Audience Feedback - Maps, Paintings and Objects
Bucks Open Studios seemed the ideal opportunity to display my mapping pieces. As visitors were coming to see a working studio, this seemed an opportune time to reveal more about my process and thinking.
I was quite surprised at the positive response I received about this work. As it is very different to my current painting practice I considered that the audience might not consider it as a piece of work, however they not only drew links between the two but also appreciated the honesty of the maps. I explained the making process to them and then invited them to make comments and ask questions. Some of the feedback included...
· We love these pieces – the intricacy and bright colours
· Interesting use of local maps – could I have used different maps as the pieces moved further away from my studio, both physically and conceptually?
· Impressive amount of work
· Interested in the audience section – some were not particularly aware of the role they played as an audience and how I anticipated their response
· They thought that I was brave to expose the process and felt that it was a good forum to share my ideas
· The pieces had rhythm and flow, linking well
· The fashioning and shaping of the text added to the flow
· They felt that they could spend ages looking at them as there was so much to take in
· They liked the combination of surfaces, imagery and text
· Discussed the idea of incidental and deliberate audience
· Observed contours in the work which created an artificial, landscape relief, linking back to the idea of mapping the territory.
There was another aspect to this dialogue in that when I made the maps I had anticipated what the audience response would be and how they would encounter my work. I recorded what visitors wrote and said in response to the paintings and objects in my studio, which may act as a post script to my project.
· Very unusual collection of amazing objects and paintings
· Fascinating and engaging
· Beautiful work in a lovely space
· Very lively works
· Beautiful bright, fresh work
· Very light, arresting and uplifting
· You are in all the images, having met you I can tell they are yours - your eyes are everywhere
· Attractive, wistful
· The eyes say something
· Powerful, in particular the painting with the girl with bows
· Impressed by the scale
· Soft, it just happens, you can see the working
· Soft, but sharp like a needle
· Very effective thin layers and surface created through dribbles
· Multiple people commented on the likeness of some of the images to me
· Earlier works seem more decorative, pairs seem more meaningful
· Interested in the idea of working on multiple surfaces and on the wall rather than flat
· Many read the material as watercolour, not oil because of its fluidity
· Some visitors felt the work was playful
· Very attracted to the child/childlike images
· Owl and head sculptures very popular, often read as plaster or porcelain and were surprised to discover that these pieces are very light
· Many loved the altered book and were keen to look through it
· They recognised that I was exploring narrative in some way
The most valuable element I found was that I could engage every visitor to my studio in dialogue about different pieces of work. These conversations have created a platform for development for me and have addressed my current problem of the work only existing in my studio. There seemed to be a greater appreciation of the work when understanding something about the process and methods of selection.