A large part of my work this year is about encapsulating the universe within. Close your eyes for a minute; within each of us is an endless space – there is nothing, there are no ‘things’ – there are no boundaries. This space can be peaceful and full of potential – it is the universe within.
This has been the focus of my painting recently too.
Below is the latest digital picture I have produced which found it’s source in a peaceful Norfolk Broad. I am planning to exhibit three of these pictures on large canvases later in the year.
As we walked up to the yachting lake in Gosport I could see the surface of the water pulsating – on closer inspection it was thousands of saucer sized jellyfish – they were so delicate and beautiful, I have not seen that before.
The above picture may have been digitally enhanced! 🙂
The last couple of weeks I have been working hard on my first professional photographic assignment that came out of a chance conversation during our exhibition. I have spent several hours photographing a site and have put together a portfolio of 60 shots for the client to review. It was nerve wracking sending it off to them – I hope I got the brief right!
Below are a couple of the shots (all monochrome here but the portfolio is mainly colour) – can you guess where it is?!
I learnt a great deal from this shoot – it was a tricky location, very dark (as you can see) and my initial shots were not nearly good enough quality. My husband persuaded me to use a tripod (I am always quite anti gadgets and settings, I like my camera to be an extension of my eye, but that’s not always feasible!) – I returned to the venue armed with a very good tripod and took some of the best work I have ever done. (There’s a lesson there…..)
Mindfulness came into play here too, as ever, I wander a location and take it all in, and see what jumps out at me to be taken – what detail can I pick out? A shadow, a shape or a colour…. With this shoot I found I had to be even more mindful, to slow myself down from ‘snapping’ and really concentrate on getting the best available shot – and it paid off!
The exhibition is over. The room is empty. The project that has consumed the last six months every waking thought is packed away in bubblewrap and I am left a little bereft and wondering what to do. So how did it go?
Over the 15 days the exhibition was open, we had 1028 (adult) visitors which is an incredible achievement. It was always interesting watching people viewing the work – a mixture of art lovers who had come specifically and parents of children at Action Stations who wandered into an alternative universe from the noisy child centred activity around us.
Of the ‘walk ins’ it was clear that some were not used to seeing an art exhibition but in the spirit of wandering around the Dockyard perhaps, they gave it a go and had a good look round. It was very rewarding to feel that we may have challenged some beliefs about what fine art is all about.
We had some favorite moments, like when a child asked his Dad what my 3D installation ‘Opportunity’ was. “That’s art Henry, that’s art” he replied 🙂
And when we had a bone fide (and rather handsome) celebrity visit who was presumably just visiting the dockyard with their kids for the holidays, but it was lovely of him to drop in.
A couple of kids were unruly and we had some damage to a couple of things (luckily repairable) – but we always knew that was a risk but the benefits of having so many kids (not counted in the numbers above) see the show out-weighed that completely.
For my own stats, we were keeping record of the number of times that Being Present was triggered and how many people saw it through to the end. I always knew that a 2 minute art performance would stretch many people as the average time someone will stand infront of a piece of art is usually measured in seconds! I’m still working on the data but will post figures soon.
The raffle was extremely successful – 6 original pieces of art from the artists – there was something for everyone as entrants could prioritise their favorites. In the event, when the raffle was called, everyone got their first or second choice. Jenny Walden, Associate Dean, at the University of Portsmouth was there to receive her winning piece from me which was lovely!
So what made our exhibition so successful? I put it down to two factors. Firstly, location location location! We had a wonderful space in one of Britain’s top tourist attractions – that was a great move! Secondly the effort and expense we went to for marketing – it was the lion’s share of our spending but worth every penny. I was always gratified by people coming in with one of our fliers, or who said they heard about us on Twitter or who had read about us in the local paper. And of course we were on the Big Screen too!