Cheek by jowl with history

Cheek by jowl with history

It’s been a while since I posted, this is due to ill health, of which more may be said in an alternate blog at some point. However, it’s also been a busy time, with the annual Sheffield Open studio’s event taking place across the weekends of May 3/4/5 and 10/11, and my latest exhibition, in Congleton, opening tonight.

Open Up went well, and we received well over 200 visitors at Kelham Island Arts Collective (KIAC). During the period, I worked on a new variation of the painting ‘Boneyard’ utilising the brighter colours that I have been experimenting with recently, and also demonstrated my practice by completing two other canvases. I will add these to the gallery in the near future, but time constraints have led to all my work going to Congleton before I could properly photograph the new pieces. I had a lot of visitors to my studio specifically, and once again my confidence was bolstered by many positive comments, with people saying how much they enjoyed hearing the stories behind the work. On the down side, a number of people commented on the scale of my work, feeling that it would be too large for their houses. I thought about this, as though we do not have a large house, it does have 9′ high ceilings, and so my default size of 120cm x 84cm does not appear over large, though I do appreciate that it might do in a standard 7′ ceiling modern house. A difficult one, as I do struggle to paint smaller pieces, due to the approach I take, and I suspect that many artists, faced with the increase in space having a dedicated studio gives, tend to work larger as a result. Always good for an artist to receive good feedback, even if it’s critical, as long as it’s constructive, and though it is nerve-racking to expose my studio and working practices to the public, it has proved most beneficial.

The Congleton exhibition features 24 of my works, once again under the ‘Ruins’ banner. Five of the paintings have not been shown before, and four of them have been painted since Ruins showed in Northwich in March. This time they are being shown in an old cinema, the Electric Picture House , which is a most quite different and very interesting space to hang the work in. The exhibition opens tonight (23rd May) but I hung it on Tuesday, and added the titles, prices and verbiage on Wednesday. I was most gratified to receive a text on Thursday telling me that one of the works – Wasted Energy –  had already sold, and the buyer wished to take it with them. Obviously, I was happy with this, and the painting illustrating this post – Cheek by jowl with history – is the one that I will replace it with in order to ensure that the exhibition is complete. As I mentioned earlier, I have had some very bad news healthwise recently, and to hear that a random passer-by in a town where no-one has heard of me has just purchased one of my larger pieces was exactly the boost that needed, so thankyou so much to whoever has brought the work, you really did make my day.



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