Only three days left of the exhibition. It has been a slightly strange and reflective time, but I’m very excited about moving beyond the project now. It’s been a rather intense year, working through some busy and challenging times on top of new motherhood. It has sometimes felt a little mad (often completely bizarre!) but most of the time brilliantly rewarding. I have really enjoyed continuing to push my work forward beyond the MA, trying to retain and expand on the research that I started there. It worked so well having a structured project and the funding to enable more ambitious outcomes, that I never would of been able to achieve without.
I think I need a little time to take stock of the whole project experience, reexamine the work after a little break and let the responses and interactions settle in a bit. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to present a few more talks about the project in the coming months, so this will be a good opportunity to keep those discussions going. There were some elements of the project and responses made that I am extremely interested to cultivate and examine further, particularly to do with the redevelopment projects proposed around the town. These points of change within the landscape seem really crucial. The relationship with archaeology in my work is a continuing fascination and something that I want to build on further. There are so many ideas to examine further, I almost don’t know where to start. Also the exhibition has been a strange mix of feelings that I need to take stock of. I have had many different responses and not all good.
I’m not sure if this is a common experience of having an exhibition in a local arts centre but some people appear to have very different expectations about what the gallery here, should contain. I have had to really try hard not to take it personally when an occasional visitor walks in, makes some offhanded remark, refusing to even look any further and walks out. Having the exhibition here has been a vital part of the project. It’s about this town, it’s about bringing these edges into centre view, seeing ourselves through what we most often ignore. But you can’t insist that someone should want to see the work. I guess we all see what we want to see and it would be very unfair of me to judge someones expectation of what art looks like just because they don’t like what mine looks like, but it does always feel a bit like failure when someone walks away, so indifferent. I want people to feel it is something that concerns them, that it is relevant to them. Getting people to engage with, think about and explore ideas has been really rewarding but when it doesn’t work out, I just want to run and hide behind the sofa!