While setting up the exhibition the other day, I was told of some comments another artist had made. I can’t quote exactly, but it was on the lines of ‘ If you can’t be a full time artist, then don’t do it at all’.
I hadn’t had a day off last week, so had to set up the exhibition during my breaks. Fortunately, the unit was just a few doors down from where I work, so I was able to go there very early ( before work) and run across on my lunch and afternoon breaks. It was really tiring doing it and probably wouldn’t have been able to complete it without the help of Jackie ( Jacqueline Kerr, who I shared the space with) …. but I found the comment really deflating and quite insulting.
Good luck to anyone who can be a ‘full time’ artist…. who has the funding to support themselves, but sorry – I’m not one of them! I’ll probably go back to this subject another time as there’s a lot I can say, but for this post, I’ll stick to my current exhibition.
Jackie was able to stay at the unit for most of the 2 day set up and was an enormous help. I’d spread the houses out but every time I dashed back to work, I had a re think over the layout. I decided that to make full use of the space, the houses should be laid out with a slight swirl. This would enhance the colour variation and say more about the idealist housing estate I was trying to convey.
Seeing me struggle, Jackie offered to finish off so I could go back to work – giving her full artistic license as it were.
Returning to the installation later, I was mortified to see that she’d added extra ‘ swirls’, making it far more decorative that I wanted it to be. Admittedly, I was very tempted to change it again, but had second thoughts. I thought about the time when I had installed Julie Dodd’s work in the Stockholm exhibition. On asking how she wanted it set out, she said she was happy to see how others curated it, as every time it looked slightly different.
So, taking a deep breath and let someone else ‘control’ my work, I left it. After all, artworks can be interpreted in any way and with housing, people do make changes .
As the work can be seen easily from the window, a crowd had gathered in no time at all. Letting people in, I was really surprised at how many positive comments there were over the layout.
For such a short exhibition, we got an incredible amount of coverage as part of lightnight Liverpool. We had a huge amount of visitors last night and we’re taking it in turns today to sit in the space today to open it up to people.