So a funny thing happened to me the other day, when I was at Surface Gallery, in my exhibition space, preparing for my perfume making workshop (which went brilliantly, by the way.) I chanced upon two visitors to my exhibition drawing my work: Looking intently at the paintings I created to accompany the perfumes, then drawing them and making annotated notes.
This post is not so much about the drawings themselves, but how the situation made me feel. Although honestly I didn’t give it much thought in the immediate aftermath as I was busy preparing my workshop. But having had time to reflect it was actually a somewhat heartening experience. I feel it somehow legitimises my creative output as bearing witness to such a direct consideration of my work revealed its affecting qualities, and how it can be utilised for learning.
It also reminded me of school, when our art classes often consisted of having to sketch paintings created by real artists in order to learn the basics. I suppose the roles are now reversed to an extent. Yet despite being very much a professional artist, that feeling of being a ‘real artist’ still eludes me. Maybe it always will, maybe it’s the same for everyone, or maybe experiences such as this count towards achieving such a feeling. Either way I feel humbled and happy about the whole thing.
Perfume as Practice continues at Surface Gallery, Nottingham until Saturday 18th November.