It’s about confidence isn’t it?
Or maybe I mean bullshit?
A couple of years ago, I had very little on my cv, so put everything on it, hoping that volume of words would speak for me, would fool people, but really they were there to give me strength.
I now feel able to drop a couple of the lesser events, that were, to be frank, fillers.
Just because I put my work up somewhere, doesn’t mean anyone saw it… or thought much of it.
I’ve now got a few really good bits on there. But it is still all about the spin isn’t it?
“I have exhibited in New York” being a case in point. I feel this very humble/overly modest urge, before people even comment, to say “Jamestown, not New York City”. This is ridiculous, because in terms of our experience as artists, I sure we had a better time in Jamestown than we would have had drowning in NYC. Jamestown doesn’t need to be excused, it is a perfectly marvellous place! But people make assumptions, and I suppose part of me doesn’t want to be “found out” at an embarrassingly later date, in a public place, that it wasn’t NYC… (akin to the dream of being discovered naked in Sainsbury’s). So I blurt it out.
But the thing is, the other side of it is it gives ME confidence. Having “Events of Worth” on my cv helps me stride into places with head held high. (Who bestows the worth is another conversation, Grayson Perry discussed it beautifully and hilariously in his Reith Lectures).
I’ve recently been working in the New Art Gallery Walsall, doing a small research job on the education team. Later in the summer I’m going to be delivering some workshops with them. The thought of working in this, my favourite gallery, a few years ago was a pipe dream. I’m doing it, in a small way, but I am. It makes me feel alive to be doing something new again. It makes me excited and happy, in a ridiculous way that isn’t really dignified for a woman of my age.. But you know what? I don’t give a damn what you think. I’m not cool, I’m a 53 year old woman, now doing something she loves. I am deliriously happy to do it. And I don’t care if it shows. I do have something to offer, I am confident that my weirdly diverse experience seems to be quite useful at the moment…
So… the spin is there, but most of it is for me, and if questioned I will crumble and confess.