Openings, conversations and carrying question marks

As some of you may know, I’m not the most extrovert of artists and sometimes struggle with exhibition openings. They’re strange things where people mainly come to socialise, the work acting as a backdrop for conversation. It’s not that people aren’t interested in the work, many will come back to the gallery on a quieter day, but exhibition openings are social events first and foremost. And that’s ok.

I’ve learnt if I can have a couple of interesting conversations with people then it’s a win for me. Better to have a good connection with two people than fleeting connections with many.

And on Saturday good conversations I had.

Observations from others included the monochrome’s screen like nature (not only it’s form and colour – the notion of a green screen in film and tv – but also it’s reflected light), the sensitive way I’d used the space, the reference to Richter’s colour paintings and the “fake frame” of the painting.

After the opening we got our dinner from the bustling night market, returning to the gallery, café tables in a long row, to eat and chat.

I got to hear how one person experienced the work very differently to how I imagined people work – her being drawn in first by the expanse of the blue wall rather than the small tile like squares of the painting-object. She was also looking for the covered plug socket we’d used as the image for the literature which was an outcome I hadn’t considered.

Chatting with another artist, he spoke of how artists often work while carrying many question marks. This poetic image resonated with me – carrying question marks – the not knowing of all the answers which, providing the weight of the unknown isn’t too much to bare, keeps the work alive.

So, all in all a good night. And I realise one way for me to get better at openings is to have more of them…


← At the opening
→ The tape is off…