Another day of trying to sort out an exhibition while on my lunch break at work…….. this one is a small group exhibition at Tate, but thankfully, there were enough of the other artists around to help install.

I’d requested a large plinth for my houses installation and was a bit surprised to see the actual size of it. I laid out 40 of my tiny paper houses in the middle and although the plinth / house ratio made them look pretty tiny, I think the balance works.

I have to go back and secure them somehow tomorrow…..while also working on the large installation in the empty shop unit. Tonight I should really work on press releases and other publicity, but I’m not sure I can muster up any sensible sentences after running around today.

This has all made me think about recent a-n tweets about open exhibitions and costs involved. I stopped entering these type of exhibitions ( the pay for ones) about two years ago. It wasn’t just the cost – though I must admit that did factor into it quite a bit ! It was just as much about losing my identify. I think one year, I was involved in about 15 exhibitions – or some other ridiculous figure. Some were open exhibitions, the others were mixed group shows. I’d paid out a fortune and put a huge amount of work into all of them and yet no one could remember my name.

I don’t know if it’s wrong or not to want some sort of recognition, but it would have been nice!

So this year, I’ve only applied for two ‘open’ exhibitions – neither of which I had to pay for. The first was for ‘Bound’ -an artist’s book exhibition, which was shown in Leeds City Library and will tour. I hadn’t really made books before, so I wanted to enter this as it really stretched my ability to produce something from different materials. The other open was for ‘Journeys’ at the Chapel Gallery, West Lancs. Again, I made new work – to their theme and was really pleased with the results – especially as I was able to show an installation and not be restricted to framed, wall mounted work.

All I had to do for both of those, was to deliver my work – they did the rest. For the other exhibitions I’ve been involved with this year, I’ve had to deliver , install, invigilate, do the press releases…..and sit anxiously waiting for feedback. It has been very hard AND very tiring, but I do feel more of a sense of achievement.