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Yesterday evening I was presented with my certificate for being elected an Associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

During the speeches by the president of the society Steve Evans, and Brendan Flynn, RBSA Professor of Art History, they spoke about the society and its archive. It was listening to this and seeing examples of object files of other artists that it really hit home I’d become a part of this fairly small group of artists, selected and elected for “Professional standing and distinction of work”… and that from now on an official record would be kept of my work and achievements, alongside all the other members since  the early 19th century.

I was also called a “groundbreaker”… I am the first artist in those 200 years to have submitted a sound piece in my candidates’ exhibition.

It does feel a little unreal.

I was brought up in a time when one didn’t “boast” about ones achievements… whilst also being told not to hide ones light under a bushel.

So I wanted to write this post, not as a boast, but as a statement of fact. I belong to this group, I feel part of it, have been welcomed with open arms as the artist that I am right now, doing the work I’m doing right now. Acceptance, acknowledgement and validation for what I do.

I do feel emotional. It feels great. I’m sure there will come along inevitable feelings of self-doubt any time soon, but for now… I’m sat on the top of a big hill looking around me. For a while I wonder how I got here, and then I remember how hard I’ve worked.

Huge thanks to Steve and Ed Isaacs for their nomination and continued support.

(Pictured with RBSA President Steve Evans)