To show or not show your work….that definitely is the question?
What do I get from showing my work? It’s too much effort, so why bother? My work’s not good enough! We don’t show our work here! I’ve heard these comments and more, many times over yet showing your work can be a wonderfully positive experience.
Negative attitudes will ultimately result in negative outcomes.
Read on if exhibiting your work interests you. It’s not for everyone yet it can be an exciting experience. I understand how people new to exhibiting feel because self confidence is one thing, but baring your soul through your work is something completely different. Why would you? What’s the benefit?
Huge benefits are to be had in exhibiting your work, most of all for you the artist whether it’s a judged or juried exhibition, a Group/Guild show or even better, going solo.
Yes, it’s hard work, yes, it takes a huge amount of time thinking, designing, making and even just keeping on top of all the paperwork.
In my opinion, showing your work is so, so worth it and here’s why:
- First and foremost is personal satisfaction as a result of seeing that seed of an idea expressed in a visual way using a technique you’re confident with. As it should be! Seeing that work hanging alongside that of your peers is hugely rewarding. Showing your work is personally satisfying.
- Your work becomes stronger. What??? It does! Making work knowing it’s for exhibition will make you more careful about execution and technique. Your inner critic will come to the fore and get a good work out. Great. People standing in front of your work want to see your passion and ability and this is the time to show it. Showing your work makes your work stronger.
- Do you like to attend textile/fibre related exhibitions? I do. Well think about this. Exhibitions/shows not supported by entries will sadly fade away. Enjoying the services offered by Groups or Guilds is great, but they also require support from members. Exhibiting solo? You’re supporting a Gallery, a Gallerist and a community by offering something unique. Showing your work supports your Group, Guild or Gallery.
- You become more productive. Yes you do! Deadlines make you commit to your work, believe me. Working on one piece is the perfect opportunity to think about the next! Exhibiting solo requires a cohesive body of work, so head down! Showing your work makes you more productive.
- Interaction and networking with your peers is not to be underestimated. Imagine meeting someone whose work you’ve admired and vice-versa, they get to meet you! Showing your work is networking for textile artists.
- Sharing is part of any artistic endeavour. Demonstrating or talking about how you work and how you turn that germ of an idea into a cohesive yet imaginative design could have a huge impact on someone, or indeed, many. Artists approach their work differently so it’s educative to understand their process. Showing your work offers the opportunity for interaction between you and the viewer.
- It will make you stronger. Indeed it will! Not everyone will love your work and that’s fine. That’s a given if you exhibit. Rejection is another and hard as it is, the trick is not to question yourself but just keep going. Be determined and remain true to yourself and your vision. Showing your work will make you stronger as a person and as an artist.
What am I actually saying here, so what are the benefits again?
Showing your work allows you to interact with your viewers and gives you the opportunity to network with your peers. It makes you more productive and supports your Group, Guild or Gallery. You, the person and you, the artist, become stronger and finally, let’s not forget that sense of personal satisfaction. That’s the icing on the cake, otherwise why do it?
I’ve had wonderful experiences exhibiting in addition to a great sense of achievement. Yes, I’ve questioned myself and encountered disappointments yet I believe I’ve remained true to myself and my work. That’s what’s important to me. Exhibiting is a journey of self recognition.
Timeless Textiles is the only commercial fibre-art gallery in Australia. Galleriest, Anne Kempton works tirelessly to ensure the gallery offers high quality exhibitions throughout the year. Visit the Gallery, take a peek at the shop and even out the back if there’s a workshop on because I know you’ll love it. Then sign up for the informative newsletter.
Click here to go to Timeless Textiles website – or even better, drop in. Anne would love to see you.
Click here to go to QuiltNSW website.
Click here to go to Ozquilt Network’s website – and good luck if your decision is to exhibit. Just go for it!
Quote of the week:
‘If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all’. Michelangelo.
The (dreaded) Theme and some ideas on how to attack it.