Fifty-six

i. I went back to school this week after the Easter break and have been making some more linocuts for the show. It should all come together but I’m definitely feeling a little anxious as to how much more time I have to make work and am aware that everything is about to get incredibly busy.

ii. I popped into London to visit two new Chantal Joffe exhibitions at the Victoria Miro galleries. The first (a small exhibition of self-portraits) was a little underwhelming but the second (mostly-large-scale paintings of her daughter Esme and her friends) was superb. Joffe’s paintings are routinely fresh and deftly capture the vulnerability of youth/ageing through relatively straightforward portrait compositions. Recently, I’ve been a bit worried about the scale and quantity of my exhibition work but, after seeing a couple of Joffe’s small paintings holding their own in large spaces, now feel reassured - it’s the quality of the work that matters.

Chantal Joffe,  Self-Portrait, 1st January,  2018

Chantal Joffe, Self-Portrait, 1st January, 2018

Chantal Joffe,  Esme in her School Shirt,  2019

Chantal Joffe, Esme in her School Shirt, 2019

iii. I always feel inspired after seeing Joffe’s work and, following my visit to Victoria Miro, began to consider my work post-Camberwell. Specifically, I will be moving back home and hope to get a bit more involved with local groups such as Bath Society of Artists and Bath Artist Printmakers. I’ve also got a handful of small shows and a couple of commissions in the works. If a project or opportunity comes up then I will pursue it but I’ve been so involved with my pub prints that I haven’t asked my friends or family to sit for me for ages. Broadly speaking, I really want to just spend some time making work about where I will be living and the people I am surrounded by. I just want to just spend a year drawing, painting and printmaking.

 
Emily and John,  2017

Emily and John, 2017

 

iv. I also went to visit the opening night of Seb’s exhibition, The Listener, a two-man show with Catherine Watson featuring collages, drawing and printmaking. The show was fun, colourful and well curated (the gallery also features a nice big Gillian Ayres painting on the back wall which I enjoyed). I admire Seb’s playful approach to making and his resistance to the fastidiousness of traditional printmaking. I hope to swap a work with Seb at the end of my time at Camberwell.

 
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