Three days later….. it was really hard work! Harder than I imagined. Funny how quickly I forgot the last time and how tiring it is setting up and getting it all organised, but now that it is up I'm starting to forget the stress and worry again. At least that way I can look to the next thing!
Thursday was a very long day. We couldn't start until gone 5pm, so there was a lot of waiting around and then a mad rush. I tried to remain really calm and pace myself but we had a few problems with putting the boards up because of an uneven floor, so tensions rose quite quickly.It was silly, the things that cause the trouble and slow you down are always the things you don't expect (an awkward screw took about half an hour and a lot of swearing)
Also, looking at the installation when we finally got it up I quickly realised that the floor we had bought wasn't big enough and we would have to get more. This meant coming back earlier the following day and doing a last minute lay and paint job. At 11pm and a two hour drive ahead of us this seemed like a real nightmare. (hard to remain reasonable when you are as tired as we were) We drove home in the middle of the night watery eyed, starring into space, having not eaten a meal and I don't know about Quintin but I was definately thinking… 'why do I do this?' He must of been thinking 'How?… how did I end up as an artist assistant? Did I apply for this job?'
We had a funny half sleep, breakfast, a dash over to visit my dad to get some more flooring, packed the car and made our way back down to Brixton. I won't describe all the events that followed, just that it was emotional but we got it done… paint only a little wet at opening time!
I guess it would be a slight understatement to suggest I got alittle stressed, but I can now say everything went fine and I am so pleased to see it finished. It looks great in the space. The gallery has a fantastic feel to it which really compliments my work.
This week I'm back at work and having a bit of time off from the studio. What a whirlwind week!
Well, crunch time! Setting up tomorrow and feeling really excited. It will be a late night setting up Thursday night but hoping to get it all done in one go so that Friday I can relax a bit and get ready for the evening. I am so excited about seeing the pieces up and presented in the way I have been visualizing them for a long time now.
I am confident that the show will come together well and that the pieces will work with each other. I have thought so much about what it is all about and how it will be read and now I can only hope that I have done a good job!
Two weeks until the show opens. If anything I'm calmer than the week before. My photos are on their way and the frames are ready and waiting. The main installation piece is almost ready to wrap up and get ready for transport, the van is hired, first emails and post invites have gone out. Am I nearly there? I have four full days in the studio this week so hoping to continue playing with a piece I've got on the go and try to decide if it will be included in the show.
I now want to start thinking about what I'm going to do after the show. I've started to look for other opportunities to apply for, I feel like I work better when I have something in the pipe-line to keep me working to a deadline. I hope the show will give me further opportunities, but have to keep the momentum up.
With regards to the Digswell's development,- following the Trustees meeting where the future of the Trust was only discussed briefly, it was decided by one of the Trustees that we needed to hold a development meeting specifically to discuss the issues that us artists have been raising. So far it just feels like meeting after meeting and I really hope these meetings will lead on to something much more. I am hopeful though that by these long standing, unspoken issues finally being brought forward, it will lead to them being addressed. It appears that what has really highlighted itself in all this is that there seems to be a big divide between artists and trustees but the dialogue has begun which can only have a positive affect…surely?
This week I have been trying to plan the show out thoroughly in my head to give me an idea of what I've got time to do in the short time left. (I was out of action for beginning of week due to wisdom tooth removal- life can be so inconvenient sometimes!)
I am getting one of my photographs printed so that I can decide how I'm going to show them size/framing/number etc. I'm also trying to work out how much room I've comfortably got so it is a well balanced space.
The initial invites are going out this week. It is very exciting at this point but I feel extremely tense. Worst case scenarios are going through my head…no one turns up, I'm not happy with it, people don't like it etc…etc…. anyway, can't worry about that now. I am confident, just a bit apprehensively confident. I feel that my work speaks for itself and will see me through it. (But everyone sees through different eyes and has different expectations) I am realising that it is so important to accept that there will always be people who don't like what I do or don't see why, but the sooner I swallow and digest that fact the more likely that I will last and not be intimidated out of this occupation. I've always imagined that you need to be tough skinned to be an artist, but I know I can't be. I feel every response to my work severely, but I do feel that I have a recovery method that keeps me going, a momentum that moves me forward. It's a simple desire to progress and find out more.