I took some time out from painting on the weekend and went to Ballarat with my partner and his two boys. A dear friend of mine had invited me to her partner's, (Ted May), exhibition at Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
It has been a while since I have been to any sort of art event or exhibition opening. I think the last opening I went to was my own in April last year. A lot has changed since my days as gallery manager at Metro 5 Gallery, where it was a job requirement to schmooze at such events inside and outside of the gallery. I did get caught up in it all for a little while but I must say I prefer things a little more low key now.
There were a number of faces I recognised from those days whilst enjoying Ted's work on Saturday, and a number of them recognised me. One comment I loved was made by someone who did not recognise me at first glance and when his partner pointed me out he made a remark that suggested one of the reasons he did not recognise me was because I was not dressed as dashingly as I was when in that position. He did not quite know how to word it, possibly worried his words might be taken in offence, but I understood what he meant and I certainly did not see it as a criticism. In fact I felt more comfortable in my trusty cargo pants and plain black t-shirt than I would have in my white tuxedo.
This is not to say I don't like to get dressed up on occasion, but it is for different reasons now. When it comes to these sort of events, I am happy to dress down and blend in. I don't want to stand out. Art events are about the art on the walls, not a fashion show - and when it comes to my exhibition, I'd rather people notice my work than me or what I am wearing.
I have just questioned my subconscious - for perhaps this is the reason I am not wearing anything in my paintings. It's not about exhibitionism... it's more about a no frills type of rawness.
It makes sense to me anyway...