Monday, 11 July 2011

Running a creative workshop.... a bit different from what I imagined. Possibly because my vision of failure was that I would be inundated with people (inundated meaning dealing with more than 4 people that I never before met in my life). That my direction in the activities would be weak and HORDES of people would be bored and leave.
The reality of the failure (if it was a failure) is that no people (well there were 2) turned up for me to be scared of disappointing. But I'm not sure it was a failure entirely, of course it wasn't the kind of exciting energetic experience that changes people's entire outlook on life, which was obviously what every artist/teacher hopes to achieve by collaborating with people. However I did learn that I have quite a narrow view on what will be a successful art activity, which is possibly fed from the years spent in art institutions hanging around with other artists.
I've come to the conclusion that we artists are actually really easily entertained. I mean being presented with a huge room with a few plug sockets that is entirely devoid of furniture is pretty much birthday/christmas/new year in one for artists.
It was pretty stupid to assume that people would be as easily interested in creative workshops without persuading.

Some friends helping with setup

My extremely popular (NOT) workshop. Oh well live and learn I guess!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Curating experience

Some of my paintings hanging in the space



This week I've been working on something called "The Big Empty Shop Experiment" with a group of people in Cardiff.
We've taken a space that's used as a halloween/christmas decoration shop in the winter and turned it into a gallery space running art cinema screenings, a swapshop and creative workshops.

Its involved a LOT of cleaning and just general tidying to make the space hospitable for artwork and the general public but my main job has been curating and hanging the work of local artists, most of whom are students.

I've never really enjoyed the actual hanging of an exhibition as much as I have this week, its been busy but not frantic which is what setting up in past exhibitions has been like. I think it's a combination of
1. Having to make decisions without consultation.
2. Being part of a REALLY good team.

It's strange though, because while I've been in curatorial mode I'm constantly looking at pieces of work but I'm not seeing them as I would normally. I'm surveying them more, I'm seeing them as dimensions and colour. I'm looking intently for relationship of form between the pieces and between the environment. Never thought I would say this but I love curating and hanging!