And so another exhibition is over, and I turn again to the future, to more painting, another Open Studio event, and my next exhibition. The Northwich iteration of ‘We are not in the least afraid of ruins’ was, I feel, a success, despite the lack of sales, and relatively small number of visitors to the gallery. Exhibiting in Northwich is unlikely to make any artist rich or famous. It is a small town with a declining industrial base, defined by the Arts Council as an ‘area of low cultural engagement, and the local paper didn’t list my exhibition, probably because I was not a local artist. I do not mean to be dismissive, Northwich also appears regularly in the Sunday Times list of best places to live in the country, and has a rich musical and sporting history. It may be wondered why I chose such an area for an exhibition, but in fact the characteristics of the town meant that it was perfect for my first venture outside of Sheffield.
My aim in exhibiting in Northwich was to expose the work to a different, and perhaps more difficult audience, to see whether it succeeded in engaging them. In this respect the exhibition was an unqualified success, and the response to my work both genuine and gratifying. Also gratifying was the fact that visiting the exhibition inspired one local councillor to start painting again himself. The gallery was superb, and it was interesting to see my work in this very different environment from gage. One artist, who has seen my work (indeed, we have exhibited together) in Sheffield commented on how professional it looked in the setting, it’s impressive the difference proper lighting can make to an evening opening. Whilst I had no sales, I did have interest, and have left three paintings behind to go in the Cheshire Art Fair, which runs through April. I also met some new people, including some very talented artists, and overall am glad that I made the decision to take my work out touring this year.
The next couple of months will be busy, and I hope to have completed the triptych based on the three colours theme that I have been working on since August 2012. Coming up is the annual Sheffield Open Studio’s event, which will run for five days in early May, and which I always enjoy, followed by another solo exhibition, in Congleton, Cheshire, at the end of May, for which I will have new works, and possibly a slight shift in thematic emphasis.
Before either of these however, I am pleased to be one of the launch artists for a new and interesting take on the online art gallery. This will become active from April 5th, and the owner sought me out to invite me to join in because of the nature and political emphasis of my work, which was very refreshing. Through participation in the site, my work will be available in print as well as original form, and I am currently selecting 10 works that I will offer through the gallery. There’s a good and interesting mix of artists available through SEAT 214 (facebook page) so take a look, and sign up for news about the artists, special offers etc.
I leave you with the featured painting for this blog. Called Teetering on the edge, I completed it the Wednesday before the Northwich exhibition, as a comment on the apparent fragility of our global society. At no point have the inequalities been more evident, and the bush wars between competing oligarchies as they grab to control the worlds resources threaten to return us to barbarism. Indeed, NASA confirmed this pessimistic view a few days ago, and I urge you all to take stock and ask if the headlong rush for the scraps offered by 21st century capitalism is really a justification for the misery and inequality necessarily contingent upon the insane way we are allowing our world to be run.