I lost my invitation to the party

I say ‘lost’, to cover the fact that I wasn’t actually invited. I started to feel that way this week anyway.

Right now, I’m waiting for the glue to dry on work I should have started weeks ago and while waiting, I’m using the time to write. I’m working from home by the way. The temperature in my studio hasn’t risen above 1C since October, so  I’ve only paid fleeting visits there in the last few months.

So yes, writing about my different than normal week:

Monday, I went to work. That was normal.

Tuesday, I took a day off. This is the advantage of not being self employed – I can do my own stuff and still get paid.  I’m feeling positive at this stage.

I went to an afternoon talk at the Walker Art gallery by one of the artists in the looking North exhibition that I mentioned in my last blog. To be honest,  although I loved his work, I could hardly hear what he was saying as he was so softly spoken and there was a video blasting in my left ear from the next room. Really, they should have turned it down (or off!) while the talk was on, but hey ho, who am I to say ?

Because I could hardly hear the artist talking, my focus drifted to other conversations going on in the ‘audience’ …  congratulations about exhibiting and invitations to exhibit further. Hang on…loads of these people seem to know each other…is this a closed artists club I’m eavesdropping on? Surely not. Positivity starting to drain a little….

I met quite a few people I knew anyway there, but apart from being invited to a presentation at the Victoria Gallery on Friday, nothing else came from the afternoon. (for me anyway)

Tuesday night, I went for a meal with the people from work and despite all working in a gallery, the conversations never touched ‘Art’. Working in the arts makes you very cynical (in case you haven’t already guessed) Artist Nina Edge was running a workshop in the gallery the following morning when I was back in work, tired and feeling particularly grumpy (me, not her)   She talked to me about problems she is having with prints she is showing at the Bluecoat’s 30th Birthday exhibition ‘ Public View‘ . An exhibition of work by artists that have shown there over the last 30 years.  We always find fault in our own work though. They looked great when i saw them. I secretly wished I had a print problem 😦

Thursday, work again and as traffic has been horrendous lately,  I got home too late to go to the evening life drawing class at my local gallery.  Its only once a month (1st Thursday of the month) so I’m gutted to have missed it. 6.30pm is kind of early for most, but I’ve made sure I’m off for the next one.

Friday, I took another day off . I could really get used to a 3 day week, but I can’t afford it.     I spent most of the day working out ideas for  work and fundraising for our inclusion in the Helsinki Art fair in May. I’ll go more into that in another blog as there’s still a lot of sorting to do.   I met a friend in the evening and we went to the presentation at the VG&M. We really thought it was going to be a chance to meet the Chinese artists and talk to them about their work, but it was a long presentation, heeded by fact that every sentence had to be relayed again by an interpreter.  We lasted about 45 mins before making our excuses and walking hastily down to the hill to the Bluecoat.

By the time we got there, all of the wine had been drunk and people were starting to drift off. It was still quite busy though and we got to talk to a lot of artists… everyone who is anyone in Liverpool was there or had been. Networking.

There’s a lot of work in the exhibition – way too much to absorb in one night, so I need to go back.  I knew less than half of the artists involved. Why was that?   What was I doing when all of these people were getting themselves out there ?

I heard a few people saying that it was one of the best shows they had seen there for a long time  (which I agree with ) …....  Others asking artists who seemed to have ‘done well’ how things were and  got the same…so so reaction. Things are definitely not as good as they used to be for them.

The whole week has really made me think about how I spend my time. Obviously I can’t take time off every week and I can’t go to every Preview…but perhaps I should make a little more effort?  Its clearly not about sitting in your work space and …erm….working is it?


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