To Be or not to be . . . . flattered

A number of weeks ago I took part in my first ‘proper’ exhibition.  ArtRooms at the Melia White House Hotel near Great Portman Street in London, see link .  It was a very interesting experience to unpick it afterwards.  The weekend was hugely flattering to my ego but it left both my wallet and my feet in a state of exhaustion.  I spent the entire weekend in a hotel corridor talking to people about my work, I made it to a number of reviews by name and lots of people said very nice things.  I didn’t sell a single thing though and it cost me a fair amount to be there.  I didn’t mind because I saw it as oxygen and hoped it might lead on to other more exciting prospects.  And it has!  This week I have been approached by two curators inviting me to take part in forthcoming exhibitions.  Wow!  What’s not to like?

The thing is though, how do you know?  Obviously I cannot afford to keep going to exhibitions simply to massage my ego.  Financially that does not put bread on the table – it doesn’t even put clay in the kiln!  These exhibitions would make me an international artist – one is in Turin, the other in Tokyo!!  But I cannot afford to go to either, and anyway, how on earth can you tell whether an exhibition is going to be the right setting for your work. I think this is one of the hardest things that I have to face as I approach the end of my diploma.  I sort of know where my art is going creatively but I have very little idea of where and how to put it ‘out there’.

Part of my mud-larking haul.

On a simpler note, I can happily report that a couple of days of mud-larking in Falmouth during the lowest tides of the year has given me a fabulous selection of artefacts, some of which are already finding their way into or onto some of my ceramics for the final semester.

All this is a lot of fun!  It gives me permission to spend time clambering around on the shores of Cornish estuaries and feeling mildly insane – something which I find quite energizing.  Back in college the results are showing some promise although they are so think that nothing has dried enough to fire yet so I am not confident of success.  Oh, and I seem to have blotted my copybook at college by having such a good time – I got kept late on Friday because I had not done enough work!!!  Now I just need to work out melting temperatures, shrinkage rates, joining techniques and finishing methods and I will have a piece that someone might pay me to transport to Tokyo!

Falmouth shackle in Cornish clay
Falmouth shackle in Cornish clay

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