So after months of maniacally cutting paper for the Chapel Gallery installation, things changed. There was a sudden shift in balance and as I began to communicate with more galleries and curators, admin took over creativity.

As my thoughts turned to ‘payment for artists’, I began to list how my time was now spent. As I’m limited to how many words I can use in this post, here are the first 8 days of my diary, with a summary of time and money :

16 September. A family member was going to Macclesfield for a business trip, so as it was my day off, I tagged along. I will be exhibiting in the Barnaby Festival there next year and was invited to check out the gallery space before then. Although it did mean filling in time for a few hours while I waited for my lift back, it gave me the opportunity to get a feel of the space I’d have as well as gaining an informative tour of the local silk museum. Distance travelled 100 miles round trip. Cost £0 My time inc travel 8 hours.

17 September. Travelled to Ormskirk to install my paper hot air balloons at Chapel Gallery. Round trip of 48 miles. Bought off peak train all day travel pass. £4.60. My time Inc travel 6 hours.

18 September. Back to work ( leave house for work around 09.00 and return home about 18.30) Email from Chapel Gallery asking if I would rewrite my statement – more about the actual work in the exhibition and reasons behind it. I simplified it a lot and sent it back. Email from organisers of Williamson tunnels exhibition (in which I have work soon) also asking for statement. Started it, but couldn’t think of what to write so left that for another day. Admin time 1 hour.

19 September. Work day. Email from Chapel Gallery. They will pay my travel expenses and installation costs. Sent me a Bacs form to fill in. Email from Altrincham Arts Festival with images of an empty shop – wanted to know if it was suitable. I thought it was a great space, but not right for my work. Email from a-n’s Susan Jones asking if I would like to attend a paying artists consultation at Castlefield Gallery Manchester. Had another go at yesterday’s statement. Admin time responding to emails and statement. 2 hours.

20 September. Work again. Emails from Altrincham festival suggesting another empty shop venue for my work. No images, so can’t comment on it. Completed statement for Williamson tunnels and sent it off. Admin time, 1 hour.

21 September. Day off. Land Sea Sky opened to the public (They don’t have a budget for PV’s other than for the Opens) Didn’t go though as it’s my only day off and I wanted to catch up with things. Spent a few hours reinventing/ recycling older works. Took some photos, renewed a-n subscription and wrote up exhibition proposals .Cost for subscription and misc expenses £38. Admin 2 hours. My own work: a leisurely 4-5 hours spread throughout the day.

22 September. Work day. Started on the a-n bursary application (in work) Spent about 2 hours on it. Not quality time though as I was constantly interrupted (being in work and all that!) and I’d left it too last minute.

23 September. Work day. Spent a bit more time on the bursary application ( but again, as above) Email from Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival – accepting the work I submitted for the exhibition (selected by the Sara Jayne Parsons, Exhibitions Curator at The Bluecoat) Images of alternative venue sent by Altrincham Arts festival. Looks like a better option. Admin time 2 hours

So…in those 8 days:

Travel ( for exhibition purposes) 148 miles.

Money spent on exhibitions, materials etc £42.60

Time spent in paid work (not inc travel) 40 hrs

Time spent on my own work 4 – 5 hrs

Time spent travelling and installing work 14 hrs

Time spent on admin 10 hrs

Payments to me (installation at Chapel) £50

Total earnings from my own work (minus costs) £7.40

(just as well I have a job)


I know I said I was going to take a break from this blog, but something quite significant happened today, which I would like to share.

I installed my work at The Chapel Gallery on Tuesday, it just took a few hours and all went well ( apart from trying to juggle a ladder with one arm while holding on to fishing line with the other!) Then out of the blue, I received an email today from the gallery saying that they will pay me for my installation time and travel expenses. Well….. that’s NEVER happened to me before!!

I never mentioned anything to them about it and never asked for money – I just accepted that I will install my own work.

Wonderful, just wonderful. I can’t fault the Gallery!


The next few months are going to be really busy for me and I really don’t have the time to write. So rather than my blog boring everyone stupid with a continuous ‘I’m going to work then coming home and doing my own work’ sort of thing, I think I will wind it down for a while.

If anyone is interested in my work and where its going, I’ll keep my ‘other’ website up to date : http://wendycwilliamsdotorg.wordpress.com/ (I’ve added a ‘Latest News’ page for forthcoming exhibitions )

Thanks for reading everyone!


I wonder if a sign that an artist has ‘made it’, would be when the work is picked up and installed for you. That would do me anyway.

I went across to Ormskirk today to discuss the installation. The exhibitions officer eyed the metal framework supporting the spotlights and said ‘Maybe we can string something across those’. ‘We?’ I thought.

I asked if they had art handlers and/or technicians and was met with a frown.

That’s a ‘No’ then. Great, just great.


The ‘to do’ list I left on the mantelpiece on Thursday night, is still there, untouched. I think this is how it would be if I had more time. I’d get into my head that I had all the time in the world to do things, and would just pick them up when I felt like it…. or not.

I feel that when I’m off, I lose that momentum that keeps me going. Its much easier for me to come in from work and say ‘oh well, I’ve been working all day, what’s another hour’, than having to start from scratch.

I don’t know where these last 3 days have gone…. I’ve been out a lot, my freezer is full of blackberries but the house is still a tip. Well, I did hoover up a growing fur ball (the dogs) that I passed daily for about a month, thinking I must deal with that one day. That’s all though.

I’ve really struggled to make the last few parts of the installation. For want of better words – I just couldn’t be bothered.

I’m now very thankful for the manic weeks/months I spent putting together these paper air balloons for the installation. My precious days off would have been completely stressful otherwise.

I must complete one thing on the list today though – to pack them all up ready for delivery tomorrow. But then, here I am wasting time on the internet…

These 5 days are the longest stretch I will have off for a while now as I have to save as much of my leave as I can for the group trip to New York next year. The next 6 months will be very hard.

But in the meantime…. the sun is still shining….