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Monday, 20 April 2009

'Sneak Preview'

It really is all consuming putting on an exhibition, I'd forgotten how much work is involved! The whole process of getting it organised and publicised has been quite stressful due to lack of time and this weekend was lost to framing and hanging; a tiresome task - bring on the day when I have my own minions to do such things for me! As if! I have been questioning why the hell I'm doing it and who it's really for - I feel a bit guilty for being so absorbed by it all - as if my work is so important! But I've committed - my head is on the block and it's gotta be good!

Here's a statement I wrote for it:
Emerging from collaborations and adventures with friends and muse, these photographic pieces seek to capture a child like innocence and a playful spirit within adult themes. Un-posed, subjects are caught semi-unaware in an attempt to capture intimate moments with themselves or a playmate. The work subverts the idea of a so-called masculine, feminine and 'gay-gaze', and concentrates on members of the gay community in London, to which the artist is drawn. The show also includes the beginnings of a project based on the artist's experiences and identity as a 'fag-hag' and invites other ladies and their gay friends to take part in a collaborative project. The artist also desires new 'muses' and welcomes any 'gorgeous' gay men to satisfy her artistic needs!

This is the first time I've exhibited in a while, since becoming a teacher over 4 years ago. The work I've been making is very different to that which I did previous to teaching and to be honest is quite the opposite to the more 'socio-political' work I try to advocate. Since falling into teaching photography as a subject, rather than general fine art, I have moved into a more photographic practice of my own and have been inspired to experiment with new skills and media... which is good for me and for my students and the resulting work is often quite beautiful to look at. I have always used photography but more as a documentary tool for my own performances and interventions or set up ideas and observations. I never made 'pretty pictures'; they were more like statements or comments.

So over the last few years I have collaborated sporadically with my friend and muse Nate, who is a gorgeous young gay dancer. He has been a great source of inspiration and encouraged me to get out there and show off the fruits of our labour. The work is quite self indulgent I guess, it's been fun to make and was possibly an escape from the reality of full time work. It is nice to look at (mostly) and I feel almost apologetic for that because there isn't a hard hitting message in there. It's quite ironic because I'm also working on some critical, theoretical work about photography and digitalisation for my MA in art and education. I have also worried (unnecessarily I think now!) about the content of some of the images which are a bit 'saucy', because of certain ideals of how teachers should be... and wondered whether I should invite colleagues and students - (I did in the end).
But what the hell - here I am exhibiting in what was once one of our locals and was in fact where I first met Nate when he was working behind the bar. And now it's all up and looking fabulous, i do feel quite proud and excited!


SAM said...

It's is really great to read this. I am constantly starting to make work and then thinking it isn't "engaged" enough and then ending with not making anything. So I think it's really great that you have followed this through to an exhibition! WELL DONE

i can't wait to see the images and what a great place to show them.

Holly said...

Yay! It was so worth it - had a fab opening night - made some new contacts and have been invited to do some stuff for Pride - a fag-hag's dream! haha! I also sold some stuff! WOO! Am planning to have a closing party too at the end of May so watch this space!