Ok, so, exciting news!! You know the Warrington Contemporary Open that I mentioned in the last post? Well, as I said, me and my textile artist friend Claire, plus her husband and a friend of theirs went to the opening night. First we went to have a look at Claire's work, which was in the main show, in the second venue. There we bumped into some people from the Islington Mill Art Academy, which is something that both Claire and I have been active members of for a few months now (This is what I mean when I say I'm behind with news! Islington Mill has become a huge part of my arty life over the last few months, but I haven't blogged about it yet! That's coming soon, I promise). Then we went over and had a look at the photography exhibition, which is where my work was. Here's a picture of me standing proudly next to my picture.
A nice couple who saw this picture being taken asked if I was the photographer, and when I said I was they were so complimentary about my work! And it turned out that they were fellow photographers and also had a piece each in the show (which were both really good!) so that felt awesome!
Next we had to hurry over to the main venue at Warrington Museum to have a brief look at the main part of the show before the prize giving. There we saw "In A Flux", which is a kind of mini exhibition by the "Manchester Salon" which is a group of artists including Maurice Carlin, known to us as Morry, as he's one of the founding members of the Islington Mill art academy. He's a really nice guy and a very interesting artist, and it was very cool to see work by someone I know in a real art show! We also had time to have a quick look around the rest of the Open Exhibition before it was time for the prize giving. First up was the photography, and you could have knocked me down with a feather when they announced the runner up and my name was called out!! Wow! That was a shock!
Here's a picture of me receiving my prize:
More pictures of the event can be found here if you are interested.
So, that was very exciting. And just when I thought the evening couldn't get any better, a lovely couple that bought a picture from me at the Summer Arts market in Liverpool (otherwise a bit of a flop for me - I didn't make the table price back!) were there, and came up and said congratulations, and how much they were loving owning my picture! She's an artist and he's a graphic designer - there seems to be a theme developing of other artists liking my work, which I take as the biggest compliment going! The lady is called Jenny, and you can check out her artwork here. She had a piece in the show as well, right next to the guy that won the whole thing (my verdict on his piece - good, but not my favourite).
And then, to top it all off, Morry introduced me to a lady called Laura who had helped to curate the whole show and asked for my details as she may be putting together another exhibition soon! Wow! I would call that a pretty successful night! From this I've learned a couple things. One: never give up. It's a cliche but it's true! I was getting pretty fed up with entering these kind of open competitions, paying money to be entered only to not get accepted, and to not even get any feedback so to be left wondering if I was even close. But you have to keep putting yourself out there, and exposing yourself to the risk of failure, or else you can never have any successes like this! (The prize, by the way, was £100, so that should help make up for some of those entries that led nowhere!).
Secondly: people love a winner! I mean it in the sense that winning one thing like this can suddenly open lots of doors and get you noticed, and make all that slogging away worth it. I hope that's the case for me, and that this one event could lead on to more and more opportunities. I'll be sure to let you know if it does!