MY FIRST REAL EXHIBITION!
I was lucky enough to get asked by Danielle Willison, another member on my course, if I wanted to participate in an exhibition called ‘Are You Lost Yet?’. A few other students from the course also took part in contributing artwork, so as a collective the body of work was strong. There were also contributing artists outside of the university, some strong and up-and-coming artists featured such as Ed Fairburn, and portrait artists Greg Stonard. I was so grateful to be asked to be part of this show and it was a great confidence booster for myself.
But that’s not the most part..
As time began to pass on by me and Danielle began chatting some more as she spoke to us as a whole about meeting deadlines. It was at this point that it became clear that there was a big struggle with most things to do with the show, so I offered my help. It was at this point that me and Danielle really became a team. After getting everything ready on time, my paintings, getting them framed and also the business cards, we met up days before the exhibition in order to hang the show. It was here that I learnt that the Editor of AYLY?, Tom, had in fact let the funding for the show slip therefore making it difficult to find the correct funding to make the show go ahead, after all the contributing artists had produced their work. But me and Danielle worked ourselves to the bone making sure we got everything hung in time for the open evening, this included taking down a previous show that was up before (because they didn’t come and take it down in time for us to hang AYLY) which cost us time, then cleaning up the Abacus, measuring the correct dimensions for which each and every piece had to be hung, drilling, organising local bands to come and play the show (for free too, as we didn’t have the funding) and then sound checks and so on. Not to mention all the little things in between, all the little things that were going wrong. It was stressful and we had little to no help from anyone else (apart from the team at the gallery, The Abacus). We managed to get everything up and running moments before the doors open and people piled in, and it was a hit. We have many artists showing their work, live music from local band Hipicat, Zac White, and spoken word also. Greg Stonard set up a little table and was doing live portraits on the night for donations, which went towards the printing of the Zine. Here are a few photo’s of The Abacus, the lovely little gallery situated near the Central Station here in Cardiff.
Throughout the whole process, three film-makers followed us and made a short documentary showing you what went into the hanging of the exhibition. This was also shown in the cinema room of the gallery on the launch night, and was a great hit! You can see the video here:
It really is one of the most amazing feelings to see your work hanging in a gallery for the enjoyment of others to see. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Walls’, I had so many ideas of what I could do, but I decided to go back to an idea that I had back in 2013. In the summer I went backpacking around Europe and visited many beautiful countries and gazed upon all their beautiful buildings. Also, in March 2014, our course group visited Falmouth in Cornwall on an illustration trip. It was here that I took a handful of free postcards from a museum I hand visited, and these postcards were blank. I put 2 and 2 together and before I knew it I had 5 illustrations drawn up on these postcards ready to be painted and framed to be hung in an exhibition, and here they are:
Top left to bottom:
Copenhagen, Berlin, Falmouth, Paris, Poland.
I was really happy with the final outcome. The launch was a success and I managed to sell all 5 of my frames within 3 days. 3 of which were bought as a christmas gift, another was spotted by a passer-by who got lost in Cardiff so he stumbled into The Abacus and fell in love with Copenhagen, so that was soon packaged up and sent to London, and another bought for a couple in Nottingham. It’s a nice feeling knowing that my work is hanging happily in someone’s home, hopefully bringing a smile to their face day-to-day.
For my business cards I wanted to keep to the colour scheme I had chosen, however I didn’t want your ordinary business card. I wanted to make them. So I came up with the idea of using coloured paper to create origami swans with my information tied to them. This was very tedious and careful work but that extra bit of effort was worth every little paper cut. I then decided that I wanted them hanging in a garden hanging basket, so off I tottled to Clas Olson where I found the perfect basket. I then coated it with white paint and bought a bracket for it to hang off also, and here is the finished product.
During the launch night, the 3 film-makers made a second film showing you in a little more detail the time and effort, and this time focussing on the launch night. So here you have it, a 10 minute documentary showing you just what Are You Lost Yet? brought to Cardiff,