I had two diverse exhibitions to hang at yesterday, one of which was far more interesting than the other……. I think you’ll agree….
The first but by no means the lesserÂ was at Snibston Discovery Park where I am part of an art group where I amÂ exhibiting (well not me, as such, four of my paintings!) there from Saturday 31st March to Thursday 17th May. Its a good venue, lots of wide open space well lit space in the entrance hallway, lots of people through the door, and a positive and uplifting exhibition space. TheÂ paintings I took to hang were of animals, landscapes,Â and still life, which are fitting for thatÂ environment.
But I don’t just do pictures of animals and still life, actually I very rarely do still life at all, so perhaps they are the more valuable of my paintings, really. But, I digress….
No, the majority of my paintings are erotic. And I am always looking for exciting and appropriate new places to exhibit them.
And a few weeks ago, I found such a place. A swingers club (oh yes!) by the name of The Vanilla Alternative (I soooo love that name!) who were more than happy to discuss me putting some artwork on their walls since they weren’t currently happy with the artwork they had and were looking for some art that better represented what they are about, what they do, and the message they want to get across to their members. If you’ll excuse the pun. They run a business based on the erotic, as do I, so it made sense to have a chat, see their walls, and see what they are about. I went down there a few weeks ago, and over a hot cup of excellent tea we had a good chat, the owners telling me what sort of art they wanted, and more to the point what they specifically didn’t want.Â I took along a lap top to show the sort of erotic art I do, and although some of my work wasn’t what they were looking for, the majority of it was. I made copious notes, looked at their wallspace, taking in the age of the building (old) but with a modern feel to it, an opulent setting, and the theme colours of gold and purple. The most important thing to do is to listen to the client at this point, to hear what they want, which is probably why the meeting went on for another hour, and one more, then a couple on top of that. Because its by listening that you get it right. Plus, they made us more than welcome, and were incredibly easy to chat with. Plus they make the most excellent tea!
I came away with some old frames that they suggested I could use, but the first thing was to clean them up of their attending cobwebs and dead spiders, throw out the discoloured old artwork in them, order new mounts, decide which of my pictures were going in them, and use my alchemy skills to turn the old dark wooden frames into bright shiny gold ones, with the aid of an awful lot of gold enamel spray, and was astonished by how good they looked after I’d done – as good as new, and twice as shiny! Yay!
And this is why I was so weary last week when I had to screw (and yes I suppose that’s another pun for a swingers club) the mirror plates and put the hanging fixings on all the sixteen pictures, it was tough work and my poor hands felt sore and tender for a couple of days afterwards. But, mirror plates although they are the bane of my life are totallyÂ needed to exhibit artworkÂ safely for the sake of the art.
Of the sixteen frames I had to work with, some of the artwork was going to be prints, some original artwork I’d already got, and the rest would be new art. I’ve already shown you some of the new paintings I’ve done – the first was the sexy painting of three heads in carnival masks “Masked passions”, the second was of two women in sexy lingerie kissing and caressing each other so intentlyÂ – the aptly named “Sweet anticipation”. But there have been two more paintings since then – the brightly coloured acrylic “Dancing diva” depicting a naked woman in bright colours against a black background, her arms and feet creating a flow of bright colourful vibrant energy from her body. The other one is also in acrylics is of the back view of a woman in a corset, but mostly of herÂ sexy legs wearing stockings and suspenders, a pair of black panties, high heels, and a black feather boa swishing about her as he tantalisingly steps away from the viewer, and is called “Sassy!” since that is what she is evoking from those shapely legs and confident walk. Â
So, I left them with the owners to decide where they are going to hang them, and think that it is a most excellent open ended exhibition space for my erotic art. But I also know that my erotic artwork will also ably enhance their building, club and walls as well. Art is a partnership with the space its occupying, and should add to the beauty of that space. I know I’ve done a good job for them, its taken me a number of weeks to pull it all together, and its a good advert for me, that is if any of the visitors there actually look at the artwork on the walls, I suppose it depends how busy they get! 🙂 but seriously, there are some lovely elegantÂ bar areas there, for relaxingÂ and chatting, dancing, and drinking in…. when the visitors come up for air.
I came away with a good feel (yes, alright, we’ll call that a pun too!) about the place, and know that those walls are right for my art, and the art is right for those walls. A partnership made in non vanilla.
And just to add to the day being an involved one, I had a verrrrry interesting phone call whilst I was there, which I will tell you about next time. Suffice to say at the moment that I’ve never ever had a conversation like it, and I have anÂ awfulÂ lot of strange conversations in my line of work!