Last week, after the opening night for the MA Show, I confess to feeling quite flat and low about my ‘still life of disorder’. I have indicated such here in the last couple of posts. I suspect that this is quite a normal reaction. I spent the following few days feeling oddly detached from it all, it had that uncanny feeling of the ‘other’ to me. I was separate. The art was there. I was someone else, not connected to it anymore. I suspect that through my passivity I was protecting myself from the sharpness of the post-end blues.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to invigilate for the gallery in the exhibition space on a few occasions, and as a result I have been able to observe people looking at and reacting to my work. I have been asked questions. I have had some really interesting, and positive, responses, which has lifted me somewhat out of the fog and offered me a parachute against the shock of falling into the post-end blues. I feel better and I am now ready to ‘feel’.
I am sat here as I write this, invigilating, and it is a quiet day. I haven’t had many visitors into this room today and not many have shown much of a reaction. One girl who visited earlier this morning, however, entered the room with confidence and marched straight to my work. She immediately started taking pictures. How exciting was that! She didn’t ask me anything about it, she just took pictures and left.
Two days ago, while I was here, the gallery was visited by 150 11 year olds. I was asked if I minded talking to each group within the 150 about my artwork. Of course I did not mind; I relished the opportunity. And the responses of the school children were both intriguing and uplifting. The best question I got asked was: Do you ever have bad ideas? Yes, I do! We all do. Bad ideas can be good ones. But they seemed to like my work. I really needed to see that.
After a few session here I’ve seen how people react before they know what my artwork is about and afterwards, and it has really helped me to put my thoughts in perspective. Perhaps I have achieved something of what I aimed to do after all. The spectators do seem to ‘get’ it, they do maybe see some of the essence of the objects in my art and they do appear to take something away with them – even if it is just a few images on their phone.
If that is the case, if I have had an impact, however small, then my work has been worthwhile and I have new energy to continue my artistic journey.