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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Bridget Macklin

I am an artist working in the field of ceramics creating fragile porcelain pieces which are inspired by the environment or by peoples relationships with the environment and with each other and which often incorporate finds to support their narrative.

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