Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
A year ago I made the decision to think more carefully about the way I exhibited.
The usual means of exhibiting – group shows, open submissions and competitions seemed to have become an endless round of entry forms, uploading countless images, writing numerous artists statements that ‘fit’ with each organisations entry requirements, sending CV’s and finally sending ever increasing amounts of money. All this to end up having one or at best two works selected and many rejections.
Although I still see the benefit in getting in to certain ‘opens’, and I would not be the proud recipient of the V&A prize had I not applied for the International Print Biennale (and I have to admit that I will be applying for the next one regardless of any kind of resolutions I make). I have realised that because much of my work is made up of bodies of prints that need to be exhibited together and very often with accompanying research material, that just exhibiting only one or two pieces does not reflect my work. It feels like giving someone only one page out of a novel and never letting them read the whole book.
A year on I have stuck to my decision (well, almost, as I did submit to an exhibition in the USA) and have spent 2015 researching projects and thinking about how best to exhibit in the future. I have taken part in a few mixed exhibitions this year, but only ones where I could exhibit a large body of work. More importantly I have been able to focus on researching, making new work, beginning new projects and developing work with people I have not worked with before.
As a result 2016 and 2017 are going to be very exciting and busy as I have a number of projects developing and 3 exhibitions planned:
Projects: and sadly most of these are funding dependant
Start the Press
Dan Thompson and I are researching and developing a project ‘Start the Press’ about Thanet Press, Margate and have a First Friday event at Marine Studios where we will be talking about the project to date. All are welcome.
I began Resting Place way back in 2012, and in 2014 the project rested in 4 locations; Ellington Park, Ramsgate, on a South Eastern Train from Ramsgate to Charing Cross, at Charing Cross Station and under the Dolven Bell on Folkestone Sea Front. 2016 will see the final Resting Place of the project with an event in June at Ramsgate Cemetery, at Clarice’s final resting place. Whilst this will be the final live event it will mark the beginning of the projects’ next phase.
The Lochnagar Crater
I have been given permission by the owner of Lochnagar Crater to develop a project at the site during the coming year. I will be working with a small group of invited artists from Thanet to travel to the site and make work in response to it.
I visited the crater in August and was so moved by it that I have not been able to get it out of my thoughts and wrote about the visit here.
The trip was the beginning of my research for an upcoming solo show and I will be writing about the development of my work for this show in future posts.
4th – 29th May
A solo exhibition
Theatre of War
Clarice’s war medal records have a box recording the Theatre of War she served in. This exhibition will be of work that I have made in response to this term from the point of view of her archive and where it has led me.
3rd – 16th Nov
A month long exhibition with my friend Jackie Russell. Jackie and I met when we were studying for our degrees and have talked about doing an exhibition together for the past 10 years. Our work is very different and has very different starting points but our thought processes very often cross over and connect and then bounce off in completely different directions. I feel this exhibition will be very much like one of our conversations.
And the money I have saved from not entering open submissions? Has paid for the materials to make a whole new body of work.