After a run of exciting exhibitions and commissions spanning over the Summer and into the Autumn, its time to get back into making new work in my studio at Rogue.
- The Summer began for me in June with an Arts Council England funded Barnaby Festival commission for Macclesfield's Grosvenor Centre.
- I was awarded Arts Council England Grants for the Arts funding at the beginning of Summer for the research and development of new work, for this I started making drawings, large scale light-works and invited a number of art industry professionals and curators to my studio for critical feedback sessions.
- I showed this new work at my solo presentation On Brown & Violet Grounds at Piccadilly Place and in my studio space for the annual Rogue Open Studios in late September.
I was then invited to make new work for Bury Light Night by The Hamilton Project in early October.
- From this, I was asked to take part in Synthesis, an exhibition exploring art and science at Victoria Warehouse as part of Manchester Science Festival, curated by Forefront Collective at the end of October.
- The BBC's Ian Youngs and Colin Paterson (online news, BBC Breakfast, Look North and North West Tonight) covered a story on my practice and work as a collector, which was very exciting. This gave me lots of coverage and brought national awareness of my work.
I really enjoyed spending time in my studio over the Summer, so am keen to get going again. As some of you may already know, I tend to struggle in Winter time with Seasonal Affective Disorder so have brightened up my studio with good old fairy lights and heaters; this makes it super cosy and a place I want to spend my time instead of a cold place.
I always like to set myself a project to help me get back into the swing of making. I have recently been asked to show work in Gallery333, which is part of Phoenix Exeter in January. This will give me a focus and allow me to experiment and test ideas within my studio beforehand. I started yesterday by mocking up the space within Gallery333 using scraps of wood, then positioning my sticklights in different arrangements and photographing them along the way to see which worked best.
As I played around, I incorporated the use of my mirrors (again, something I have plenty of in my studio). I felt this changed the piece completely, but by illusion increased the size of the space, throwing out more light and hopefully create more hue as visitors pass by the gallery window.
I went on to make technical sketches of all the different possible arrangements. This preparation will be useful for my upcoming show, but has also helped me get back into the studio and get going again. Like many artists, I always find getting going again with new ideas and work very difficult after a run of exhibitions or a period away from the studio.
Watch this space...