I have been quite overwhelmed really by the very positive response I have had to the exhibition. As with my apprehensions prior to the ‘meet the artist’ event I think I was just uncertain about how it would be received. When I was taking flyers around to various places before hand, I left some at a local gallery and was chatting about the experimental nature of my drawings with the potter’s wife, to which she replied, ‘Oh, do you think Langport is ready for that!’ In many ways I think it was my fear that given the rural location the work might not evoke an interest, but I have been proved wrong.
I had a visitor’s book and left a note encouraging visitors to share their thoughts. I shall include the book with my final assessment submission, but will list some of the comments here-
‘A wonderful concept, beautifully presented’.
‘Really thought provoking and moving- thank you so much for showing and sharing your art – it’s been a privilege to look at it’.
‘Stunning! Amazing! So impressive!’
‘You blew my mind Sue, very natural and calming.’
‘Very professionally displayed……..Visually stunning, esp. the groups.’
‘You’ve ticked all the boxes Sue. Truly a coherent body of work and the whole space with exhibits = an art work.’
‘A very thought provoking display, hung well, well curated, very inspirational.’
‘Powerful and calm. A Feeling of Gentle Movement. Different…. I loved it!’
‘Enjoyed this very unusual but interesting exhibition.’
‘Such a beautiful culmination of your degree Sue! I’m so happy I was able to witness it.’
‘A beautifully peaceful feel to this exhibition, I love the contrast between the monochrome charcoal and willow green…….thank you.’
‘I enjoyed the time I spent with your art works.’
‘……So professional and impressive………….I could keep looking at them for ages.’
‘It’s just amazing, the journey, the process and finally this exhibition – I hope it’s the first of many………….’
‘A wonderfully inspiring exhibition.’
‘Your work is not only lovely to look at but very interesting too – I have lots of questions for you.’
‘Just stunning, wonderful work – mesmerising…….’
The Gallery Owner.
‘Sue, what can I say….. A professional exhibition. Wonderfully poignant. Peaceful, a pleasure to view. One of the best shows I have had here at the gallery. Your hard work clearly shows your dedication to your practice. This feels like a rare insight into your love of willows.
Above all the people who have come to view your work have talked with so much enthusiasm for you and your passion.
Art connects people, Tells a story and starts a journey.’
I had been to an artist talk by Gorden Field at a Creative Network Meeting at The Engine Room, Bridgewater recently. He is a local artist who has an interest in reconnecting with the natural world and now includes Tree Dowsing as part of his practice. With his particular interest in trees I was interested in how he might respond to my work, so I phoned him and talked about what I have been doing and invited him to come along. Not sure if he would actually make it, I was pleased to get an email on the second Wednesday of the exhibition –
‘…. ForEveryCloud is a great place to exhibit. With the light streaming through the windows your work took on a magical quality. It’s going to be a few days before I can take it all in and write notes. There is no doubt that this is only the start of your journey with willow.’
And today I received some more extensive notes in an email from which I will pick out a few sentences –
‘…..Having the living willow sculptures on display created an atmosphere of serenity within the space that was further enhanced by the works on the wall….’
‘I like the way you have had to make your living willow sculptures portable……these have become small totems with a special life of their own.’
‘Charcoal is such a wonderful medium to work with and having made your own added another dimension to the artworks. The subtle and bold abstract forms on different surfaces worked well.’
‘I was fascinated by the small tins cans that you use to create charcoal. I loved the sticks of charcoal in the Perspex box, but the long tin box with the woven globes of willow reduced to charcoal were knockout. These strong forms reduced to fragile forms have so many possibilities.’
‘The magical and shamanic qualities of your work make it clear that your journey with willow has only just started.’
At the end of his email he wrote-
‘I can see so many directions that you can take the work but it is your journey of discovery.’
I feel very humbled by the things that visitors and others have written and in some respects it feels a little strange to be writing them here, but this an indication of the response.
I was pleased with how the exhibition came together in that space, and pleased that it evoked such a positive response that will, I’m sure, fuel my confidence to push forwards.