A place to explore the various inner workings of an emerging artist’s career after graduation. Juggling a family, part time work and artistic practice I intend to reflect on my triumphs and tribulations along the way, engaging with how I fit process, development of practice, and specific projects into the chaos of “real life”.
Since my last post I have been in a few group exhibitions, including ‘Beaten Black Blue Red Green and Gold’ in Cardiff and ‘Idiot Joy Showland’ in Bristol. I also had some new work at the Motorcycle Showroom Open Studio exhibition and I now have a small solo exhibition coming up in October that I am currently preparing for. It’s all very exciting but I can’t believe how busy I’ve been… I’ve managed to have a lot of projects to keep busy with!
I also will be starting an MFA in Fine Art in October which I am really looking forward to! My first year out of of university has gone by really quickly and I think this blog has naturally come to an end, but I plan on starting a new one after my exhibition is finished while I embark on my postgraduate degree. Back to University again! I’m really looking forward to having my weekdays dedicated to making work and developing my practice…
Things have calmed down the last two weeks, I’ve managed to get into the studio a few times and actually have started making some new pieces! Nothing is finished yet, but at least I don’t feel so stagnant. My studio sublet at the Motorcycle Showroom will be over in June-ish, and I will be subletting another studio starting the mid/ end of May, at BV studios, this time for 6 months. There will be a little bit of overlap, but at least it will give me some time to move things, hopefully without too much panic or stress. I will also be sharing the new studio with my friend Polly which I am looking forward to, because we are very good at bouncing ideas off each other.
I met with the co-ordinator of Here Gallery last week, where I will be having my small solo show in October. It was a great meeting and I felt really charged up and inspired afterwards, with loads of ideas and connections running through my head. It’s interesting because this is the first time I have been planning the work with a more specific outcome in mind. Usually I create, research, create, research and then let it all take shape in the space as I am installing it, editing or adding to as I go along. Process based. I know this will happen when I install the October show as well, but it’s the first time I have had a more specific focus and theme in mind from the outset, that feeds into the work as I make it. Perhaps I am just more confidant with my practice now that I am more familiar with it, or perhaps it is just naturally developing and growing as my ideas, interests and focus grows. I suspect it’s a bit of both! Turning Point South West with Spike Associates recently put a call out for applications for research travel bursaries. I decided to apply for one, thinking it could be a great chance for me to add to my research for the October exhibition. I have no idea what the chances are of actually receiving one however! I’ll just have to wait and see…
In the mean time, I have recently been invited to be a part of some upcoming group shows/projects and might possibly have something else in the works for further in the future as well, so I am definitely feeling happily motivated…
And of course, there a lot of things I have applied for that I have been patiently waiting to hear about… I think it’s the waiting that bothers me more than possibly not being accepted.., It really sucks when your applications aren’t accepted, but at least after an hour/day/week of sulking and feeling sorry for myself I can brush myself off and move on, try again. It’s the not knowing and the waiting that drives me absoultely insane!
Anyway, I’ve posted some images of a few things I have been working on, nothing finished yet of course. The digital fabric prints I was originally going to make into stuffed characters like I have done previously, but laying them out on the floor like this has actually given me some other ideas, so I might experiment some more this week…
Well, I now have an axis web profile!
Check it out! http://www.axisweb.org/artist/zanneandrea
I feel like I need to work on my “artist statement” that I’ve posted on there.. I have different statements written, in different styles and word lengths that I can use for various things, such as open submissions, proposals, websites, etc…I think I’d rather have something on there that wasn’t so wordy, or so “I do this and it means this”. Something to work on this week. But overall it’s nice to be on there, I’ve heard really good things about it, and have checked it regularly and found some interesting artists and curators there that I may not have come across otherwise…It seems like a great way for me to make my practice more visible, since I am not able to travel and go out and network as much as other artists.
Updates: I’ve been trying to update my blog every week or so, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been on. Basically, real life was calling me this last month.
