‘I found that running an exhibition is a great invitation for the audience to take the time to really ponder about your work’
In the fall of 2018 my work was accepted as the first female solo exhibitor at Anchor Gallery.
Anchor Gallery had already successfully ran pop-up art galleries across Birmingham, with most notable the Anchor Gallery Harborne (at Peel and Stone) for emerging artists and now opened a space for established artists in Digbeth (The Warehouse Cafe).
I have been making political art since 2013 and have experimented with different styles, materials and approaches to themes. Over the past two years I felt I have started to really develop my own, distinctive style. I realised now was the time to show a larger body of work. Together with the gallery I selected 12 pieces for the exhibition, selecting 4 pieces from the most popular works from the last few years combined with 8 new pieces I created this year (2018).
The exhibition opening
My exhibition opening on 12/10/18 coincided with the actual opening of the new gallery space, which meant the night had a really good buzz of excitement. With over 80 visitors the space was packed. More work was on display and there were some good talks from different artists and a poet. I loved meeting people and, as always, being able to see people’s responses to my work first hand. The most magical moments are when people are touched by the work in one way or another, and keep being drawn to one specific piece. 4 of my works found a new home on the night, which felt fantastic.
The value of an exhibition
What I found really added value was that an exhibition allows people to take the time to look at your work, read the background information, ponder about it. When I occassionally set up stall at an arts market I find that people get a bit more nervous or feel awkward if they take too much time to look at your work, so an exhibition is a great invitation for the audience to take the time to ponder about your work. Since my work aims for the second impression (and not the first), this ‘ponder time’ is essential!
And ofcourse… a bit of audience participation
I like to think I make ‘conversation starters’, so what better way to start a conversation than through art? In true PrettyPolitical style I created a table for visitors to express their own political ideas… through the medium of cupcakes. Are cupcakes harmelsss and cute? Are they the ‘infantilisation of the adult woman’ (a quote I once read in a feminist blog)? Well, these cupcakes have been made Pretty and Political by contributors on the night:
The exhibition runs from mid September until the end of November 2018. Drop by for a (really good!) coffee and the most delicious food, whilst enjoying the art.
Anhcor Gallery at The Warehouse Cafe
54-57 Allison street
Birmingham B5 5TH
Read more about Anchor Gallery and how to apply as an artist here.