I'm a graduate trying my hardest to start my career in gallery work.
I went to the final exhibition of “The Home Reforestation Project” by Hannah Gardiner last week at ArtSpace in Portsmouth, and it was brilliant to see an exhibition with a difference.
The project focuses on growing your own plants from the seeds and leftovers we would otherwise discard. In just one month, Hannah has grown over 1000 plants! These were being given away free on the opening night. If you decided to adopt one, you wrote in a log book the plant number, the type of plant, the date of adoption and your email address, so Hannah can check up on the plants in a few months time.
I adopted a sweet mini pepper and a butternut squash plant, which I popped on my windowsil outside in the evening. I woke up to find both plants had been completely obliterated by snails! I’m going to have to adopt more plants and try to keep them safer this time.
For more information, please have a look at the blog. Exhibition is open 9th - 12th July 3pm - 6pm, so please go and check it out!
All images: Matthew Maber
Spice Island Winners Exhibition - Zodiac Gallery, The Portsmouth Guildhall
I managed to miss the Spice Island Art Trail (again!) this year. But I did make it to the winners exhibition which has some great pieces in it.
The overall winner was Kas Williams, and quite rightly so. The intracate paper sculptures are just stunning. I admire artists that can create something so beautiful out of everyday objects.
My favourite pieces from the rest of the exhibition are from the “Brick House Man”, Lyn Richards. His house portraits are unique and beautiful. Individually, they make great mementos for home-owners. Together, they’re like a giant lego set, sitting comfortably aside each other, creating one of a kind street scenes.
There is such a broad range of art on show this year, with Fiona Harvey (photograph), Michael Wright (oil paintings), Julie Chappell (computer bugs), and Jessica Taylor (rigging tapestry) also exhibiting, all with fabulous work. Head down the to Guildhall to see the show, running until Tuesday 8th July.
A lot has happened since I last posted on this blog. I’m still trying to fight my way into the art world. I’m still meeting as many people as I can. But one big thing has changed…I left my job. It begun as a Christmas temp job. Two and a half years later, it was time to call it quits. I wasn’t able to fully commit to any voluntary work, so I took the difficult decision to leave in April of this year.
I have taken on an unpaid internship at a new gallery in Portsmouth called STAND CLEAR. It’s been great getting the space ready for the first exhibition, and I’ve organised an Art Market to help us raise some money.
I have also taken on what was previously named “+art”, with four others. We put artwork in two hairdressers and one Orthodontist in Albert Road, Portsmouth. We’re hoping to get ourselves established and take it further, putting on exhibitions in other venues such as empty shop fronts.
I’m still struggling to find my way, and am still unsure of what it is I want to do exactly. I love meeting artists and putting on exhibitions, but I fear this alone will never amount to a paid job. The only paid arts jobs I have seen lately are so far up the system, that to get them, you need years of paid experience. (Catch 22 as always!) I am grabbing the voluntary opportunities that I find, and am networking all the time, but it is slow going. I’m trying not to get disheartened, but it isn’t easy!
A lot of people have suggested I look further afield to a more culturally rich city, but I am reluctant to leave Portsmouth. I love it here. I love the sea. I love the people. I love the growing creative scene here. But it’s no secret that Portsmouth is no match for somewhere like Bristol or Brighton. I’m thinking about volunteering at a gallery further afield for a short time, but without a job to pay my way, it’s difficult to justify the idea.
Don’t get me wrong, leaving my job was the right thing to do. I’m a happier person, can put all my time into my voluntary positions and can attend a lot more exhibitions and events. However in the short term, I don’t feel as though the time I’m putting into everything is benefitting me as much as I’d imagined. I’ll get there eventually. I’ve just got to keep going and try my best to stay positive.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on here. I wish it was because I’ve been super busy with arty activities but I’ve just been at work a lot.
But things are looking up a little bit. I’m now going to be managing the administration of an exciting exhibition/event happening next summer called “Fire in the Lines”. This event is being held in a really cool venue and will hopefully have lots of artists and fire performers on the night. I will be attending the next meeting in January to meet everyone as I couldn’t attend the first. Very exciting!
And on top of that, Simon Poole phoned me last night to see if I wanted to work with him again. (I stopped doing so a few months ago due to reasons I’d rather not say here) but hopefully this will be another great opportunity and maybe a little different than previously. Again, more admin work by the sounds of it which is good because I have extremely little experience in it and I’d quite like some to broaden my skills.
All in all, good times ahead!
ART: Kimsooja’s Room of Rainbows
South Korean-born artist Kimsooja has had a long, intense career full of installations, performances, photography, videos and site-specific project. This particular installation from 2006 is at the Palace de Cristal in Madrid.
2013. Kimsooja’s Room of Rainbows. Wow, this is stunning. Seems so extraterrestrial.
Portsmouth Street Art Festival: Sunday 29th September 2013, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, UK.
For once, I actually had a rare Sunday off work to attend an amazing event being held in Portsmouth. This was the Portsmouth Street Art Festival, organised by My Dog Sighs who was contacted by Portsmouth City Council to brighten up the place. He brought together twenty local artists to paint the boring plain hoardings on Winston Churchill Avenue. And what a job they did! It looks fantastic. Definitely livened up the roundabout, and hopefully, we shall be seeing much more of this happening in the city.
I popped down to Southsea coffee today to see my good friend Midge to see her amazing mural in progress. It’s looking awesome! I would advise going down there to check it out! Also go and like and share her fb/twitter page because she’s sellotaping her shoes together and would very much appreciate it if you bought some of her art. @ThisIsMidge facebook.com/midge.midge.50
I recieved a very unexpected message this evening requesting the use of my photos of the Access All Areas gallery in local magazine, Portsmouth Life! This is very exciting and I will make sure to post pics up of when it arrives.
It’s great to see how much attention this new gallery is getting, and to think that my photographs are helping that along.