Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Worcester Open 2010 - Part Two

When I'm out visiting exhibitions (or shopping, or anything really) I'm a lot like Philip Larkin's character in Church Going. I'm nervy about going in somewhere where I'm going to get pounced on (I was actually asked if I needed help in Argos looking at their catalogue the other day! I think not...). I don't know if I'd have had the courage to visit the 2 smaller venues of the Worcester Open if I hadn't been driven by self-interest. If it had been in a huge cavernous space, or a smaller one with not a soul about (apart from the audience), I would have definitely stayed longer, absorbed more, instead of having my usual out of the body experience of extreme self-consciousness.

On the other hand, I would not have had chance to meet Nathaniel Pitt, organiser of this year's exhibition. Apart from being very kind about my drawing, which is exhibited in the small but light and sunny Pitt Studio, he made some very interesting comments about the presentation of my work which I will very much take on board. He asked me how I choose the frames for my work, and commented that a frame should be almost invisible, that the work should be the main feature not the frame. I understand entirely the point Nathaniel was making and am very grateful for his opinion. I actually dread framing my work, partly because my decision is almost always affected by financial constraints, or by the simple geographical (and temporal) constraints of my not being able to drive! So when I'm frame buying I'm generally tied to the bus route, or to begging favours of G to drive me somewhere to look for a frame. It would be nice to be able to hand my work over to someone else to frame for me, I wish I could.

Nathaniel's own work currently invoves performance art. He told me how each of the 4 Worcester based artists at the Pitt artist-led project space are taking it in turns to direct a project, and the Worcester Open this year was his own project. Next year's project sounded very interesting too, I really look forward to seeing it.

One final word about the website of the show, which is beautifully presented and extensive. I only found this by accident while Googling links for this site, and I've enjoyed looking at leisure at images from the show. There's a nice feature for participating artists to add a comment or a statement beneath their piece, which I'd have certainly have done earlier if I'd known it was there! Maybe an e-mail to participating artists from the webmaster inviting them to do this would have been useful.

Please go and see this exhibition if you've time, it has so much to offer. It runs until 26 June, check either the website or the Art Gallery for specific opening times of all 3 venues.

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