To say I’m freaking out would be a slight exaggeration. Let’s just say the reality is sinking in…..
Back in the Spring the idea of an exhibition seemed like a good idea at the time. My self and Kate Quinn would work on it together and we thought we could throw the whole thing together in a couple of months. Then the wagon wheels dragged to a halt when I realised I hadn’t a clue what I was doing!
OK. I have clue what I’m doing on a moment to moment basis. I like to create images in a very present minded way. To be quite honest once these moments have passed I am on to the next thing. I think it comes from having a very tight schedule for so many years. I found myself a bit of a whirling dervish organising and planning my work. My creative time was a dream time. Away from shoulds and have tos.
Since having a year off to muddle and procrastinate I have had to dig a bit deeper to hold it all together. It seems I can’t help but bring a kind of seriousness to everything I do. I wish I could be more chillaxed, less focussed, three sheets to the wind? But now my “serious work” turns out to be this exhibition.
All the mulling and delving in the world couldn’t help me to curate my own work. Literally years of photographic images, amounting to thousands of files cluttered my mind. So green, so wild, so present. No matter how I juggled them, I couldn’t fix on a number. In the end I had to start all over and create a whole specific project for this show.
Kate was always so clear and had a narrative and number of pieces already completed. We found a collaborative way of working. So rather than two entirely separate portfolios we are sharing an underlying theme – blossoming. We also settled on a poem we both liked. This gave me the boundaries I needed and with the help of some helpful friends I began to focus more.
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
Out went the day to day green, wild images I love. In came the cultivated, exotic and gradually very pink world. Somehow it became the work.
I’m quite disoriented by this whole process. I have been schooled in the minimalist, dark, edgy and obscure version of art. In college the worst thing that could be said to you was that you were making “pretty pictures.” So while the outside world still love Vincent Van Gogh and the Impressionists above all others, the insiders stand guard to ensure that no art student ever goes anywhere near that kind of image. My inner critic is having a flippin conniption! (This TED talk helped!)
Unlearn. Unlearn. Unlearn.
I got some great advice. Work within the space you are exhibiting in, one said. Make sure you can create an impact in the Granary, it is so big, another said. Make your prints bigger, you need more impact, said a third.
My own advice to myself is to continue to revisit the poem and to keep perspective. Look at what’s going on in the world!!!
This was all excellent advice! Here’s an Invitation