Friday, 22 July 2011

Visual Jazz: Communication

As I write this, I must admit to being a little nervous about how the opening will go; part of me dreads being there for fear of not being understood. There will be speeches made by the high-ups of the Boston artworld, and people will want to talk to me about my work and I wont know what to say. My fear is that I will shrivel and mumble and talk gibberish.

Then I tell myself perhaps it wont be that bad; I was anxious before the Harvard day and my fears melted away when I met the people there who said they were honoured to meet me, and that they had admired my work for years.  So maybe it will be OK today, but I am still worried. If Lucy were to telephone and say I am not needed (actually I was told that by one gallery many years ago, that artists just get in the way at openings and invite all their friends, which is partly true I think), I would say “thank you” and go for a walk. But that would be cowardly.

I do this as a way of communicating. I cant sing, I am not much good as a dancer, I have tried to play the piano but struggle, but I can play and improvise and place clay and colour in an original way.  And as it is a way of communicating, then surely I must want to continue the dialogue with those who understand?  “But what if they don’t?” comes the fearful voice.

I will have to trust – just as I trust when I do the work in the first place – that whatever happens will be OK. If I am attached to wanting some sort of particular outcome, then I am just making it hard for myself.  So maybe I can enjoy the opening by not being attached to having to be understood or admired. Yes, I think I can do that, as an observer of the human condition. And I do like my own work myself – I am very pleased indeed with it, so it will be fun to go and see it again and to share a glass of wine with some new friends.

Sandy Brown is an internationally renowned ceramicist who lives and works in North Devon. She is the Art Advisor at Resurgence magazine.
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Visual Jazz exhibition takes place at Lacoste Gallery from 16 July to 3 August 2011

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