A few months ago, Focus Gallery posted a photo on their instagram page advertising an upcoming exhibition called 'New Talent'. The post was a call to action for artists who had never exhibited their work before, to apply and be considered for the exhibition. At this point I had obviously never exhibited in a gallery, but I had also never done a show before either. Although it seemed a little daunting at the time, the prospect was also incredibly exciting, so I applied straight away, and I was utterly thrilled to receive the good news that my work had been accepted!
The opening night for the exhibition was only a couple of weeks before the Country Living Spring Fair, so I had to work my socks off to get everything finished on time. As this was my first real deadline since leaving my desk job in May last year, I was anxious that I may not be able to cope with managing the impending workloads. However, I was actually really surprised at how on time, and on schedule, I was for everything. Preparing for this exhibition truly showed me how little you procrastinate when you're doing something you love!!
I was so pleased with all the pieces I put forward for the exhibition, knowing I had put my heart and soul into each one. It was the first time I had really pushed myself to work on bigger canvases, and it was this leap of faith that really developed my creativity and confidence as an artist. It can be really daunting when working on a much larger scale for the first time, especially when the stakes are higher than just 'having a play around', but it was where I found my flow. I even documented some of the processes through time-lapse videos on my phone which you can view on my instagram page.
I dropped off my 9 finished pieces a few days before the opening night, and counted down the days until I could see them in person, hung on the wall in all their glory! I was one of 10 artists who were showcased as part of the New Talent exhibition, and of course, all of us were artists who had never exhibited our works before. Opening night arrived, and it was really overwhelming for me. I was so proud of how far I had come, both as a person, and as an artist. It was such a big moment for me to have my work featured in a gallery for others to see. So many of my family and friends came to support me that night too, which made it all the more special for me.
Another great aspect of being part of an exhibition surrounding 'new talent' is the fact that you get to meet, and see the work of, so many incredible local artists. I loved hearing everyone's stories, and understanding the inspiration behind their works. Antonia and Sophie did an amazing job of curating the exhibition, and I do hope you got a chance to see it!
For those of you who didn't get a chance to see it, there are still a few of my pieces on display in the window of the gallery if you would like to have a browse. The gallery itself offers such a wonderful mix of work by artists of varying crafts. It's so inspiring to walk around. Not only that, but the gallery is also part of the Nottingham Jewellery School (like you needed another reason to visit!).
I just want to say a big thank you to Antonia, and to Sophie, for loving my work, and supporting me as a local artist within their gallery.
This one is for you, Focus Gallery.