I’m a bit pissed off. Last Friday I decided to withdraw from my forthcoming exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s Hire Space Gallery. This was following an e-mail from the gallery explaining that the current refurbishments the gallery is currently undertaking, which are largely in the foyer outside of the Hire Space, are taking longer than expected, and will be continuing during the run of my show in May. As a consequence of this the entrance to the main gallery is closed, making access to the Hire Space much more limited.
Whereas before the Hire Space was the first gallery you saw as you came in, now the main entrance will be found at the other side of the building and the Hire Space only found if you negotiate the signs around the builders, making it now the last place you reach in the gallery, and only if you are that interested. My point being that now any potential audience reach I was hoping to achieve by exhibiting here, particularly with the more casual visitor, has become incredibly limited and has made me question whether it is worthwhile. I have questioned this because it is also not cheap, particularly as an individual artist, at £250 to hire for a month, and not that easy a space to do something with, but I agreed to do it thinking the wide audience reach in a good municipal gallery like this would be worth the cost and effort compared to most of my other exhibitions, where the audience reach is much more limited because they are often in artist-run, off the beaten track venues, found only by those I have invited. I didn’t want this show to be just another one of those (I’ve just done one at Artrix) particularly at such a cost (although they did offer to knock £50 off). So, feeling messed about by the gallery, I decided I’m not going to do it.
I’m also pissed off as I’ve been working towards creating work just for this exhibition space under what has lately felt a great deal of pressure because of the lack of time I have. Indeed, I started the other two large canvasses I was hoping to exhibit at the show just last week on a bit of a hop and a catch.
A friend, Marian, reminded me last week that it was Degas who said we just make work for ourselves and a few friends. That seems to be the perpetual state I find myself in.