As part of the Objectspace exhibition, there were several pairs of collaborators who participated in the artist’s talk following the opening. Not being a natural public speaker, but recognizing it’s often part of the requirements of an exhibiting maker, I did a short ToastMasters course a couple of years ago. To go from a position of complete avoidance to happily putting my name forward for presentations still understates the difference the course made for me. And while I’m not sure that the rings I exhibited communicated the ideas they encompassed as effectively as I’d hoped, I at least felt that the talk went really well, especially to have the support and presence of Kirsten Haydon, my mentor from HS2, beside me.
Kim Paton, Director of Objectspace, Kirsten Haydon, me.
Evaluating your part in an exhibition can be hard (posting it on a blog is even harder) but the whole point of these blogs being the self reflection and recording of process so that others might benefit. So while I want to say “I was really happy with my part” and skip on, I think my work may have missed the mark in a few ways that I’ll bullet point:
- Public gallery – non-selling show -the rings look really good on the body/finger and quite dead off it.
- Concept (read post titled Objectspace Show time) – the whole thing from the totemic size of the wood to the technique, installation layout and title were all very carefully thought through and chosen for specific reasons to tie back to a dense idea – this was possibly too dense…
- Visually homogenous – while the rings were all individually cast the tightness and tidiness of the layout meant your eye skipped along too easily and you’d read the work in a second without stopping for enough time to engage with the concept or the actual rings.
- Layout – while I love the grid-like layout of the binary conversion, again, combined with the small size of the rings, the exactness/neatness of the install and the fact that they are jammed in their wooden slots – it didn’t invite the audience in. It certainly didn’t encourage touching, defeating the purpose of rings with fingerprints that are quite obviously all about the hand.
- Need a positive now – talk went well and catalogue looks good.
There is always a period of self reflection post exhibition when you’ve finally got time to sleep, eat and deal with all the things ignored for weeks – including self doubt – and recently I came across the Imposter Phenomenon. While Oliver Burkeman’s – The Imposter’s Survival Guide was certainly worth a listen/watch it didn’t allay my worries that I am an imposter, but it did discuss the artist and made me feel better to know that most people feel the same as I do! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07865h
(Pretending I know what I’m doing!)