taken up the ladder. It's almost like a little secret only I can see... well and you.
I think being up here is my favourite way of looking at the installation.
I think it's going to be a great show, can't wait for the p.v. It will hopefully be as much of a pleasant surprise for me as for the guests as I was only there when the first few pieces were being installed.
Some additional work of mine is being shown in the fireplace, I'm leaving the arrangement to my friend as I'm in work, I am wondering how she will display it!
# 254 [30 September 2012]
I've had time to reflect on yesterday and look at the photos and although it isn't exactly the installation I had in mind I think I'm happy with it! I like it being in the corner and it feels more like my work than previously...
I can't think of a solution to showing the 'before the fir trees were added' but I still like the finished piece (just not as much as the unfinished piece)...
I hope people stand under it. Anyway here's the pics.
# 253 [29 September 2012]
I installed the trees today at the Bridewell. Wendy was lovely; she's got so much to do but didn't complain. She said I could choose where in the gallery to put my work so I chose one of the corners. I persuaded my son to help me which saved so much time and saved me getting down the ladder an awful lot.
I made far to many trees and am only showing about a fifth of them I think, but space is limited in the gallery. There are 19 artist showing in the gallery space and as many can't travel to Liverpool until Monday we had to take an educated guess at what space we could take up.
So I had a little panic about how to display the work when I first arrived. I decided I just had to get on with it or it wouldn't get done! I had to make some decisions that I'm not sure were the right way to go, I could have displayed just one type of tree in the gallery space and another out in one of the corridors, I could have shown them in below one another as to utilise the space but i decided to concentrate my time in the gallery only and really crammed the trees into the space making a thick forest, at the time I thought to myself that there was no point recreating what I'd previously installed at the 'comma' shop.
I thought it looked great when I'd only put up the indigenous trees but when I placed the fir trees in front of them a problem of the trees being obscured occurred. I know the whole point of putting the fir trees in front as the replacement, sort of engulfing, drawing in around the indigenous trees was to mimic but also intensify whats happening but in you not being able to see the beauty of our native trees you could kind of miss the point. I need to be able to show the installing stage somehow.
I thought of putting up photographs of installing the work and my friend Carol also suggested this and that I could take down the fir trees at the p.v to reveal the indigenous trees. I love the idea of revealing this idealistic environment but I haven't got the guts. I feel sick at the thought of doing it. I know I did when I was resident artist at the 'comma' project but that was because the open evening was full of family, friends and the community how had helped the forest grow. They understood what was going on and I just got on with it.
Anyway it's a definite no. But I'll sleep on the problem, I think an answer might still come to me and if it does I could pop over on Monday afternoon and fix it.
# 252 [28 September 2012]
I'm having one of those days! i thought I'd get loads done because I'm off work in what seems to be the first full day in ages but everything is going wrong. I'm panicking about installing my work tomorrow, I don't know how or where it's going to be installed. if it can be in installed in time, how will help install it...
I've just got off the phone with a friend who's also in the show and feel even more panicked now that I've talked it through with her, eeek.... I've come to the conclusion that I shouldn't have produced an installation piece.
I've come back to write my blog to find an email of rejection for the shop window proposal... I'm feeling well and truly gutted... Cup of coffee and a cleaning spree will sort me out.
# 251 [26 September 2012]
I think I'm finally prepared for the Scibase show. I just need to buy something to attach the fishing wire to the ceilings/walls. I'm thinking maybe tiny little pins, I don't know... I'm feeling quite panicked about the installing stage but if I can prepare as well as possible before hand then it might just run smoothly!!
I've sent off the proposal for the shop window and I'm continuing work on the snowflakes just in case because time would be tight if I get it. I've produced four more large patterned ones and lots of frosted ones.
I've had my second workshop as part of my residency with the bluecoat display centre, it went well but I'm not going to go on about it here because I've written about it in my workshops blog. http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/projects/single/2022041 I am concerned that i won't have enough milk containers for the fourth weeks workshop though and that I may have to produce a lot more work to make a substantial installation. Although lots of work was produced at this weeks workshop I think that four workshops just won't produce enough work.
# 250 [19 September 2012]
First day in the residency went well. I came home to find an email about workshops, two with the potential for more, which is great.
I've just been photographing the snowflakes again, I can't resist trying to get a better shot. My daughter is home at the weekend and they are hanging from her shelf over her bed so I really will have to stop trying then as I don't think she'll appreciate them being there.
I'm still threading the trees, nearly there now, but I'm tempted to keep making more of them. i don't know what sized space I'll get but it would be great to have enough to fill a large space just in case. They wouldn't be wasted as they could hang from each other if there isn't much room.
# 249 [17 September 2012]
I've been in work today... it really is all back to normal now, lots and lots of trimming paper !
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening attaching fishing wire to the trees and I still haven't finished. I'm concerned that they'll be too long or worse still too short but there's only three days to install and I'm working for one of them so I have to be as prepared as possible.
I've finished writing the snowflakes shop window proposal and I think I'll have to make do with the photographs I've taken. It's frustrating because the real thing looks better and the shadows are more dramatic but I can't get it right. Just waiting to see if it's ok to go it alone now before I send it all off.
I see my collaborative friends have been posting about the ptb so I'd better get a move on and contribute to the blog!!!
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I graduated from a fine art degree course at Wirral Metropolitan College in 2009 , continuing my practice through a fellowship course during 2009-2010 also at Wirral Metropolitan College. I work as an art technician in a high school three days a week. My art practice is based in printmaking, bookmaking and installation work.