I am about to embark on another collaborative venture. More details will follow but suffice to say that I am going to be working with other makers on a project which is going to involve me taking the way they work: their colours and textures and incorporating them into a body of work for a joint exhibition this autumn. I am truly excited to have been presented with the opportunity and, given the pleasure that the collaboration with Candide Turner Bridger and Nigel Slater gave me for the recent Earthlines exhibition, I know that it could result in some great work.
But, and it is a big BUT, I also know that I now have a whole lot of sleepless nights coming in the next couple of weeks. All my best ideas happen in the middle of the night, usually at about 3 am. The initial electrical surge is followed by a protracted process of going over and over the finer detail and sleep becomes utterly impossible. There is little point in getting up and beginning to make as the whole thing has to ‘cook’ for a while first. Sometimes a walk helps – so the puppy is on standby for some strange night-time excursions – but, please, if you have any dealings with me in the next week or so, do not expect much in the way of quick witted repartee!
This week I visited the beautiful city of Salisbury. I arrived early for the private view at the Salisbury Arts Centre thinking that it would be good to have a little wander around the cathedral close and the market first. Instead, by the time I got to the station, I was is such a state of jitters that I ended up making straight for the nearest well known high street coffee shop for a restorative cup of hot chocolate and a piece of Tiffin! No size 12 in sight yet!
I am not that great at going to things on my own so I was particularly relieved to be greeted by some good friends who I had no idea would be there – Thanks so much, Adam and Meredith, for helping me find my feet! This is the first time, other than selling fairs and my college exhibitions, that I have put my work ‘Out There’. I felt really rather exposed.
The show has been curated by Fiona Cassidy and selected by Professor Simon Olding, from the Craft Study Centre, and Sophie Cummings, from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. I am absolutely over the moon to be taking part. There are 47 pieces in the exhibition; one of them is mine. The variety of work is astounding. All of it is contemporary. The imaginative work of Elise Menghini juxtaposed with that of Suzie Gutteridge who works in felt as well as ceramics and Martin Harman whose fabulously crisp thrown and joined forms are so different to my own work but truly beautiful and so skilled! The exhibition, in an up-cycled church, is a real feast for the eyes and I would commend anyone with an interest in contemporary ceramics who is in the Salisbury area to visit it. It is on until 14th November so you have plenty of time. If you go, don’t forget to vote for your favourite piece! I voted for Jo Taylor’s End of the Pier which you can see front left in one of my photographs.
For me the private view was a great evening. Not only was I able to practice talking about my own work but I was able to network – I hate that expression – with other artists. I met some great people and we talked a lot about ceramics, art and art in the landscape. I was particularly intrigued by the ideas which had been offered by a project called Step In Stone. This is currently taking place in Quarries in the Mendips in Somerset and finishes this weekend. I am asking myself how I could possibly have missed it! I would give my eye teeth to take part in a collaboration like that. I think working alongside other artists who are all interpreting the same landscape through their chosen media for a chosen project would be my idea of heaven.
So I think that my plan for the New Year is going to be to approach all and sundry with the idea of setting up some kind of collaboration based on the landscape that I love – anyone want to join me?