Who said that being an artist was about creativity? Making a work “sing” often comes down to making the right decision about your materials – the medium, the format, the framing; making your work sell comes down to making the right economic decisions. A friend once said that an artist’s work doesn’t end when they put down the paintbrush, but should carry through to the framing and installation of the work. In fact, the curator plays as much a creative part in the process as the artist.
But really, the most mundane part of the job is the test printing (I’m talking photographs here now). There’s the running around for just one work here and one work there, waiting for the results to be returned by mail, or waiting for the phonecall from the print shop to say it is ready for pick-up; really not knowing what you’re going to get until you see it. I’ve just received a large format print today of one of my favourite pieces to date and I’m soooo disappointed. It is washed out, it is flat – just awful. The paper is all wrong and the format is too big. Back to square one – this piece will end up in a gallery – but I just have to find the right paper and the right format for it, and a printer who understands the importance of archival qualities. Two more pieces are due back next week and another batch of photos will wing their way through the ether to a processor over the weekend. Three months out from my September show* at Red Door Gallery and I’m now feeling the pressure to make the right decisions and still be able to price the work so the damn things might have a chance of selling. And I’m not even at the point of framing yet…yikes! Hopefully by the time the December show** comes around at Cudgegong Gallery, these nuts and bolts will be screwed down!
*1-30 September ’11: Grounded at Red Door Gallery – opening 2 September @ 6pm
** 2 Dec – 30 Jan ’12: Natured Space at Cudgegong Gallery – opening 3 December @ 11am