Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Curatorial Direction

This year, I put together my first major exhibition in a long time. It was at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery (SCC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the leading gallery for exhibiting craft based shows. This presentation was an opportunity to display the change of direction in my work and to converse about my fascination with light, sculpture and the viewer.

The SCC felt, and probably rightly so, that I needed curatorial direction in developing the work for the exhibition. They provided me with the opportunity to give them names of other craftspeople whom I respect and admire, and with whom I would like to work. My first reaction was to review the list of various ceramic artists but on careful consideration of all of the many craft based artists that I have met, one person came to mind, Martha Cole. Any discussions I have ever had with Martha has always opened my mind to new possibilities and if I could have anyone to work with, it was she was who I wanted. The SCC approached her and thankfully, she agreed!

Early in the process, I met with Martha in Disley, Saskatchewan where she lives. I brought a finished piece of sculpture to show her where I was jumping off from. We had a very important discussion on craftspeople and exhibitions. While many of us produce excellent work, we do not often produce excellent exhibitions. We get caught up in technique and producing individual pieces. For an exhibition, there has to be some common theme, a relationship between the individual pieces that becomes a conversation with the viewer. What did I want to say to them?

I appreciate others recognizing my needs and helping me to fulfill them.


Puck said...

Dear Susan
I just discovered your blog! Excellent work. I really enjoyed you sharing your work practise and thought process. Your exhibition at the Saskatchewan Craft Council was an interesting departure from your other work. It is great that the Arts Board supported you in your exploration. There is nothing like writing a grant and planning for a show to focus a craftperson. Good luck with working with Lee. I anticipate only more growth and fine craft.
all the best, Puck

Susan Robertson said...

Thanks Puck. So glad to hear that you got to see the exhibition. I'm really excited about the mentorship and the potential that it represents. I was also excited to see that my mental drivel is not just floating in cyberspace. Some one actually is reading it.