Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Dream Of Open Spaces

I've been thinking a lot about how I want to exhibit my work in the future.
I don't enter into representation deals anymore. When I do exhibit in a commercial gallery, it's a one-off arrangement, usually negotiated on the basis that the gallery recognises my shows draw a big crowd and generate press.
I don't ask much of the gallery other than a freshly painted space. I underwrite a lot of the costs (such as advertising, direct mail, and catering) myself.
You might hear that the success of one or other of my shows owed a lot to the organisation efforts of the gallery but it's never true. In Australia, the same, small team manages every aspect of my shows, from the design and photography of the posters and the writing of the press releases to the transport of the works, the hanging and the logistics associated with the opening night party.
There are some very skilled gallerists elsewhere – in China, Japan and maybe the USA – and I look forward to working with them in the next year and a half. In the meantime, however, I'm trying to figure out how to present my art beyond the virtual spaces I've refined over the past four years. I want to give as many people a chance to experience it in the real world and make the experience engaging, provocative and maybe even memorable.
I hate the colourless, antiseptic, and whisper-silent spaces of galleries and modern art museums, which leach away the unruly, visceral experience of art and reduce it to something as clinical as the bloodless corpses medical students use to study anatomy. But there's no point bitching about it if I'm not prepared to put my money where my mouth is and do something different – and better.


Anonymous said...

Hazel, you continue to amaze me, and I love it. Only wish I was 60 years younger....

Anonymous said...

what will you do instead? i am very curious.

im an artist myself, but i hate galleries. they make me feel awkward and bored in a way, like i dont belong there. must be the silence and plain white walls.

Anthony said...

Sometimes I wonder if the clinical and silent gallery works under the assumption that people need austere silence to consider and digest art.

Maybe that's just a bit individualistic for this day and age. Maybe we need other people to hash our thoughts out with (something the internet helps people do with new mediums and rules of exchange).

Lift up the veil of silence that traditional galleries' etiquette support, and something new can happen.

I suggest that art is now conversed and not consumed.

Martin English said...

I came to you pages via Hugh Macleod's link ( ). Entirely as an outsider (with NO idea about art theory or nothin...), I'd suggest his model isn't a bad one to follow...

If you DO feel the need to exhibit, it sounds like you have a very useful team - Would it be beyond them to arrange an exhibit (again, only if required) at a temporary space ? hire a shop-front or even a front room somewhere for a week or so ?

Just some ideas. Good luck (and thanks for the images - wish I'd discovered you when i could afford some of your originals !!)

Anonymous said...

an interesting idea, where to when you move beyond gallery walls and the internet? Perhaps large billboards along highways and interstate roads... plenty of open spaces there

Anonymous said...

The gallery space exhausts me, my uni years were spent defending my small scale and book format works from lecturers devoted to the idea that art works must look good on a large white wall from six feet away. I submitted and worked larger and became so disillusioned. What is wrong with intimacy and tactile interaction with art works. I would rather limit my audience than change what I do.