Last month one (three) of my paintings made a semi permanent home in The Portland Terrace Underpass in a bid to drum up some hype for my solo exhibition show the following week and to find out just what the general public really make of my art when it’s just presented to them.
I was astounded to find out how many people really don’t care, or so it seemed. Now it could be the simple fact that they are busy and on their way somewhere or only have half an hour for lunch, or it could just be they don’t like my work. Either way, within the constant flow of people upon approach more of them seemed preoccupied with working out just what the hell i think im doing stood here, what am I selling? What are my motives? Upon realisation that it was just art they became incredibly self aware, awkward and tried their utmost to avoid making eye contact. I could feel their eyeballs clawing in their sockets to sneak in one more look, what is this guy doing.. . . . .? What is he selling. . …. . . . . . ?
Here was what I like to think of as a positive change to the otherwise hideously grey mundane scenery; the wood for my paintings had come from the street and here they were back in it but with more colour. Instead I had become a billboard that no one cares about, I had become a billboard that people were too scared to look at. Why? because i was stood there, a real person. A real person seems to be a threat in society today and is it any surprise people feel that way? Just look around, I shan’t go in to the causes because deep down we all know what they are. The point I guess I’m trying to make is that more people should approach their fears and confront them rather than looking the other way and hoping it’ll disappear. More people should also get out there and do the things they love regardless of what others may think, it will make your life and the lives of those around you a million times better. I was again surprised when organising this that i was the first person in the whole of Southampton to ever attempt showing artwork in a subway for free; it’s no wonder people were cautious of me and my work, things like this obviously dont happen very often…nobody seems to try.
Now rant aside that’s not to say that I got no feedback at all because for every 50-100 people that walked past a couple would approach me and talk through my work and what it was I was doing. From where I was stood it made them smile, maybe even made their day if I were that way inclined. So, as far as I am concerned it was a success and the things I took away from it was that I’ve got to do more, I can do more and I will do more…and to everyone else, whatever it is you do, you can do more, do more of it and make it your everything. . . … . . . … . . . .. . ..