For those of you that aren’t aware, or don’t have any connections to the UK, next month is the annual Brighton Festival and as part of this huge month-long series of events is Artist Open Houses This year over 1,500 artists and makers will exhibit their work in artists’ homes and studios, and guess what, my home is one of them!
I’m so excited to be involved in this amazing event, which I have loved ever since moving to Brighton. Each year when visiting open houses I have always thought how amazing it would be to invite artists to exhibit at my flat, and last year I just thought, what’s stopping you?
Some of you will know I studied art and design at college, which now seems like a lifetime ago, and although my career took a different direction, my love of art, hasn’t been lost, but my confidence in my own ability unfortunately has. I recently spoke at my co-working space on the subject of ‘reconnecting with your talents and passions’, specifically the love I had for art as a child. I know that somethings that you can look back on can be through rose-tinted glasses, however, my memory of sitting at the kitchen table drawing and making things out of any odd and sods is a very fond and honest memory of my childhood. For those of you in the UK, and of an age to remember Blue Peter and Heart Beat, well, they were some of my favourite shows as a child and as my mum never liked to throw things away I had all the tools to be as creative as I wanted!
In one chapter of the book, ‘Singing in the Rain’ that I’m reading at the moment, Rachel Kelly talks about ‘Playing like a Child’, which references how as adults, we often lose the sense of being able to connect with moments as children do. This is thought to be because of the tendency to over analyse rather than just enjoy! If I think back through the years since I enjoyed art so much as a child and the initial acknowledgement from others that I had talent, to where I am today with very little confidence in my ability, I realize many factors have led me to this point. Firstly, a talented child is usually only compared to the small selection of people around them (through schooling years, this is often with children of the same age), then gradually as I moved onto art college I just became one of many that had a talent and after 3 years at university I lost my direction and faith in my ability completely (partly due to critical tutors and perhaps realising design wasn’t where my talents lie). But as Rachel mentions, as adults, we are often focused on results and although reaching our goals does make us happy, this is only often temporarily. Apparently, this phenomenon is called Hedonic treadmill and is used to describe how we continuously raise the bar for what we need to feel content. By total contrast, when we were kids we did things just because they were fun, rather than anything they might lead to, and that’s the point that hits home for me. I realise I need to find the fun aspects of art that I used to love!
You may wonder what this has to do with being involved with Artist Open Houses, especially as I am not exhibiting any of my past work. The simple answer is I’m hoping that it will help me reconnect with a passion and give me the inspiration to do something I used to love.
Brighton is full of hugely talented people, seven of them will be exhibiting at the open house ‘Life Love and Art’ why not come and visit, or if you’re too far away check out their websites of these wonderful artists/makers!