Wow - is it Saturday again? This week I had a lot on my hands (All self-inflicted so I expect no sympathy) including last-minute preparations for tomorrow's Twycross Zoo Wedding Fayre - come find me if you are attending - finding a long-wanted set of wardrobes that needed cleaning and painting - and finally kicking off a photography project with my favourite northern geeky girl Christeen! I've been shooting and developing more images from Leamington Spa and even though I have to wait *still* another week to get to print the results, I think it will be worth the wait. I've built a wooden structure to fit the top of our four-poster bed, to take some weird-ass photographs with a self-timing mechanism. Before any kinky thought enter your mind ..... NO - it won't be those sort of photo's. I've started the art-based photography project with Christeen, the first image being mine and finished. I'll make some space on the website soon to accommodate for running projects so you can actually see what I'm talking about. My exhibition at Gaia will be coming to a close this weekend, I'll be collecting my works on Monday. I was well chuffed to find I had sold one of my pieces to (I suspect) Dave Philips, who also wrote a small piece about the exhibition to be entered into the forthcoming spring issue of ArtSpace Magazine. Thanks for the support Dave, it is much appreciated! All the same the exhibition at Gallery 150 will be closing tomorrow and I just *hope* Sean will remember to collect my paintings as I'll still be at the Wedding Fayre during pick-up times. So.... what's for next week? Collecting Images fro Gaia (Mon), Meeting Jean about some illustrations to her children's story (Tue), comedy night (Tue), darkroom work (Thurs), making adjustments to the website, uploading images, read some books, find out more about galleries, magazines and art funding and ofcourse the blog.... I think I can keep myself entertained.
Time for my Saturday update! This week I've read ' The arrival' by Shaun Tan, well 'read' I should say as this amazing book consists only of images, telling the universal story of immigrants, in this case based upon stories by immigrants and images from Sydney, Australia. It has taken the artist 4 years to complete this work and it is a true beauty to behold. Also, I've just finished ' The 12 million dollar stuffed shark; The curious Economics of Contemporary Art and Auction Houses' by Don Thompson. I've already mentioned this book in yesterday's blog on Cindy Sherman, and I have to say that although it is an insightful work, the author drones on and on about prices, prices, prices. Thankfully, he also shares his thoughts on the new artists' climb through the ranks, from local dealers through high street galleries and the superstar galleries, Who the major players on the art market are, where they gather, how they get their works from auctions, how auction houses market the works and make their profits and the (sometimes very subtle but always elitist) politics of buying and selling contemporary art and these factors made the book a worthwhile read. I've read both books by courtesy of my local library, so you can check if yours has them in stock as well. This week saw the opening of the 'Renewal 2' exhibition at Gallery 150, which opened on the 14th and will end on the 27th of February. I have one work included, titled ' Mother' (previously ' Mother and Child') which will be up for sale. Gallery 150 is located on Regent Court in the centre of Leamington Spa, so go and have a look at the great talent our region has to offer! I attended an Art Funding workshop in Coventry on the Thursday, organised by Emerge and hosted by ICE (Institute for Creative Enterprise). Here I've met Maria Rankin, a Leamington Spa based photographer and film maker and since both of us are interested in art photography, we might combine forces and create something worthwhile. Speaking of combining forces - I've been talking to my favourite Northern geeky girl Christine and talks of a very specific photography project are in full swing. Some details are yet to be filled in and mulled over before we kick off but there is some definite progress in this area and I hope we can start soon. I am already working on a Leamington and Warwick based series of the contrasts in the surroundings, photographing the beautifully maintained pride and joy, but also the ruined and neglected. I've been to Warwick Castle, The Warwick Maria Church and Leamington Spa Jephson Gardens of which the first two still need to be developed and all need to be printed. Since the darkroom is shut for half-term, I will have sooooo much to print when I can get back in. I've been printing and framing works for the upcoming Twycross Zoo Wedding Fayre, that date is closing in fast. This week I'll need to put a slideshow together, which I've never done in my life so that should be fun (please note the sarcasm). Other than that I have a lot of administrative and research tasks to do on various organisations, funding, galleries etc. and I'll have some great new artists and photographers to discover. But first I'll be looking forward to an antique and collectibles fair near Leamington Spa tomorrow, I can barely contain my excitement! Roll on tomorrow!
This week has been a little more relaxed and to be honest, I always find myself slightly flustered as to what to do with myself and my time after having made a tight deadline. I've been working towards my exhibiting at the Twycross zoo wedding fayre on February 2011 - Come and find me if you are attending -It will be my first time exhibiting at a fayre so I am well excited about this day! I've read 'AUTO-FOCUS; The self-portrait in Contemporary Photography' By Susan Bright, 2010. It has been a good and useful read as it has given me some fresh ideas for projects in the future, as well as a photography art project collaboration to be made with fellow photographer and awesome geeky girl Christeeny who also led me on to this funny link: Should I work for free? (It's funny because it's true) A little less good and useful about this book has been the ' bullshit alarm' that has been going off in my head at several occasions when reading it. Even though it is perfectly understandable and even desirable for anyone to create a deeper sense of meaning to an image, for me I still find it slightly annoying when someone is digging too hard of deep. For instance: Taking a snapshot of a flower and someone else placing my feeling for my parents, fear of death or love of reading in that image. Understandable - but I call shenanigans! Maybe this annoyance is a mere residue of my time spent at Art College where lazy students made up any story to cover the fact that they hadn't done any actual work and got a high grade handed to them on a silver platter. I've also been reading ' The Creative Darkroom Handbook' by Chris Wrainwright FRPS, 1993 which proved to be useful when engaging in conversation or searches for outdated film and paper for my Medium Format project with my Microflex TLR. I've managed to shoot 3 films with that so far, shooting hand held without a light meter and my guesstimations are still a little off at times. Still, the results have been encouraging. Images to follow soon. In my online quest for information I also stumbled upon the Analog Photography Users group which currently boasts over 47.000 members worldwide. They discuss every format from 35, 120, large format, pinhole - you name it, they've got it! Today, I will be handing over 2 pieces of art at the Gallery 150 for the upcoming 'Renewal 2' exhibition. At least one piece per artist will be on display but obviously I'm hoping both of mine will be allowed up. Who knows? If you want to check out my work and that of other Warwickshire based artists, head over to Gallery 150 from the 15th of February onwards. Entry is free.
Today my exhibition at the Gaia Coop gallery opened officially an I would just like to extend a big THANK YOU to all that came in. I know some of you had to get into Leamington specifically and some of you were shattered from long hours at work but your attendance today has been amazingly encouraging! If you haven't had a chance to see it, head over to the Gaia Coop, 7 Regent Place in Leamington Spa where it will be up until the 28th of February. On other news: My Microflex TLR came back yesterday, all repaired and currently loaded with film. I'll be hoping to shoot some nice pictures when in London tomorrow. I'll be attending the London Edge trade show at the Olympia as one of the guests of the Dark Arts alternative agency where I am non-exclusively represented as a photographer. Well, IF I manage to get there. It looks like due to maintenance works there will be at least an hour delay to my journey! *sigh* Maybe it won't be too bad, I thought wishfully?