Thursday was the night of the exhibition and it went well enough. The cracks was papered over, whitewashed was applied to the walls and after three vacuums being selected, one finally worked and hoovered the mess that accumulated after the 10 day stint as an (open) studio.
I must say that it has been an experience working within Blankspace in the open studio, working with guys I normally work with within an academic and creative way in the univeristy. Working with people that I normally don't work with and having to socialise with distant colleagues was quite nice and lifted the somewhat stilted air that had settled.
I do now know that I need a studio in Manchester to call my workstation. Having the university studio is okay as a means to an end but the closing hours is pretty inconvenient as it closes at 7pm and I don't normally attend the studio until late due to erratic sleep patterns and traffic arrangments. So a consequence of the whole Chinese Whispers/Blankspace experience, what I have got out of it all is that I need a studio. A place that I can my own in Manchester, somewhere that I can work diligently and call a base is on top of my list of priorities.
So its time to speak about the exhibition... Some of the work was alright I suppose and some rose above others in conception and execution. Joel Moore's shoes was old work that had been exhibited someplace else and wasn't made within the open studio and his security cameras was new and i quite liked the idea. Katie Barnes worked through the experience and contributed a floaty and airy piece of collage and projection based on old and new maps of Glossop, her hometown.
We had painting, illustration, installation and photography on show..which are the usual suspects but they weren't paintings in the truest sense of the word. Emma Hardaker's work are somewhat in the dripping territory/in the action paintings of the the fifties and sixties and these mirrored Bex Wild's Scanography which are the same but uses a scanner instead of the canvas.
Chuman didn't enter new work but being in Hong Kong didn't make it possible..his work still stood up to scutiny though. I do like/enjoy his paper constructions and they seem to have a serene feel to them with shadowplay and delicateness.
The installation of the open studio was probably the best part of the evening. It was a documentation of the work that we
produced a was very ad hoc but in a contained way.
We had a good response from the public and had over 75 visitors on the night. A lot of the people seemed to be Interactive Artists and their families, Blankspace where conspicuous in their non attendance which was strange being their gallery. Only Kevin Bradshaw stayed around to talk and have a walk through and I took the chance to explain my work and concept.
All in all, some work shone and some others where so-so, we where shunned by Free For Arts this year and this exhibition was what to be that exhibition we wanted to have in October. As stated above, I entered this venture to absorb the atmosphere of an open studio and to have the time limit to provide artwork good enough for an exhibition. I achieved what I set out to do and the work that I did do was one of my most conceptual and sophisticated pieces that I am now on the step of evolution of my current practise.