Leaving the most recent session of artist’s talks which wrapped up the ImPerfectum show at The Cello Factory, I reflected on how nourished my brain felt. It felt wonderful.
The tradition of Artist’s talks during shows presented by The London Group is a fantastic practice which really brings us all together. Exhibitors, artists, appreciators and the curious all get the opportunity to share, learn about and question each other’s practice.
As a practicing artist, this really does nourish my work. Listening to contemporaries openly discuss the joys, agonies and plain hard slog which can go into making specific works, and bodies of work gives me hope and encouragement.
As an exhibitor I find that talking about my work is really helpful in helping me focus on what it, and I, want to actually say. Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind, and working out how to talk about an object which I made precisely because I couldn’t find the words for those thoughts, is surprisingly stimulating.
As a curious observer, I find the questions asked by others around me sometimes echo my own and save me having to ask, or set off a personal response which might change the way I see the work, or make me realise I was making an assumption. This angle also gives me a real sense of staying rooted in reality: It makes me question why I make a piece; am I making it to talk to myself, to other artists, or to folk with all sorts of different visual languages and ways of experiencing the world? Do any of these angles affect, alter or encourage my process?
I once saw a brilliant critic, whose name I must look back over my notes to find, declare that as artists, we have the obligation to offer others an irresistible opportunity to see the world other than it is. I really love that, and it is often at the forefront of my mind.
It is opportunities for discussion and reflection like this which make me treasure The London Group, and I look forward to the next session of artist’s talks!
Cadi Froehlich LG, 2020