I delivered the two paintings that were selected for the Worcester Open to Worcester Museum and Art gallery today. I was greeted by the ever affable Nathan Pitt, one of the key figures in organizing the exhibition from his position as director of Pitt Studio, an artist-led gallery/project space located in an old coach house in his garden, which now also has a commercial outpost in Malvern. I worked briefly with Nathan years ago, from 2006-07, at the previous college I lectured at, when he joined the Art Department. He had just set up the gallery then and it has really grown since then, as has the art scene in Worcester, thanks largely to his efforts.
Nathan was telling me today how the competition had been very fiercely contested this year, with just 30 artists selected from well over 300 entrants, and that the judging panel had been made up by some pretty ‘hardcore’ selectors (his words) with strong links to Arts Council. These included Wendy Law, Director of Turning Point West Midlands, and Gavin Wade, director of Eastside Projects in Birmingham. I did know this as it was one of my motivations for applying this year. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my work seen by some of the regions key arts figures, possibly make some new connections, and more importantly get my work more widely seen as this is a big regional show. There will be an accompanying catalogue, which will help. The Private View is this Friday.
Shaun Morris, 'Drift' pastel on paper, 25 x 40cms, 2013
Indigo Octagon have also been meeting in the last few weeks. That is, artists Chris Cowdrill, Andrew Smith, Harvey Smoke and myself. We’ve met in my studio where we all bought some new work to discuss, and then in the pub to talk about a new project, possibly a publication of some sort for the autumn.
Lots of fingers in lots of pies right now…