It’s a bit late to say Happy New Year but it’s good to be at the beginning of another year with lots of plans and projects under way. Even when there are so many things happening simultaneously, a natural break provides much needed breathing space to reflect, see what needs to be done and prioritise.
I am predominantly spending my time right now working on my current public art commission, which has been much neglected of late. This is allowed, as unusually I have a 6 year timescale! But of course I want to get it done much sooner than that. The first week of January was spent driving around Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire researching the piece of work I am designing, which is sited in Bedfordshire. I also have a new studio volunteer and another who wants to become my apprentice. So I need to make time to work with them in the studio and teach them useful skills etc. There are always things to do in the studio! So the second week of January was spent in the studio beginning a new tiled gateway for The Ceramic House, which I plan to be finished by the time the exhibition opens in May. So finally there will be no mistaking which house is the one that is covered in tiles (currently hidden behind a facade of ordinariness!). I am also working on a private commission for a domestic fireplace, which is in progress.
Anyway, behind the scenes, I am chugging away with the preparation for Made in Korea. Even though I have to wait until the end of March to find out the results of my arts council funding bid, there are many aspects of the project that will happen regardless, in particular the two exhibitions at The Ceramic House in May and at Sladmore Contemporary in July. I am currently waiting for the artists to send me information for the press release so I can begin the PR campaign. This is no mean feat with 16 exhibiting artists. The deadline I set for this first stage is tomorrow and so far I have heard back from 6 out of 16 (some of whose work is shown here). So there is much chasing up to be done, which takes time, of course.
The other thing that I have already started setting in motion is the redesign of The Ceramic House website. There is a huge amount of archive data on the website at the moment, so we need to find a solution to move it all over to a new site without having to rewrite and reload it all. I plan to have this ready for the exhibition in May too.
I went to visit Gerry Farrell’s Sladmore Gallery stand at London Art Fair a couple of days ago. It was good to see him and great to see such a variety of work throughout the fair. We are planning a mini Made in Korea show upstairs at Sladmore Contemporary for London Craft Week, which conveniently coincides with the opening of the show in Brighton. The selected artists for this are Myung Nam An and Jin Eui Kim, both British-based ceramic artists from Korea, and I will present a taster of my new work inspired by my trip to Korea which I am making for the opening at Sladmore in July. I need to start sifting through the reference and research material I gathered in Korea to start the design process for my new body of work too. So I think a good start to the year will be efficient time management and planning what happens on each day of the week, or it will all become too unwieldy and difficult to effectively achieve everything simultaneously.