I’ve just uploaded the digital pictures I took of my work in the show and they are really bad! Why can’t I take good pictures anymore? I used to do okay, so what’s happened? Perhaps it’s the camera, perhaps I spent more time looking through the view finder of my old SLR than I do now with a small digital.
I think I’m going to take some old fashioned slides and see if I like those more. I understand how an SLR and film work – I haven’t a clue about digital stuff – does it make a differnece if I understand it or not?
The most interesting picture I’ve got from Sunday was some grafitti on a locked door in the car park. The names in a heart have been scrubbed out, below the heart it says ‘GAY BOIZ’. I noticed it when I was about to drive home to John. I got back out of the car and photographed it. Were the ‘gay boiz’ names erased fom the heart? Did some ‘gay boiz’ erase other names and claim the heart for themselves? Is ‘gay boiz’ a declaration or an insult?
I spent yesterday hanging two pieces of work for Hunters & Collectors at The Gallery at Willesden Green. It’s been a long time since I put work into a gallery – my last show was in a garden shed.
Five artists were there, Linda and Emma brought a picnic along, and there was a good relaxed atmosphere. The show looks really good. It’s good to see my work in a new context. I’d had the handkercheif piece up at home and I’m surprised at how much more professional it looks now that it’s in a gallery (my home white walls don’t make a white cube).
The show opens on Thursday and I’m getting a bit nervous about it. Over the last few years I haven’t made it to many openings myself and now I’m worried that the people I’ve invited won’t come to mine! It’s so easy to lose contact with people I’ve met through other shows or at other studios. On the other hand – there’s all those new people to meet ….
Hunters & Collectors can also be seen at; www.magpiecurators.org.uk
- cover one studio wall with plasteboard
- finish 3 pieces of work
- get some new slides
I'm sitting here thinking through the things I need to do and wondering why I don't just do them. Perhaps it's the fear of living my life by a global sports conglomerate's strap line. Perhaps it's lack of confidence.
Neither of these excuses have any real currency. Perhaps after all this time I'm actually afraid of getting what I want! I'm commitment-phobic! Keeping things at arms length means that they remain fantasties, or even 'fantastic', and making them real might spoil that.
- What is success?
- What am I doing to achieve it?
- What am I waiting for?
I've been spending a lot of time on the studio making a piece for a show later this year. It's an English Pieces patchwork made from two second hand shirts. Unlike previous patchworks this one is going to be a cylinder – that means I've had to work out how many 'blocks' I need to maintain the pattern while allowing it to join around itself 'seemlessly'.
There's something quite satisfying about the pages of isometric grid paper and tracing paper that are mounting up.
I want the the top and bottom of the cylinder to be flat. This has led me to make a shape I haven't thought about since 'O' level maths – the trapizium. Laying out combinations of hexagons and trapiziums gives me an inexplicable sense of pleasure. What is it about this jigsaw-like activity that makes me smile so much?
The Enquire Artists' seminar rekindled my interest in the possibilities for artists in education. I'd gone very sceptical, after getting really burnt out and tired of projects that had less and less relation to my own practice. I noted that the most interesting work was being done outside of London. Projects in both Liverpool and Manchester seemed so much more collaborative, while one in Brighton was specifically concentrating on continuing professional development for artists. It was really refreshing to hear about projects where the artists were 'partners' throughout the project process (as opposed to the situation where I used to find myself agreeing to themes, materials and timetables arranged by schools and galleries without any real discussion).
I have to thank Barbara at Enquire for giving artists the rare chance to get together and talk about the stuff we need to talk about. And thanks too to all the artists who I met and who assured me I wasn't alone in my concerns about the demands put on freelance artists working in schools. Now if we could only get some kind of association or 'trade union' going ….. !