Ah, the elusive eighty fifth post. The final show is all sketched out on the back of an envelope. I think it will be all right. It will contain some new work; some stuff from the last two years and a crucial part of the exhibition will be to encourage the public to take part, to respond directly on some aspects. This isn’t the neatly packaged summary or the beautifully framed show that you can buy. I’m not even sure it will be an indication of what you can expect from this bright young thing as he finally enters the real art world proper, post education. It is for me, for now.
It is an ending. I never really considered if there was going to be an ‘after’. I have an art career, if you can call it that. A lot of the time, the MA has seemed almost incidental. It is becoming clear to me that this is it, the final part of a something. When I think of the months ahead beyond July, I feel a twinge of joy at some imagined liberation. No one will be watching. No expectation. I know I will continue with PEEP!, the gallery aspect. I might even make more zines. I will paint. I will write. I am trying to get a joint writing project started now, before the end.
There is the temptation to do very little for a while. I don’t really know what ‘time off’ is but the school summer break might be a good excuse to potter and dabble, ready for a relaunch in the autumn. By then, the gallery project in Halifax will be over. I have a solo exhibition pencilled in at a local venue for November which is supposed to be a new body of painted work; nothing too exciting really, not in terms of anyone noticing. The work might be interesting. I might even suck arts council cock and go against all the previous ranting about funding in order to expand the PEEP! empire, with the sole purpose of being talked about in the Guardian or reviewed on the a-n website. I know; I aim high.
The most likely scenario is that I will retreat to my studio and write a bit, paint a bit and be happy with that. I find it hard to see art in any career terms or know what a logical art move might be for an unsure purpose. I do this to make stuff, for that moment. Not a very brilliant mission statement. I am therefore I do.
At the end of June, the studio is hosting some Israeli artists. Some of the studio members will be working with them on a joint project for two weeks, ending with an exhibition of the work. I am involved, not normally something I would be interested in; I’m not interesting enough, I make silly drawings. And I don’t do social events. And I don’t do well meaning art projects that have little to do with my idea of what art is, thinly disguised with stock phrases and mock platitudes concerning the purpose of this international exchange. As it is, I have been fortunate to be matched up with someone who is intelligent and perceptive enough to be able to smell the bullshit too. We have a lot of common ground, it’ll be fun. So, I am really looking forward to the two weeks, the experience more important and potentially more satisfying than the end result. Ah, it’ll look good on the CV. The CV that no one reads.
You have to try new things and challenge your own preconceptions; you have to grow and develop, be open to the new. It could have been a very dull project with a different ‘partner’ but already, before any work has been done, this interaction with an artist from another culture, with this particular artist, has proved to be rewarding, invigorating really. For the moment, this is all I will say about this project but I sense a beginning of something and the timing, right at the end of the MA, is fortuitous but significant. I know this.
I wanted to do an audio recording for the final show. PEEP! stand up. I can make it in time, I think. Whether I should, whether it is just padding, I need to consider. I am sitting on this material for a different project. I don’t think I need it for the final show. I’d like to include it but then again, I’d like more space; I have a kitchen sink that I could throw in.
I had a good tutorial today. That is all I have to say about that.
I’m sorry this isn’t an exciting entry.