I Had Completely Forgotten

That once upon a time I embarked on being an artist. In 2005. I had my first solo show. Big words. In 2005 I approached the Lapworth Museum, at the University of Birmingham, UK, having eyed their long, wide corridor full of display cases, empty, waiting for me. I suggested an exhibition of works responding to their museum holdings.

There was an opening, a press release, a sale. A visitors book. Some comments.

Then I took it all down, brought it home. Forgot about it.

But yesterday in the midst of tidying up, nay organizing, my studio- it having been languishing in boxes for nearly a year following a move from the UK to Italy, I found the remnants of that exhibition. I like it! It was good. Not my fault the passing geology department academics made no sense of the slightly tongue-in-cheek take I’d constructed on a paleontology of fossils. Nor that they made no connections between my deep reflections on colour and that we know nothing of prehistoric colours. I like what I did. It was cool and it was brave. Too groovy for the Lapworth Museum corridor, alas. But then we all have to start somewhere.

Shame I forgot I’ve already had a one woman show.

I’d thought I’d done nothing. But then today, over a glass of wine other memories returned. I remembered the peak of my Paris art experience, when an established artist invited me to view an available studio unit in the big warehouse he and his collective of professional Parisian artists were developing. The unit was huge. In a word: expensive. But it was nice he asked me. After that I thought it best to leave Paris. I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be there. Not then anyway.

So I went to London and there I was in a joint show: Gallery 33. Then to Kent. Another joint show. Can’t remember the name in Kent but it was Maidstone and the gallery held a corner position on the road and the pictures I supplied cost a lot to frame – which I did myself and to my credit they did not fall apart. Again the lack of instant fame and fortune bamboozled me. No longer. It makes perfect sense! Oh I have done things. Just never with intent commitment. Always before a bit flaky. A bit lost.

And today? Hatchery has given me insight. Into who I am. Who I am not. Who I was. Who I will be, if I wish.

I enjoyed that exhibition in the museum of fossils but I did not enjoy the silence. Today, after years researching silence as a professional academic and another 15 years of life experience, I don’t mind silence. I couldn’t give a shit about silence. I’m going to make and create and do anyway.

So much, since the fossils said nothing to me, has changed.

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