'If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words Then Why Can't I Paint', private view evening
Well, here I am writing this on a Sunday evening feeling considerably more relaxed (well, sort of) than I did this time last Sunday and also at the end of what has been a long, stressful, but ultimately rewarding, week. I’m talking about the experience of hanging ‘If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words Then Why Can’t I Paint’, last Monday and the private view on Friday night.
The hanging of the show went well, and all the work seemed to go together, complement and bounce off each other in lots of pleasing and unexpected ways. We hoped it would when ‘curating’ it (it sort of seems too grand a word) but when you have only seen the work of the different artists individually you just never know. In fact the biggest headache for me was trying to find a place for my dark motorway paintings with their big swathes of black, orange and purples. They just didn’t seem to fit with anything each time they were placed next to other pieces. Eventually they found a home though, and I was pleased with how they looked within the show.
The rest of the week was spent running around trying to remember and organize countless little things ahead of Friday’s private view, alongside evenings spent rehearsing with Andy our music piece, which was tiring (with sleepless nights with our ‘tune’ nervously echoing in my head) and trying to do my job too somewhere amongst it all. But come Friday night it all seemed worthwhile.
The evening proved to be a real success and the room was absolutely packed by about half seven. It was the busiest private view I’ve ever been a part of: I never stopped talking to different people all night. The exhibition itself was also importantly really well received, with lots of very positive comments about all the work, which was, as planned, a very eclectic mix. I hadn’t seen an exhibition quite like it in the area, which was partly the point.
Me 'performing' 'Music For Service Stations', with artist Andrew Smith
Box Of Knives performing in front of my paintings (seemed a good backdrop!)
I had many interesting conversations about my own paintings which seemed to create a strong impression with visitors: about their locations; their atmosphere: the use of colour and light: their ‘early in the morning after the night before’ feel (I liked this one): to connections with Edward Hopper (not an influence) and Baroque painting (not an influence either, but soon may become one…). One couldn’t ask for much more… well, apart from a better performance of our music. This unfortunately didn’t work out that well on the night, a combination of nerves and still under-rehearsed timing and development of the whole thing. Still, I was sort of glad I got up and did it as I had been working on it for a long time with Andy, and it did add a different dimension to the private view too, I just wish it had sounded as good as it did at one of our rehearsals earlier in the week. I think I will stick to my paintbrush rather than the plectrum in future. Still, we were followed more successfully by Box of Knives, a band fronted by Sally Cartwright who I lecture alongside who were pretty impressive.
the artists from l-r: Craig Underhill, Hugh Marwood, Shaun Morris, Chris Cowdrill and Andrew SmithSo, a success so far, and for the launch of Indigo Octagon too. Badges were taken away, catalogues sold, lots of friends along, and there also seemed lots of new faces who visited too. It seemed like our pretty extensive publicity material had done some work. Hurrah and thank goodness. Here are a few photos from the private view. I’ll post some more about the actual artwork in another post.