I had an interesting day on Friday. I was interviewed by London Media Centre for a promotional video looking at the legacy of the Olympics and its effect on artists in the east end of London.
It was rather strange being on the other side of the interview process. Usually I am the one asking the questions and I got pretty nervous beforehand. However, I loosened up as the interview went on, managing to avoid too many sarcastic/politically incorrect answers.
From a personal perspective I think the Olympics has been really positive. Initially when London won the games I was quite dubious about how it would impact on artists in the east of the city. Some of my friends who had live/work studio spaces in warehouses close to the Olympic Park were worried about losing their homes and communities. Also the issue of public funds being redirected away from the arts to sports has been a cause for concern for a number of years now, with the full impact probably still not fully felt.
However, I have found it incredibly inspirational watching athletes give their all, pushing themselves mentally and physically in search of a goal. One moment that sticks in my mind is Katherine Grainger winning gold in the rowing double sculls. Despite massive disappointments in the past, she just kept going and going. On a certain level, I can definitely relate. The last month has been pretty gruelling as I have attempted to reach my target of 64 new drawings for the Autography exhibition. I would liken it to when I do a 10km run. There are points where you just think “is it really worth it”, but in the end the sense of achievement is incredible.
With less than two weeks until the exhibition opens I’m now entering the home straight. Maybe I will buy some gold refills for my Staedtler Mars Micro pencil once I have finished…!