We are defined by our firsts. Some we anticipate: my first job; some we dread: first death in the family. Some happen very early: my first kiss, with a French boy! at the age of ten; some take a while: my first art award many, many years later. Whatever they are and whenever they happen we arrive on the other side of them forever and fundamentally changed.
My first solo art show in a gallery took over a year in the making and many before that in the dreaming. The preparations took on a fever pitch in the final weeks and it was with very mixed emotions that I dropped my babies off at the gallery two days prior to the opening night. But the work was done, all that I could get done, for nothing is ever as completely ready as you would like it to be, and all that remained was for the art to finally be seen.
Opening night turned out to be a brilliant evening spent in the company of friends, family and a few new fans, all of whom had gathered to celebrate with me. To say I was overwhelmed by the turnout and congratulations would be an understatement! The evening passed all too quickly in a blur of happiness and excitement. Fortunately, I had some awesome friends who recorded the event with their cameras! Images from the evening can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42284018@N06/sets/72157623200117436/
As special and exciting as the opening was, however, it has been the intensity of the response to my work since the show’s opening, often from unexpected persons, that has given me the greatest joy and satisfaction. To be told my art was ‘poignant and beautiful’, ‘moving and incredibly fine art pieces with depth of meaning’, ‘brilliant’, ‘honest and soothing’, ‘courageous’, ‘stunning like a winter solace’, just blew me away. All artists hope that their work will resonate with people. To see it doing so on such a deep and personal level has been tremendously gratifying and encouraging, and it is a large part of what keeps me inspired to continue with it. Art for me has always been a form of communion with others, a way of both revealing my inner truths and reflecting what I perceive of this world. The challenge and excitement for me is to take it beyond a one way form of communication, and with these works, I think I have succeeded in doing that to a certain extent.
On the practical side of things this show has been an exercise in self promotion, for there can be no communication unless the work is seen by others. This blog has been a primary way of “getting the word out” and facilitating that two way communication that is so important to me and my work. So if you are reading this and are in the vicinity of the Martin Batchelor Gallery in Victoria, I invite you to see the show before it closes on February 4th and let me know your impressions of the work. I’ve also posted a gallery of selected artworks from the show on my website here: http://chiarina.com/gallery/in_her_eyes_artshow/
And so, two weeks after the opening, I find myself on the other side of my first solo art show. It is an achievement that fills me with new confidence and an experience that pushes me forward with new clarity and humility along my career and life paths. I know it has made me a better artist and, in the process, I hope a better person.
I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all who have made it out to the show and to all who have and continue to support my work. I would not be here without you.