As I have been pulling things together in preparation for my final tutorial, sorting out files, having photographs printed, etc, every now and then something pops into my mind and I think ‘I must remember to mention that’. So here are the bits I have thought of for now, but it’s possible that others may crop up later.
Certificates of Authenticity.
It was back when I was researching the buying and selling of work, on the Artquest website, that I came across the notion of ‘Certificate of Authenticity’, in their article ‘Making the most of your degree show’. It acts not only as a receipt for money but also as documentary evidence of the sale. It was something that I don’t think I was aware of before, but the idea seemed to make sense. On the same site in another article ‘Selling is easy’ they outline some of the important details to include. When I actually made a number of sales this idea came back to me, particularly as I hadn’t signed any of my works. The lack of a signature on the work was a conscious decision because of the monochromatic and minimal nature of many of the works, I felt that any additional mark would distract for the work itself. So when I delivered the works I had sold, I included a ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ for each. I shall include copies of these with my final submission.
Access to Galleries.
Now this is one that I beat myself up a bit about at the time. The week before my exhibition I had an enquiry about the accessibility of the gallery from a friend of my husbands who was very keen to visit. The gallery I had chosen is up a narrow flight of stairs in an old build, where there has been no room to install a stair lift – so, essentially it is impossible to access for a person, who is a wheelchair user and unable to climb stairs. I felt so bad. I phoned and spoke with him, apologising profusely, and offered to send him images of the exhibition from my blog, knowing that wouldn’t be the same, the whole point being ‘going to the exhibition’. He described how interested he would have been to see the work, and I would have loved him to be able to go, knowing him as very thoughtful person who has been a good friend to our family on a number of occasions. Equally difficult for me was the felling that ‘I should have known’. As someone who has previously worked in healthcare and has extensive experience of working with people who have complex, including mobility, needs, I should have known. For me it highlighted how we can all get so wrapped up in our own thing, that we can become blinkered to other important things and need to be reminded from time to time.
The last thing he said to me was, ‘next time you have an exhibition, make it accessible’. I hope I can live up to this.
Over ordering flyers.
When I think of this now it makes me laugh. Having finalised dates for my exhibition and starting to think about publicity, the question arose as to how many flyers you might need. As I hadn’t done this before I asked D. how many she would normally order for a similar project – I’m sure she said 5000! It seemed a lot, but I was happy to go with this as I felt she knew better. As I set about distributing them, which involved driving backwards and forwards across Somerset, even venturing into Dorset, on a number of occasions. It soon became apparent that it was going to be a challenge to distribute all of them, despite becoming good at spotting opportunities to unload some more – lots of people seemed to be reluctant to take too many at one go. Since the exhibition I have only spoken to one couple who came solely as a result of seeing a flyer- and that was from one of the most remote locations that I left some! Trying to make sense of what happened here I did a count of how many I have left, and it seems I got through about half. So, If D. meant 500 instead of 5000, then actually I think I did quite well in getting them ‘out there’. I have been too embarrassed to ask her about it as yet, but perhaps I will in time. Something else that came up in conversation with one gallery owner who was happy to have flyers, was that many artists will approach her via phone asking if she is happy to have flyers, but then putting them in the post. That’s seems like a great idea, especially living in a rural area, as I’m sure I must have spent quite a lot on petrol over those weeks. So, quite a learning curve…..
I have had a work selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize Exhibition 2016. I can’t quite believe it. I’ve known a few weeks now but haven’t really told many people because it doesn’t seem true. I keep going back to check the email, and it definitely says, ‘I am delighted to inform you that the work below has been selected for exhibition’. And this week I collected the other 2 that weren’t selected, so they definitely have kept that one. I have also sent the requested mini-biography and statement for the catalogue, along with an image. So, it seems it must be true, though I have to admit to still finding it a bit unreal.