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I’m sat here with the ubiquitous cup of Lady Grey tea, and a slice of toast, made for me by Mike. I dumped the bags and coat in the hall and flumped into the chair with a groan.

“So was it a useful exercise then?” He asked.

“Yes!” I replied.

Was it? How?

Open Studios can be a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes it just means a sale of work, sometimes it means peep through the door that is slightly ajar but don’t dare step over the threshold or attempt to speak to the artist!

I know I’ve said before I’m anti-social and territorial about my studio space, but I actually quite enjoy this! I’ve had two open studio events since moving in here about a year ago. Once I’ve decided, I do dive in. I have a bit of a cake reputation, so I bake, and invite… I think I’m a bit scared people will be embarrassed by having to talk about my work, so I give them something else to talk about, or write in my comments book about instead.

The opportunity to talk about the work to different audiences is good for me. Helps me figure things out. I quite enjoy gauging where people are in relation to the work. Are they happy to look, find their own way in, or are they completely confused by the sight of these bras suspended from the ceiling?

My first question is to ask how they knew about the event… This gives me clues… Social media, art groups, word of mouth, my personal Internet stalker, that sort of thing, or just fresh in off the street. Then we launch in from there… All of the women see the words “Invisibility is not a super power, it’s the curse of the middle aged woman” and pretty much get where I’m coming from… We might talk about bras and songs for a while, but they relate. From approximately 60 visitors over three days, there were only a couple of people who didn’t eventually find some point of access.

Tricky though isn’t it?
I want people to find a way in, to relate, but don’t want it to be so obvious that others shrug and walk on by.

So is the open studio event a useful exercise? Yes. It gives me the opportunity to gauge this response, and to formulate the words to reach the widest prospective audience.

It also gives me a chance to celebrate a little with those who have supported me. I don’t need much in order to celebrate… Put the kettle on and supply a choice of home baked goodies!

Tomorrow I plan to do a lot of sleeping.

Monday, I shall go through my Arts Council form and remind myself what the next thing is I said I would do…. Then in the evening, sing a song about domestic violence to the songwriters’ circle.