Well what a week it has been. The morning of the Private Viewing started with a phone call telling me that I had won second prize in the Enterprise Awards for Fine Art – I couldn’t believe it! I never usually win anything so as you can imagine I was more than a little shocked. The Private View was a big success – at times it seemed like there was hardly standing room, let alone elbow room! Everyone had worked so hard during installation week and their endeavours certainly paid off – the studios became an exhibition space to be proud of and everyone I spoke to commented on the quality of the Show.
After receiving my award from the Vice Chancellor, the rest of the evening whizzed by in a blur. It was only once the dust had settled and I was able to read some of the comments and watch some of the video footage from the video cam I had set up in my space to record visitor interaction that I appreciated the fact that people really liked my work. It was very noisy during the Private View and it was funny watching people suddenly realise, as they wandered through my space, that there was sound emanating from within the bobbins which made them pause and listen.
I didn’t think I would get emotional but when I read comments such as ‘A serious piece of work – stands out. Wonderful’ and ‘An incredible installation to experience…the colour and sound blew me away’ I must admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed that they were talking about MY work. The following comment especially made me feel that all the hard work, stress and, yes I will admit to tears, was all worthwhile – ‘I wish I could bring my mother-in-law to see this. She worked in the mills of Lancashire after the war and now has dementia – this would evoke lots of memories for her. Aesthetically it is very satisfying. Love it!’
Connecting Threads was also highlighted on the freshmeat gallery website in their review of the show under their news section. I find it a little surreal that two practising artists who run/curate their own gallery space find my work worthy of a mention – thank you!
Like all good things the time came to dismantle the installation – and as is usually the case, it came down a lot quicker than it went up. It was sad, not only was it the end of the exhibition, but also the end of my time at uni (provided I graduate of course). Would I do it all again? Was it worthwhile? Honestly, despite all the times when I cried, doubted myself, thought that I just couldn’t do it – to get comments and feedback like I have received this past week has meant the world to me. Looking back at what I have achieved I feel so proud to be able to say ‘I did it!’
Cromford Mill and the Discovery Days Festival in October – here I come!