I’ve had the luxury of a good sort out and spring clean in preparation for this year’s Artists’ Open House. It’s hard to look at your work while you’re in the middle of making it and sending it out to galleries. It’s especially hard to use a kind of curatorial eye, to look at what’s developing, what’s tired, what’s the narrative arc, as it were. My galleries are all over the UK, too, so I don’t get to see how they choose to present my work.
It’s the first time I’ve displayed these ‘Wylan’ pots as a group. I’ve been sending images of them out to competitions, where they look great: but in real life, they are a bit underwhelming. The prototypes had an intensity of colour to them that I haven’t matched. A lesson learned.
On the other hand, I found some plates I made for exhibition, that I’d forgotten about. They have the same poem as this recent work – I’ve been obsessed with it longer than I thought. And, reconfigured (‘curated’) into a group of four, they look great as a ‘short stack’ on a dear little plinth. They are delightful. Or so I hope… By the end of the Dulwich Festival I may be able to see them a bit more objectively, having overheard visitors’ comments.
Part of the clear-out is old stock. I’ve even thrown pots away. It’s part of making mental as well as physical space for new work. Although I still have my ‘ideas’ shelves: work that hasn’t worked… yet.
So whether you can come to the studio or not, I’m really interested in your comments – what’s your favourite? What would you make more of? I’ve got a kiln cooling, with more of my recent experiments, and I’m already re-assessing them as they look different, less assured, next to these shelves of work. Doh!