The week I moved into the studio I was only able to be there one day, because a big tree fell down in my back garden. (I can now officially add LUMBERJACK to my cv), Then I came down with some horrible throat cold virus thingy mid week, and at the end of the week had a horrible leak in our front hallway, and the entire carpet was soaked in water. I was kicking water out of the front door with my shoe, it was that bad. So my week holiday booked off from work ended up being spent desperately sorting out house stuff and feeling sorry for myself. Now my son is on school holiday which means all art related things have been mostly put on hold until mid April.
It means I also had to cancel my documentation day booking because
a) I didn’t have anything new made and
b) I had forgotten my son was going to be off school that week.
In between all of this, I somehow managed to get two postcards made for the UWE MA exhibition fundraiser called “six by four”, organised by artist Elizabeth Dismorr, but since all works have to be annoymous until sold, I can’t post them here until afterwards. It was really nice to be able to do some painting and drawing again, and has been making me think of how I can incorporate more of it into my practice..
My response to one of Richard Taylor’s insightful comments on my last post was too long for me to post as a comment! Here it is:
The shop front / window display aspect of my work and life is really intriguing and something I really only started thinking more about in my third year of study, but it’s definitely become more pertinent as time goes on. I have always worked in shops, and usually mom and pop stores, small or independant places that don’t really have a budget for displays so encourage creativity and resourcefulness in that area. Creating displays out ‘nothing’, with materials to hand, usually cardboard boxes, paper, pens and paint, is something that has certaintly intermingled with my practice. Arranging and constantly moving objects around is also a big aspect of window displays, whether it’s keeping with the seasons, specific events, or some ‘great new product’ and this aspect had carried over into my work as well. A window display is always changing, it’s never fixed, always fluid, much like my own process. Generally speaking they are usually meant to be viewed from one perspective only, which might in some ways explain why I’m never very comfortable having my objects in the centre of a room, to be walked around and viewed from different angles. It was a criticism I often had at uni during crits, that I was making objects, yet ‘afraid’ to come away from the wall. I think now that it’s proving to be more deliberate, and is something that I need consider more carefully. Perspective is a huge factor in my practice (or lack of…?) Having the perspective chosen for you, as opposed to being able to view it from all sides certainly relates to ideas of how history is ‘written’, with historians choosing what facts they deem to be important and then creating a narrative linking them together.
Also, I think the relationship between my work and a typical window display has connections, although perhaps not as obvious,and I’m not sure how deep they run… Window display / visual merchandising has a very specific purpose, it’s commercial, to show products in the best possible way, exciting, eye catching, bold, so people passing by will stop and hopefully be tempted to purchase. It’s a direct link to buy more. Is there a similarity in how fictional accounts of history, or embellished history is ‘remembered’ in cinema? Hollywood’s wow factor, showing history in a more “interesting, eye catching, bold” account, eventually making people ‘buy’ into those accounts as well, rather than what may have ‘actually’ happened? I definitely have to chew some cud… Do people say that over here??? Thanks Richard!
Today I am really looking forward to getting into my temporary studio. I’ve just spent most of the morning/afternoon annoyed and irritated. Annoyed with my husband trying chat to me, annoyed with my dogs following me around the house and barking at every car alarm in the city, annoyed with the phone ringing, the postman knocking on the door, with having to vaccum the front room and pick up tufts of dog hair, put the laundry away, etc… all things that usually distract me from doing art related things when I am home… I don’t really need to have a studio to create most of the things I make, but I think I’m realizing I might need one in order to simply have the space and time to focus on creating and thinking without any distractions. I’m only off work two days this week, and then only have between 9am and 3pm to do anything, so I NEED TO NOT BE ANNOYED.
There are two open calls that I want to put in proposals for, and I haven’t had time today to do anything other than a little bit of reading/research, an even then just barely. I should have gone to the cafe down the road, but they probably would have glared at me for buying an herbal tea and sitting there for 4 hours. In light of previous planned projects possibly/most likely falling through, I’m hoping I can still salvage some of the ideas and work on curating a group exhibition or some other kind of project… I just have to accept the fact that nothing is getting done today….