Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Proposals, Submissions & Commissions....

I have spent the last fortnight sat looking at photographs of buildings, making site visits and whizzing off emails for quotes. Its sad to say that the life of an artist isn't just about pottering in the studio (a fantasy view). At the very least I have a pleasant dining room/office where I can flick on the kettle and grab a cookie any time I like, listen to my favourite music as well as being able to lay out all my preparatory material, sketches, printed out inspiration grabbed from the internet and my books; this allows me to see everything in one go and therefore make informed descisions about the make I might propose.

It seems at the moment I am not having much luck with opportunity submissions I send off (having been rejected from the last five or six - that rant is for another post), but better luck with being invited to propose new work and being offered exhibitions on the strength of recent work documented through my website and blog; I just don't get it!

Anyhow, about a fortnight ago I was longlisted and invited to draw up a proposal for a new light work to be shown outdoors. This worried me at first for a few reasons;
1. I have never made work for the outdoors,
2. I have never made work in the medium required (neon),
3. Finally, I have never responded directly to a buildings historical, geographical and structural form all in one go before. 

So, when in doubt turn to colour theorist and artist Josef Albers...


Out came the colour-obsessed-artists' obligatory copy of 'Interaction of Colour'; a book I take all my titles from as well as using it as a research tool which I dip in and out of when needed. This was a time when I really NEEDED it!

As I flicked through the diagrams at the back of the book I came across Goethe's colour triangle; a theory for mixing primary, secondary and tertiary colours that I am well familiar with. Bingo! Its so nice to have that 'light bulb' moment. So, instead of trying to squeeze my ideas into a 'design' that didn't represent my practice, I remembered now crucial it is to stay true to yourself and the concepts that drive your practice. If the commissioners don't go with my idea it is not because its not a good idea, its because it not what they were looking for on that particular occassion.

As I write this post the commission deadline has passed, my proposal is typed up and sent. All I can do now is cross my fingers...

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