The Family at the ING Discerning Eye show, in front of “My First Prom (Royal Albert Hall)” with red dot!
December Art Bulletin
Welcome to all I met at the Windsor and Norwich Art Fairs. Looking back at November to compose the bulletin, it’s been such a busy month. A month ago my exhibition was still hanging in Sunbury, which already seems a world away.
It’s often struck me that making Fine Art is such an individual, subjective and creative pursuit, and yet the Fine Art world is intensely competitive and judgmental. The success (or not) of emerging artists depends in no small way on their competing, showing and ideally winning art prizes. Whilst it is possible to be successful without engaging in this world, if you can be shown and win prizes, it can be a massive boost to getting noticed and forwarding your career. And so I was very excited to have 2 pictures chosen for the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at London’s Mall Galleries, which was my first success in getting shown in a national open entry show. And it didn’t disappoint. Just before the show opened the local paper called for an interview, and gave me quite a big article with a photo (see it here)! The Private View was stupidly busy, but a real buzz. I managed to meet the two selectors who chose my works – best of all they were both displayed prominently in the main room, and both had sold already (at the Collectors evening!). So it was all I could have hoped for and more, although Jane observed on the way home – “it was a pity you didn’t win a prize”! Maybe next time.
I do think it’s so important to recognise successes when they happen and to celebrate – it stores up some good feeling to sustain you through the months of hard work ahead until the next one! And so it was a real thrill to get all my family in the Gallery on the Saturday, to show them the pictures, and then go out for a lovely Afternoon Tea. My sister and parents came up from Sussex, and Isaac and Bethany came home from University just for the day, which was particularly special. Can’t wait for the next time.
Following on from my recent galleries series, which often featured children playing in the foreground, I’ve been thinking a lot more about my own childhood. I’ve decided to follow that thought, and have started on a new series. I was brought up in the market town of Chichester in West Sussex. As a way in to the project I’ve travelled back there, and spent several days visiting all my old haunts – houses, playing fields, schools and churches, and the town itself. It has been an eye-opening experience. I found memories from my youth came back to me, but also things that I had completely forgotten, somehow triggered back into consciousness just by going back to the same location. The mind is truly a wonderful thing! The work above is an example; standing outside WH Smith (which I remember as a huge and rather exciting shop, and which now seems small and rather run-down) this memory of pulling my schoolbag along the ground on the way home from school, and being told off by an old lady, came back to me – amazing! I’m working on several more ideas, and am very excited for this series.
Can I take this opportunity of wishing you and yours all my very Best Wishes for the Christmas season, and hopefully to an art-filled 2017!
Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green Road, London E2, Group Exhibition “Art Dialogues”, Tue 14th February – Sunday 19th February 2017, with a Private View on the evening of Thursday 16th February.