Testing my particular boundaries is shaping up to have nothing to do with the audience (at the moment), and everything to do with breaking down those small, but destructive, acts that are sabotaging my progress. The playing, the mental block on ‘time well spent’, the assessment and selection of materials, the reluctance to ‘just go for it’. It also has everything to do with my expectation that painting should not be painful, should work first time, should not place too great a demand on me. These are the real boundaries that I have to confront head on.
So I push back these boundaries, what then? As Les Bicknell asked, ‘Where do I want to go?’ Where indeed? Les astutely highlighted as issue with audience engagement. Is this historic? Lack of confidence? Wrong market? I sense that it is of my creation, stemming from competent, but unchallenging work, that leaves the audience unsatisfied, without knowing why, and me frustrated that I am not commercially successful, my marker for identifying good work.
But what if I turn this situation on its head. Well, here is the dilemma. If I let go of public opinion and the commercial market place, where does that leave my work? Piled up in the corner, gathering dust? How will I feel? Like the medicine isn’t working? Probably and probably. Is this something I need to get over? Probably.
Having watched Krzysztof Fijalkowski’s lecture and read Seven Days in the Art World, it is difficult to imagine an alternative to a gallery. I have tried the self promote route, the endless group exhibitions, exhibiting overseas, social media, online galleries. The collective wisdom of my colleagues in this world, is that the Credit Crunch crucified the market and, like interest rates, the market is still struggling to rise and find buyers. This is not the investment market place. The only way that I can see for me going forward, is to be part of the open competition and gallery world. This can only happen if I am able to produce challenging work. This can only happen if I trust the process.