Friday, October 30, 2009

Review, Edit and Narrow the Focus

For the next few months after my meeting with Martha Cole I worked in isolation in the studio. Using the imagery I collected, I began to create pieces informed by their presence. I played with shape and form, but always with the subtext of light. Some works were built specifically for the addition of an incorporated light source. Some just provided nooks and crannies for light to bounce off of. There were successes and, shall we say, opportunities for discovering what didn't work.

About eight weeks out from the set-up date, Martha made a trip to my studio to work with me through the next step of preparing for an exhibition. Reviewing the work, editing and narrowing the focus. At this stage it becomes very important to look at what has been completed to date and to be very critical of what is working, and what is not, both in terms of the individual pieces and how they work together. We examined all of the sculptures individually and collectively. We decided that I had a good basis for a show in two separate bodies, the wall jewel series and the architectural forms and edited out anything that did not fit in that genre. We talked about some of the works that needed further attention and possible resolutions. We determined how many additional pieces I would need to fill out the display and what to concentrate on.

The next weeks were hectic, frantically working to create the balance of the pieces and to finish/rework the existing sculptures. By the set-up date, I was satisfied with what I had accomplished and awaited the judgment of the powers that be.

I learned some very important lessons through this process. Lesson one: a finished piece, while excellent in itself, may not be excellent for this particular exhibition. But it will be perfect for another show. The sculpture is not lost and it may, in fact, be the bridge to another body of work. Lesson two: bringing a critical eye to what you create is an opportunity to acknowledge what can be made better and results in superior work. Lesson three: review, edit and narrow the focus. Enough cannot be said about that!

I appreciate the lessons that I learned. It will make me a better artist.

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