Thursday, 15 March 2012

@royalacademy Summer Exhibition, a story...

First of all I went to Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery today and got a couple of shots of 'Earth Womb' and Concentric Dreams' while they are there.

I have entered both of these pieces into the royal Academy Summer Exhibition and that is a story in itself which I wrote up below.  For those of you who would like a laugh at my total ineptitude and poor/good luck!

I am pleased to say that I got my submission in to The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition yesterday but, my goodness, what a shambles it turned out to be!  Having ordered the forms last Thursday, after being prompted by a keen patron who offered to pay the entry fee, they did not arrive until Monday (while I was doing observations in a local school all day).  When I looked carefully at the documents I saw that the closing date for entries was on Tuesday!  ‘Oh no!’  I thought ‘how can I possibly get them in on time?’  I promptly sent them an email and they replied saying they understood and would accept the entry for sculptural work by Thursday.  I was observing again on Tuesday so the forms would have to be done and sent on recorded post on Wednesday.  No problem. . .. .  . I thought!!

I had a business meeting on Wednesday morning (more about that another time) and started printing out pictures after getting home at 1.30pm.  All that had to be done was filling out name, address, names of work with dimensions and materials, no CV or artist statement was required, simple?!  It should have been.
First of all my printer would not take the nice glossy photo paper that I had purchased.  After a lot of fiddling I realised that I needed to gently push the sheets in since they were slipping on the runners.  At least it was working even if it was now 2.30pm.  The first one printed off with odd margins so I resorted to a different software package to print the next one, having to fiddle again to get it to take the paper.  Hooray!  A decent print, I set up the next one then had to rush off for the school run at 3.15pm.

Now the fun really started, I got the paper to feed after a few tries and the photograph came out with lines across the bottom third!  The rest was good so I tried another after checking the status to make sure the inks were OK on the printer.  The printer seemed to think it was fine so I set up the picture and printed it off, with the usual fiddle.  This time over half of the picture came out in the wrong colours, agh!  It was now 4pm.  I fiddled with the ink cartridges and now the printer told me it was running out of magenta and kindly informed me that I could change it any time I liked, grrr!  Blood heating up now, I showed great restraint and did not throw the printer across the room.

Time marched on and it was now 4.10pm.  I shouted to my son; ‘you’re with me – NOW!’ bless him, no questions he just ran to the car and sweetly empathised as I ranted about shonky printers on my way into Bangor.   I got to a shop selling cartridges and was bewildered by the immense array of different cartridges for the same company.  I looked through and could not find the relevant printer type on any of them, I asked for help and a member of staff came over and started to slowly look through as I had just done.  I told him I was in a great hurry and he continued to move at the pace of a stoned snail as he looked through their database to see if they had one in stock.  Eventually I gave up – he looked disappointed as I ran off saying; ‘they’ll just have to go as they are or they won’t go at all!’  The time now was 4.45pm, the last post was around 5pm and the journey back home would take about 15 minutes…….

When I got back to the house I left the car outside and rushed in to print off three pictures, on paper this time, of my other submission.  This is in a dark red clay called Kuiper Red which I over fired to give it a dark blue black look in places.  The pictures were a sort of bluey monochrome, omg, how unbelievably unprofessional I thought.  I gulped down the rising lump in my throat and tried to make the best of a bad job.  My handwriting was appalling as I put my name and all of the relevant details on the back of six photographs.  Quickly checking that everything was in order I ran back to the car with my dog and my son sitting in it, patiently, if somewhat bemusedly, and whizzed down to the post office.

The lady behind the counter frowned at me when I said I needed it on next day; ‘We’ve just finished batching them all up for the day’ I put my hands together in an imploring gesture and started to sink toward the floor begging her to take it for me.   Fortunately I am a regular at the post office – sending off submissions for exhibitions, customer packages etc. So she took my envelope with a wry smile.  As the last recorded sticker went on the post man came through the door.  He just happened to be the same chap that delivers my post for whom I am regularly taking packages for the neighbours (handy for him that I work from home) so he waited – somewhat impatiently, with lots of good humoured grumbling. 
What a palaver!!!?  By 5.15pm it was in the post, hopefully it won’t be thrown out as soon as it is looked at and the images are enough to prompt the judges to want to see the real thing.  It is in the lap of the Gods and the judges now, if any of them happen to read this I apologise for my poor photographs and scruffy handwriting.

On a final note:  I am finishing my teaching observations today.  I have been quite put off the idea of teacher training since the paper work load is so ridiculously high that it will be impossible for me to run my business for a whole year.  However, I have been offered more private tuition work and feel the full PGCE will make me a better teacher at all levels of classes so I am still undecided.  I will be looking seriously at developing my programming skills instead and am considering an MSc with a view to becoming a front end web developer using HTML5, PHP and java.  This would in some ways suit my art practice better, particularly when it comes to bringing art and science together.

Thanks for your visit.