Monday, November 10, 2008

Exhibition at Kirstenbosch

I am participating in a group exhibition at a gallery in our National Botanical Gardens. The thatched exhibition hall is well lit and can fit about 220 paintings.
This photo is a view of the gallery with the back of Table Mountain behind.
We spent the whole of Friday hanging the paintings, each artist gets a space where he/she hangs their own paintings and then we hang a mixture of everyone’s work in the front veranda of the hall. There is always a wonderful buzz and a sense of expectation on the hanging day. The artists all come out of the woodwork and we have quite a social day together.

At midday on Saturday, we held an Opening party, with a good deal of food and drink. My family and friends are great supporters of mine and always enjoy the day. My anxiety levels were sky-high before the Opening, when will I ever get used to this? I think it relates to my putting up new experimental work. I have moved away from painting what might sell, I now try to paint just for myself. When you hang paintings up for a public viewing, you can’t help but wonder what people are going to think, you are bareing your very soul. My poor elderly parents look quite bemused at what I am producing, they think I have a screw loose! My work looked very different from all the other paintings; I am used to blending in and being one of the crowd. They kind of stand out; this is incredibly scary, a bit like running around in your underwear in public!

Me with my 80-year-old Dad at the opening!


Kim said...

Oh Dianne, I am laughing so hard. I know just what you mean though about feeling nervous about how it might be received and when you are not painting "blend-in/sure sales" work, it makes it even more scary.

But I am sure you will give people lots to consider, maybe gain new followers and hopefully you will find some serious buyers!

I will be eager to hear how it all turns out and about the responses you are receiving. It looks like a great venue and a wonderful time.

Congratulations and Very Good Luck!

Dianne McNaughton said...

Thanks Kim, your support is really appreciated! Will let you know how it goes.


What a beautiful location,,,and Gallery!

Easy to be the Nervous Nellie on opening day,,,,as you said, so much of yourself is hung on those walls.
All the very best to you in this event, Dianne!
(giggling about the public underwear comment)

soulbrush said...

oh kirstenbosch, how i adore it. we lived in rondebosch so i know it well...sigh...memories and homesickness sweep over me....sigh....

Dianne McNaughton said...

Hi Babs, the exhibition went fairly well, despite the economic crunch. We had a huge three-day storm in the middle of our time there, so few people were visiting the gardens at that time. Most artists managed to sell something, though. I also sold a plein-air watercolour so was happy with the outcome.

Dianne McNaughton said...

Hi Soulbrush, I also lived in Rondebosch during my teenage years. What school did you go to? Sorry to make you home-sick!

Carol said...

Wish I had known about this exhibition Di - would have loved to see it. Who exhibited?

Dianne McNaughton said...

Hi Carol, I belong to a group called Original Cape Art. We hold exhibitions twice yearly at Kirstenbosch. Local artists are invited to exhibit, we go for a complete mixture of styles, creating a very varied and interesting exhibition. Our next will be in March, will let you know.

mrs. tioli said...

Aloha, Dianne,

I just have to add my giggle to the underwear comment. You pegged the feeling exactly.

Once I got over the shock of feeling so exposed, I realized that showing my non-mainstream work is actually like telling someone that I'm naked under my clothes. It's always been the case, we just don't think about admitting it... in public.

There's some magic in the vulnerability, but I don't have words for it yet.

Your healing painting that you revisited is very powerful. What a great metaphor to use the mirror shards for friends' faces.

Congrats on the sales... especially with times as they are.

- Charlie

Carol said...

Thanks Di

Dianne McNaughton said...

Hi Charlie,
I love your analogy of being naked under your clothes while showing that kind of work, is that vulnerability always going to be there? Two of my friends have recently had solo exhibitions, I can't imagine how that must feel!
The friends in the shards of mirror are my husband and two children - I am not a portrait painter, but I loved painting their images.