There was a bit of wrinkle in the plans for the local exhibition at Grace of Dornoch Deli and Cafe and we have had to delay the opening one week. There was a misunderstanding on the original dates and there was a conflict with another artist to whom the owner had committed.
So no real bother. All the work for the exhibit is mounted and ready to hang. I will be allocated space in three principal areas as previously discussed and it will show along with the other artist’s work that will be installed in the prior week. The owner’s were very keen on my work when I first approached them and even more so when I brought in the mounted work that would comprise the exhibit. We are planning an opening reception on 27 August and the exhibit will run for at least a week, though the owners have expressed and interest in having some of my work on a longer term basis.
Social media announcements will go out shortly on the venue’s Facebook page as well as mine. Word of mouth has also been generating some excitement and I believe the opening and exhibit will be well attended.
My selections and preparation for the Landings online exhibition were completed just in the nick of time as it went live a few days earlier than I had expected. I found myself wrestling with different ways to order and organise the photos I selected. Originally I had some of the macro work in the selection for both the Landings exhibition and my WIP portfolio, but last week’s webinar with Cemre and peers strongly suggested that those photos detracted from the rest of the work I selected and was not consistent enough in style to hang together with the rest of the work. Though I spent a good bit of time this term on the macro work I understood the comments and took them to heart. It is still solid work and can stand alone, but it didn’t mix well with the bigger landscape and wildlife work.
It is challenging to step back from one’s work and look at it with a dispassionate eye and think about how differently viewers will see the work, and how the selections are both meant to be read and likely to be read by viewers. I found that the story I hope to tell is both early in its evolution and not fully formed in my own mind. And at the same time it is a big and complicated story that is not necessarily easy to tell. “A lot of us go about our work and feel like we have nothing to show at the end of the day. But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way. In fact, sharing your process might actually be most valuable if the products of your work aren’t easily shared, if you’re still in the apprentice stage of your work, if you can’t just slap up a portfolio and call it a day, or if your process doesn’t necessarily lead to tangible finished products.” (Kleon, 2014)
I believe that not trying to determine the outcome before sufficient data are collected can be in part attributed to my training in science and perhaps personal proclivity, but that adds to the challenge of trying to make a narrative hang together at this point. I hope I have chosen well enough to give some sense of scale, process and context to the beginning of the story and at least pique the interests of people enough to cause them to look forward as I do to seeing the remainder of the story unfold over time.
I am fortunate to have talented peers in this course and they have been very helpful in the process of choosing what and in what order to show my work. Despite taking photographs for over 50 years I rarely showed my work and never before exhibited or published until beginning this course. The feedback from peers and tutors has been invaluable in helping me to begin to understand how others see, often differently, than I do. I have much to learn yet about editing, curating and presenting my work, but it is a path down which I have begun to journey and one I look forward to continuing.
I have a third opportunity coming up as I have been asked by the local chapter of the Scottish Women’s Institute to come speak and display my work on 18 September. They are expecting me to speak for about 45 minutes so there will need to be some extensive curation to fill that amount of time. That push will have to wait until after the assignments for this term are complete.
Kleon, A. (2014). Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. New York: Workman Publishing Company.