Culture

Open

IMAG0067_blog

Setting up

I am taking part in my first Open Studios, in Buckinghamshire. This is an annual event in many areas, in our case with two weeks in June during which artists of all kinds throw open their studios (or similar) to the public to come in and browse and, maybe, buy.

In my case, the 'studio' is an exhibition space created in the long conservatory at my friends Isobel and Andrew's lovely house: they volunteered the room and have been unflaggingly generous in helping set things up.

Mounting an exhibition is a significant undertaking in terms of the cost and time of printing and framing a number of pictures. In practice I've borrowed some of my prints from their owners' collections for the occasion. 

It is also an emotional investment, setting out your wares in such a bald fashion and being around to witness people possibly peer, frown, wince and leave quickly - always assuming anybody comes in the first place.  

Happily my first visitors have been interested, intrigued, chatty and apparently pleased with what they've seen. No-one has gone off with a big frame under their arm but I didn't particularly expect that: I think of it as chiefly a marketing exercise, and what people do go away with is leaflets explaining my techniques and referencing my website. 

St Paul's Thames panorama1-Edit_blog

Coincidentally, just as I was getting going, I sold online a 60in x 10in print of a River Thames panorama (above). I know it's a great image because I've seen its detail - but a significant shortcoming of websites is that they struggle to convey this with images that are such an awkward shape for screen display. 

So that's rather a leap of faith by somebody. I hope they are pleased with what they get. 


First sight

_GE02661_blog

We peeked inside the firstsite art museum in Colchester - one of those places with a silly name that you're supposed not to capitalise. Or maybe they just can't write English properly.

Anyway, fabulous space. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, probably its most striking external feature is a golden cladding - actually an alloy of copper and aluminium - which catches the light in a lustrous fashion. Inside, the space is essentially a long banana shape - in plan, not unlike a scimitar. The curving wedge of the roof is highlighted - literally - by long strip lights at intervals, as you can see. 

This fine, uplifting effect helps to mitigate the ugly outlook at the back of the building - which is primarily over a bus station. The tussle between these two public spaces has been something of a controversy locally.

I offer this photo as a sample, taken before I was told, "You can't take photos in here". Oh dear oh dear. You can however find numerous fine pictures of the place taken by Richard Bryant. All the others I took - whoops what a giveaway - will have to remain secret.