Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I left full-time work in June 2016 to pursue my life-long ambition of becoming an artist. Since I was a child, I have always pictured myself as a painter: locked away in a barn-come-studio somewhere, covered in paint like an animated Jackson Pollock. Before leaving the comfort of employment, and in order to ensure that I had structure to my time, I set myself two goals to achieve within the first year: to find a studio and to have an exhibition.
My studio came about very fortuitously after a conversation with a local farmer, who I’d hoped originally to rent a space from. ‘The Bothy’ – as the owners call it – is really a small house, rather than a typical artist’s studio and I couldn’t believe my luck when I stepped through the doors for the first time. I felt that something like fate, or destiny, was working with me to say “Yes! You’ve made the right decision!”.
In the back of my mind I knew I was going to have to work a lot harder to get an exhibition. “Exhibitions don’t just grown on trees”, I told myself. I worried that I wouldn’t be considered experienced enough, or that I’d have to wait years on a waiting list. I also realised I didn’t have much in the way of artwork to exhibit. So, I painted through the autumn and winter, in the cold and the rain and amassed a body of work, which I considered to be ‘exhibition-ready’.
I took commissions to give me an understanding how my art is perceived by the public and I sold a number of pieces through family, friends, and twitter. Confidence boosted, I took the plunge and contacted Fiona Cassidy, visual arts curator at Pound Arts in Corsham, Wiltshire, about my desire for a exhibition of my landscapes.
Here again, destiny – or some divine coincidence – stepped in. Fiona had been discussing the idea of an exhibition with fellow Wiltshire-based artist Melissa Cole, that combined her sculptures with topographical and historical objects from the Pitt Rivers collection at The Salisbury Museum. “The museum,” she said “is running a show through the summer called ‘British Art: Ancient Landscapes‘ and the Pound is collaborating with them to host an off-shoot using artefacts from their collection”. Having two parts to the jigsaw, Fiona was contemplating what the third element to the show could be, and up popped my email. From there ‘Ancient Landscapes: New Lines‘ was born.
In this show, Melissa and I will present our individual experiences of journeying, sensing and interpreting our local landscapes through evocative sculptures and vibrant paintings. This exhibition explores new ways of presenting the physical environment and, by way of contrast and similarity, compares our contemporary work with historical models of the same landscape.
EXHIBITION DATES: 23rd June – 2nd September at Pound Arts, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9HX.
Meet the artists at the PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 23rd June, 6pm – 8pm.
In addition, on Tuesday 11th July at 6pm, the Pound will host a presentation by Adrian Green, Director of The Salisbury Museum, on ‘General Pitt Rivers in Wiltshire‘ which will cover the Museum’s collection and further details on the artefacts included in ‘Ancient Landscapes: New Lines’. Booking is essential: 01249 701628 (box office).
Please do not hesitate to contact me about the exhibition: