In my last post, I wrote of the state of flow… The ultimate creative state.
In this post I write of the least creative, the most frustrating and yet the other end of the duties the artist must do, in order to get the work seen and heard (at least the artist as low down the pecking order as me… Higher up the ladder there are agents, curators and technicians I hear!)
I am getting the room ready. The seemingly granite walls these shops were constructed with in the 1970s are impossible to hang from, so I have enlisted the help of volunteers to construct the false wall art schools are so enamoured of… Plywood, gum strip and litres and litres of white emulsion.
It’s not great, but given the gallery is of the pop-up shop variety, it will do the job. The opposite internal, plasterboard wall is also painted white. By July, for the great big posh exhibition, I intend all the walls will be fresh and white, but for this launch, and showing of the germs of ideas and works in progress, two walls of white are fine for now. The windows are filthy. I have cleaned the inside, and hopefully the window cleaner will be round before the end of the week to do the upstairs ones in addition to the downstairs ones he always does. The carpet has paint on it from a previous exhibition…tut… It won’t come off, so I am actually considering painting it again, to match the surrounding fibres. Or I might come to my senses and let it go. This space is not going to be a pristine white cube. It was never such, and never will be. It is not realistic to invest that sort of money in this space. It is therefore a constant balancing act of what I am prepared to put up with, and what I’m not, what I can afford to put right, and what I cannot. My work will go up for the open studio, and stay up for a couple of weeks after I suppose (so if you miss the event, get in touch and you can call in anyway, there might not be cake though). But after that, and before July, I would like it to be used for other artists. I have a few in mind. So I am also conscious of them and their needs. Whatever I do in this space should be adaptable for others, as they will be using it after my event.
My focus then, seems to have fallen into the categories of clean and practical. The boards are functional. The place is clean. Total eyesores will be disguised and minimised. Little things will have to be let go. I can’t do it all. My theory is, that once the work is in the space, that is what people will look at, not the wall finish, or the carpet stains. If people look as if they are bothered by the state of the place I will loudly shout “Cake!” And point in the other direction.