02 February 2015

Disappointing, but not entirely wasted effort

Gone Shopping, 2015
A friend told me about a call for entry from Canada that sounded right up my street - art created on public transit. So, I created some art on public transit, making "travel lines" (aka travel-writing and journey lines) on tubes and buses and the Overground, like I've been doing for about five years now (intermittently). I experimented with different kinds of paper, pre-treated in different ways, and thought some more about What Does It All Mean. All good fun.

My images were ready before the deadline. I put them on a website, as requested in the submission rules (as sent to me by the friend) - and while re-reading those rules, suddenly noticed the link to a website with more information. Ah. Looking at the website, it was immediately apparent that  my work wasn't quite right, in fact it was totally off the wall ... they want faces of commuters, basically - art that will be interesting to other commuters when shown on screens on subway platforms.

I'm so glad I didn't look at the website earlier - or else I wouldn't have made the work. Now, something exists that surprises me and is a "development" - I'm interested in the  travel lines theme again. Perhaps it can go even further, who knows, in the next five years.

Plus, links on the website led to other artwork that's being made (and commissioned) to adorn public transit systems. http://vimeo.com/69673716 is a trailer for "Advice for the Living" - people over 70 and under 7 give us nuggets of wisdom: "Eat breakfast after ... bedtime" says one young sweetie.
The "The things we lose" project looks good too (http://vimeo.com/106426256?from=outro-local).

Here in the UK, we have occasional uprisings of multitudinous public art, usually on public transit - Many of the "art is everywhere" posters supplied by the Art Fund were in train stations around the country. London has Poetry on the Underground ... and every now and then a new Art on the Underground project ...

Obviously there's no chance, with this submission, of being given a second look, but I sent my link and statement along anyway. The aim of the exercise, its mark of completion, was to submit the work, and in order to do that, to make work. Tick that box.

Another insight was discovering, after the work was made, a great lump of reluctance to make the small further effort of checking the guidelines and doing the actual submitting. Usually I'm right up against the deadline, so there's simply no time to be reluctant - do it now or miss the boat. This time, with a week in hand, I kept putting it off - the "oh I'll do it tomorrow first thing" promise that keeps getting broken. Shocking behaviour in an adult, don't you think? What would your advice be?

No comments: