I view the end of an exhibition with mixed feelings. Exhibiting is part of my practice, it is sometimes stressful to arrange, but the experience can be almost drug-like in its addictive qualities. I love seeing my work in the gallery space, so different to seeing it hung on my studio walls. I love it when I get a visitor so I can gauge what my work evokes in them. I painted the works as communication, and it is when they are on show that they do this best. This summer has given me a new dimension to exhibiting, which I am greatly taken with.
Both of the joint shows I have taken part in this summer – Elements of Place with Paul Dearden, and Voices From The Wilderness with John Ledger – have also featured evenings of music/performance and poetry. I have been able to experience my work to the impro/abstract industrial sounds of Piggle, and to SW-1Hunter’s similarity experimental noise performance – both experiences I very much hope to repeat. My work has provided the backdrop to the voices of Liz Ferrets, Gav Roberts and Kevin Titterton, and I heard scenes from my works in their words, which has opened me to whole new possibilities.
The interesting things to come out of both shows are very thought-provoking, as they impact on the part of my creativity which is concerned with the show. Not least is the dialogue between the works of two artists – hanging both shows was great fun, mixing the pieces to create a balanced show less of a challenge than we thought it would be. The bringing together of different creative disciplines around a theme was exciting, and has helped me develop ideas around the notion of an exhibition as theatre. Initially this came from developing my first solo exhibition – We are not afraid of ruins – and seeing the canvases as individual voices on a stage. The introduction of words and sound through poetry and music enhances this effect, and has the potential for collaborative work around a common theme, leading to a joint performance. Situationist and Post-Dadaist possibilities also spring to mind, and I hope to be exploring this aspect more next year. I have immensely enjoyed both shows, and would like to thank everyone, but especially Paul and John for inviting me to take part in joint shows with them 🙂
The end of a show means the end of this phase of my practice, but it also means being able to get back into the studio. I have come away from exhibiting feeling positive about the way my work is going, and with paintings I need to paint, and fresh avenues I need to explore as I work towards my next show. In the meantime I will be exhibiting some work with Alluvium at the Old Market Gallery in Rotherham during November, and I’ll post more about this later.