The week has been really busy. The exhibition came down on Wednesday and as always only took half a day to do. What a complete contrast to the 3 day stint getting it up and again that peculiar taking down feeling in my belly. So the work is all now back home, sitting still in it’s packaging in my studio. Nicola Kearey has reviewed the show on Interface, www.a-n.co.uk/p/557177/ – read her response to the show. Thanks Nicola and sorry to hear you had a problem with the opening times.
I have since been sorting out for the next thing. I had an email about 3 months ago now from an artist asking if I would like to be involved in a group exhibition in Bath called Domesticated. It has been emails and a phone call and now I am travelling across to Bath next week to see the space, a place called Walcot Chapel. From the photos it looks like a wonderful venue and I’m really excited about paying it a visit. The artist who is organising it, Callum will be meeting me there on Thursday, so I’m hoping this all goes well. He is hoping to have it as a 2 part show, 2 weeks in Bath and again at the beginning of next year in Swindon.
I am planning to use one of my pieces from the solo, but re-work it especially for the space. It will be free standing. This has been an interesting development, departing from the white wall. I thought it a bit of a challenge with my work at the moment but the more I work on the idea the more enthused I am becoming about the change. It is really forcing me to reconsider a new way of presenting my work and getting me to approach it from a new angle.
I’ve also started updating me website with the images from Drawn on, Drawn in. If you fancy a look please do visit me at www.christinabryant.co.uk
With all this I haven’t even got to do any work on the Open Studios collaboration. Each time I’ve stepped into the studios I’ve seen some new interesting developments but am yet to contribute and respond myself. I really need to make some time for this soon.
Not sure I should necessarily be posting posts like the last one. (clearly not, Andrew has since advised me to remove a section from it) It can be quite difficult to gauge how much is appropriate to say on a blog. I do acknowledge that Digswell Arts Trust does provide much needed affordable studio space in an area where it is so few and far between. Without my space I know things would have been so much harder after graduation. I don’t want to seem ungrateful; it’s just very frustrating when you feel something with such potential isn’t anywhere near reaching it and you can do nothing really to influence that.
Anyway moving on. Last Saturday was the last day of the Margaret Harvey exhibition and there was a closing view in the afternoon. It was a great chance to be around to chat to people about the exhibition. I had expected it to be just a few of my friends that hadn’t managed to make the opening, but I was delighted to meet some people that had visited the exhibition during the 2 weeks and had made the effort to come back to meet me and chat about the work. One man came along who specialises in this particular area of visual science and perspective and its history. It was quite fascinating to discuss it with someone with such a specific knowledge, from such a scientific angle. The contrast in our approaches to this subject was really interesting. Him asking me ‘had I heard of this rule and that person and did I know the scientific name for what it was that I am actually doing?’ My answers were mostly ‘no’ and I admit I felt quite uninformed and pretty stupid, yet my work really excited him. There was me coming from a conceptual angle, relying on my own general cultural knowledge and very self directed exploration. My work definitely seemed to speak to him from a completely different place from which I knew very little about. Mmm feel there is lots of extra reading I need to do.
I had expected to be concentrating now on doing the last push of over time before the ma. However, I find that there are lots to do. We are having an open studios exhibition at Digswell on the 12th and 13th September, keeping it short and sweet. Wednesday night we got together for a meeting to discuss the organising of it and ideas for the opening to be held on Friday 11th September.
Digswell Arts Trust is an organisation that celebrates its origins, looks back to the good old days of the radical 60’s through those rose tinted glasses. It has had some excellent artists through it’s doors more recently as well but those seem not to be acknowledged widely or just quietly shelved maybe until their names might be more recognisable to the mainstream. Who knows?
What we know for sure now is that we, the artists are definitely not the things that the Trust is primarily about. The Trust is about the past.
Last year we attempted to apply ourselves to developing the future of the Trust, we tried to contribute our efforts and be proactive and recognise our responsibility to the Trust and it’s survival. A year down the line however, we are left despondent and disillusioned with regards to our efforts. (On Andrews advice-large chunk removed due to confidentiality issues) Opps!
This is why the talk last year of developing the Digswell Arts Trust stopped from the side of the artists and from my blog. I have not been to a Trustee meeting since. I really can’t see the point.
So as you can probably imagine, getting back on this Open Studios ride and readdressing our identity as Digswell Artists again, is one I thought we would be reluctant to do.
However, it was a good meeting, most people turned up and after a time of throwing different ideas into the mix we found ourselves in agreement that we would again use it as an opportunity to try out new things, work together and show our worth as artists. I could feel that there was a real desire to not just fall away from each other. We can’t change the Trust as we have discovered, but we still are a group of artists. continued…
Therefore we have decided that a big part of this Open Studios will be collaboration. We are going to work collectively in a designated part of the studio over the three weeks, adding when and how we want to, creating interventions and responses to the space and each others contributions. The space will evolve and our actions will be documented along the way. Although it was not mentioned in the meeting I feel myself that this is our own way of trying to respond to and address the position we find ourselves in after last year. I really don’t know what will happen in the space, but from Monday the project begins.
I really enjoyed doing the performance last week. After the madness of setting up, the worry and the sleepless nights it was a great relief from the hard work. I felt I just slipped into the zone and relaxed into the flow. People buzzed around me with glasses of wine, most faces were familiar and friendly. People weren’t afraid to play around with the piece so it was a lively drawing session. I received many compliments and there seemed to be real intrigue in the pieces, but I find it so hard to comment on people’s reception of the work. No one looked bored or uninterested that I saw, so I recon that’s a positive.
St Albans Review did a preview feature on the exhibition last week which my aunty had cut out and bought to the launch for me to take home. It felt strangely comforting, clutching this little newspaper clipping (proof of the show in someone else’s words) as I was slumped in the passenger seat as Q drove me home. Home for egg and chips and ‘Mock the Week’ Just what I needed!
In this new space the work looks new and fresh to me. It feels like I’m looking down on myself a bit, I have a strange feeling of detachment from the whole scene. In this public space the work appears to have ditched me and branched out alone. Even in the performance I felt like part of me was floating off somewhere else (although maybe that is just down to the long periods without sleep!)
So for now I’m just paying frequent visits to the gallery, spending my days chatting to the invigilators and the occasional visitor and processing the whole experience.