04 Jul

The “What The Hell Am I Doing” Crisis

I attended the opening of Eco Madness at Gallery Gachet on Friday evening and I must say, the experience really put me into a tailspin about where I’m going and what I should be doing with my work in future. I put a lot of effort into writing up a proposal to submit for the show and also running around to get the work printed and framed. It didn’t feel worth it once I took a look at the rest of the show, not because the rest of the work wasn’t good, but because there was such a wide range of styles and mediums that it didn’t really work together. It was especially disappointing to discover the positioning of my work on a wall that is in a hidden corner and hard to view.

I had a crisis later in the evening wondering what the hell I am doing, why I’m doing it, and should I even keep bothering. The answer to the last question is YES YES YES because this is something I love to do and I’m doing it because it makes me happy. Maybe I’ll just avoid group shows in future because too often I don’t get enough out of them other than something to put on my resume, and I already have enough of those.

Below is part of the submission I put together for Eco Madness. I had proposed four of the Imaginary Girl nature themed portraits and two were accepted into the show. At the very least it was an interesting exercise in writing down thoughts I’ve had around some of these portraits. The image below is a mock up of how I wanted to hang the grouping of four images.

Artist Statement:
My nature themed photos are a small grouping of images within a larger portrait series of women titled, “Imaginary Girl”. My intent when using natural settings is to convey a strong connection between the human subject and the environment. It is as if they are woodland creatures peering between the leaves that frame them. The women are fully integrated into the natural setting rather than merely using it as a backdrop. The idea is that nature is a place of nurture for human beings as it is for every other living creature. It is a place to slow down and clear one’s head, to recharge and become centered, and to take shelter.

I know I am made from this earth,
as my mother’s hands were made from this earth,
as her dream came from this earth and all that I know, I know in this earth…
and I long to tell you,
you who are earth too,
and listen as we speak to each other of what we know:
the light is in us.

~ Susan Griffin

2 comments

  1. I think every artist has been where you were at, questioning why they are doing what they are doing, and wondering if it’s really worth it. Entering the world of gallery art is frustrating at best. Whether or not your work gets seen, or how it is seen is up to other people. Group shows can be good or bad. Be shown alongside great art and your work is elevated. Be shown alongside bad art and your work is taken down.

    I think it’s all part of the journey and something a person just has to learn. Learn which shows to pick, which to avoid. Which works to submit to which place………

    Don’t get too discouraged. Be choosy. Set goals (like the blog post you mentioned)!

  2. I think because I’m taking my art more seriously and devoting serious time to it instead of doing it on the side, I do want to be choosier about the shows I’m in. I’ve often been disappointed by group shows because more often than not, they aren’t well curated.

    I don’t want to just build my resume anymore, I want to do things that allow me to build my audience and provide me with further opportunities.

    You are right about the questioning where I’m at and why I do this. It’s part of the process and the point is to push through to the other side.

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© Rachael Ashe