Next Sunday sees the opening of my one-man show in Launceston, (my home town) Tasmania, Australia. It has been almost 12 months since my wife and I returned from our 12 month trip to the Australian mainland. 23, 000 klms of travelling will be revealed in 30 paintings, not of spectacular scenery, but of rocks that caught my interest.
My initial plan was to feature one painting per place that we visited, but it has ended up as a series of paintings whose subject matter gave me the most inspiration. Some places like Hervey Bay for example, has resulted in 5 paintings.
I could have painted many, many more, but there came a time when I had to stop and head in new directions.
One-person shows are always risky and they cost a great deal of time and money. The economic climate especially in Tasmania, is not good. People don’t buy as much art as they used to. There is a lot of competition between artists. People don’t seem as interested in art as they once were. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? What the heck!
This exhibition will give me ‘closure’ on what was both a brilliant trip, but also a time when I struggled with being away from my home for so long. Some paintings illustrate my feelings at certain times, while others ignited my passion for abstraction.
All the paintings have been superbly framed by my framer, John Crook, so the exhibition will be presented well and I hope it will be visually appealing.
I can but only try, the rest is now up to the viewing public.
I have no doubt that holding one’s own exhibition is the most stressful task that an artist can seek to do, so why do it? There is no guarantee of sales or even a positive response from one’s peers or art patrons. This is a dangerous task! One must have a degree of self-belief, confidence, bravery, luck and timing. And of course there is the ‘elephant in the room’ – money. One needs money to make money. This is probably why so many artists struggle and are forced to seek ‘another job’ to fund their passion.
Since I retired from full-time art teaching at the end of 2005, I have preferred to exhibit my work with various groups. I did however, have a one-man show in Hobart in 2010. Group exhibitions are more “economical”, less stress and are (usually) an excellent opportunity for exposure to the art market. But now it’s time to be brave again (that’s maybe the reason I joined the Brave Art Gallery in Longford) and ‘face the music’.
Next week I will post a report of the exhibition opening and reveal the paintings on display.