It turns out that 2021 is the year my work has been unleashed out of the Highlands! As of today I have an exhibition just opened at the Birch Tree Gallery in Edinburgh, work at two terrific London and Padstow galleries and an upcoming show in Perth.
I had been planning something like this for a while, but putting it off. Way back in 2019, I was in Edinburgh and headed to Dundas Street to look over some of the galleries there. I follow Birch Tree Gallery on instagram, and I was keen to have a look inside. I got chatting to Jurgita and, at her request, I left my details so she could have a look at my work. In early 2020, Jurgita called to ask if I would be interested in an exhibition, and a tentative date was set, followed swiftly by lock down. In late 2020, we set another date for a February 2021 exhibition, and yet again we were locked down. I never minded the delays - any artist with a looming exhibition will tell you that there is never enough time to prepare - and here we were with all the time in the world. It seemed ridiculous to do anything other than take full advantage. Over the 18 month gestation period for this exhibition I just worked like never before on making the best work possible, and without much distraction for a change, the work improved a lot. I know many artists who had experienced deadlines and demands before lock down found the sudden vacuum hard, but for me it turned out to be an incredibly productive period. In a way, it was a lesson in how important focus is in making progress as an artist. After an enormous gap, incubating the new work, I started to post images online, which has resulted on all the other galleries reaching out for work.
Finally, this Wednesday the Birch Tree Gallery exhibition launched, and I can hardly believe its actually happened. I haven't taken a single day off making work in months, and so the image of the gallery window with my work in it was actually quite emotional. I am still in full production mode in the meantime because the next date on the calendar is "Potfest Scotland" at Scone Palace in Perth - starting 11 June. I haven't done one of these before, so I am embarking on another voyage of discovery. I have had to work out how to construct an attractive display, redo the website and make more pots than I will ever need, just in case. I am slightly nervous about how the work will be received, but also looking forward to meeting a lot of die hard ceramics fans. I am also creating a submission for the "Time and Reflection" competition which the Potfest organisers are running - which is adding pressure! Its not ready yet.... and there is under three weeks' to go. On Monday the sailing season kicks off with three sailing days in a row. After that I am seriously hoping that the sailing customers stay away until Potfest is done!