Last weekend was the fabulous Kirkstall Art Trail. I didin’t manage to make it round the trail but I heard good things. Thank you to all the wonderful visitors who came to support us, the KAT team (Harriet, Jim and Mandy) and our hosts at Starbucks. Here’s a little round up of the weekend Mel Dewey and I spent at venue 25.
^ Mel and Jeanne-Louise on set-up night
Mel is an artist and photographer. Our work is very different in media, subject and style so our displays were well-paired in the space. We both have interests in education and inclusion, so we had loads to talk about while setting up. Great fun making new artist friends. Something I’m really enjoying about Yorkshire life.
^ Mel unwrapping some of her fantastic urban and fairground light images.
Art markets are really good for the soul. As artists, we spend a lot of time generating social media content to share our work. Bet, you can imagine what a vacuum that can often feel like, given the algorithms. So it’s incredibly rewarding to be somewhere where you can see people’s responses to your work. It’s magical when you know a creation has caught someone’s eye. Regardless of whether people buy it not, the time they spend engaging with your work or the way their expression changes when they respond to a piece, truly fills your soul.
It’s also fantastic to have conversations with people about art and life. Whether people share their views on your work, or the memories and associations your work evokes for them, art is a great conversation starter. Mel and I met some fabulously interesting people over the weekend and I really enjoyed all the conversations: long ones, short ones and passing remarks. And what an honour to have someone who came back on the second day to show one of their friends my work.
Trail visitors said truly heart-warming things about my seascapes. An early visitor on Saturday when we were setting up said she was enjoying sitting in a chair, sipping coffee and admiring the view of the sea. Someone else said that the seascapes made them want to run in for a dip, Another person had just been to Wales for a holiday and said it made them feel as if they were “there again”. I’m delighted that people connected with my work.
Visitors also commented on the clouds and textures. Someone joked on Sunday that the Chevin view painting (on the windowsill in the above photo) was just “like yesterday’s sky”. I’m proud of my clouds because they used to be something I found really hard to paint. Art is a journey and it’s special to have something that you are confident about when once upon a time it was the thing you avoided because you found it impossibly challenging.
Of course, lots of people tell me if they used to dance when they view my ballet creations. Coincidentally, the venue we were in used to be a jazz club. One visitor told us how she used to come there for a night of dancing when she was younger.
I was also chuffed that someone told me that they could see that I was happy when I created the bee cards, because that joy came across in these creations. I sold loads of bees but not all of them, so will be adding some to the website soon. Sign up for my newsletter (link in the footer) to find out when these are live.
We had a steady stream of visitors across the two days, especially on Sunday (typically a busier day for art events). We soon figured that there were 5 kinds of people who popped upstairs:
1. People looking for the loo – the ones who mostly look apologetic
2. People looking for comfy chairs – the ones who look determined
3. People who’ve just found out about the art trail – the ones who look curious and pleasantly surprised
4. People doing the art trail – easy to spot, yellow trail maps in hand
5. People doing the art trail who kept going despite getting drenched in Yorkshire downpours – also easy to spot.
Thank you to everyone who came to support us! I can’t wait for the next event.