1W11_TWENTY SIXTH POST

A productive day organising the PEEP! artists. Plans and jpegs and proposed dates have been sent out and so far, no one has backed out. It wouldn’t be too much of a problem if they did; MTS always has work to hang in an emergency. Ideally I want a space that features a gallery but has the flexibility for so much more. I don’t know if I will ever get this. I did try years ago to get an arts centre off the ground and we did receive some initial funding from a local council. I was young, did as I was told by the councillors and spent it on a feasibility study that confirmed what I already knew, but in a well presented bound copy. A document I could have written, and then charged myself, then ploughed the money into actually starting the project. I got a cheap car out of it.  

Gradually the project faded, as did my friendship with the other partner in the scheme. We were full of ideas and youthful vigour but whether we could have actually run an arts centre well is another thing. It would have been a steep learning curve. Life would have been very different. I doubt I would have gone on to do the degree. I would have become a suit wearing pencil pusher and very unhappy with it. The great bonus of being an ‘artist’ is the lack of demand to be either clean or presentable. Especially now when most of the ‘business’ of doing is on-line.  

An advert is up on a-n for PEEP! quarterly; this should generate some more interest. The concept is for a core book/publication, housed in a box, with other items/multiples to add that special extra bit of excitement. You can peep into the box. A boxed gallery, a multi-media experience. I will write for it, provide drawings, edit the selections, curate the whole thing, sweat over it, and stay up for endless nights gluing, trimming, and worrying. I think that this qualifies as ‘my’ project even though it is an anthology of contemporary art. I am hoping for stuff that has an edge, really creative thinking. It is almost a mini-business, we are making a small investment that could break even or fail. If we recoup the costs involved and have enough to finance issue two, I will be happy.  

MTS continues. We have two issues to make before the end of the year. I want to do a limited run and send them together, wrapped and tagged. The themes are ‘3D’ and ‘Festive’. It annoys me that we continue to be three months behind on our plan to publish one issue a month. At the beginning I never thought we would get to issue sixteen but we have. Many of them have been produced for specific exhibitions; it really is a good vehicle for that. They act as a compact portfolio. We have never really solved the distribution problem. For a while we had a mailing list of people who wanted an issue, or people we wanted to have an issue. Feedback was scarce and it ended up feeling an empty way forward. We may as well make two copies, one each; it would be cheaper and just as satisfying. There was an idea to approach some galleries, send them a batch and a dispenser and at least this way they are picked up by random and hopefully interested people. Bookshops and selling spaces were never keen to offer us potential retail space for a freebie. I can understand that. We need to resurrect the gallery contacts, build an audience.   

We have a small show pencilled in for January in a trendy art cafe in Huddersfield. I don’t mind, it’s an excuse to make some work. It is the kind of venue that if we make something vaguely saleable and price it right, we make sell and in turn that would give us some money for PEEP! Q. I have to make some dummy work tomorrow, see which of the ideas work best.  

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