It has been a funny old year for art in general, what with the recession and all, and it has been an unusual end to the year with regard to shows; for the last five years the exhibition season has been pretty much the same. The run up has been a series of smaller exhibitions culminating with “Erotica” at London’s Olympia exhibition centre. I have always enjoyed this big finish.
This year the organisers of “Erotica” seem to have changed their tack. Art was always a big focal point of the show. For the last five shows I went to the art gallery was the first thing you encountered when entering. This year art has been dismissed to the balcony and given the costs of exhibiting I reluctantly made the decision not to show my work there this year. It is a great pity as I will miss the camaraderie of The Guild of Erotic Artists, the excitement of the big event and meeting friends and clients. The show is a melting pot of ideas, a mix of the exotic and bizaare and I am sorry not to be a part of that. I wish my friends and fellow Guild members all the very best and wish I could be there with them.
On a much more upbeat note I have done a couple of smaller shows that have proved lucrative and fun to do. I was down in London a few weeks back, it was a great show and it was great to see some of my “Erotica” regulars and make a number of new friends who I look forward to getting to know in the fullness of time. Last weekend’s exhibition was at my own Cambridgeshire studio.
It is always good to see folk in my own working environment as it has a much less clinical and all together more homely feel to it. I shared my studio space with two friends, the photographer Rob Morris and the jewellery and assemblage artist, Marian Savill.
We held a preview night on the Friday. It was a lively night, see link to a short video below, and we were supported well by the press.
All in all, it was a great event and I would like to thank everyone who visited over the three days.
Writing this has brought to mind my change in attitude. Going back ten or fifteen years, I had some pretty strong ideas about exhibitions. I am not sure if it is my natural shyness when it comes to being in public or my Englishness, as in the English rather think you are showing off if you are out in the lime light. Back then I got embarrassed is somebody said they liked my work. My attitude has changed; it has had to change. You can’t really survive as an artist if your skin is that thin. I have had people like my work, and others hate my work. I have developed an indifference to either reaction to my work, obviously I would prefer people to like it, but I can’t get too distressed with negative comments. What interests me more is why they like or dislike a piece of work. I suppose my attitude to being in a spotlight has changed because of the need to sell my work and the profound change that occurred because of working with Americans. When you work for American publishers they don’t take kindly to the English self deprecating attitude. I was told once quite bluntly “If you don’t believe in your work why the hell should I want to buy it?” and that is a fair point. These days, when exhibiting, I stand there and chat to anyone that shows interest and I am happy to do so.
Looking to next year, I am hoping to launch my new non fiction book “Beauty in Every Form” at a London gallery in the spring. There will be several events to launch this book, watch this space for further details.