First Exhibition

gallery_(2_of_6)Deciding to show some photographs to the general public is nerve wracking. Let me explain.

The WI are fund raising for a the Isobel Hospice and advertised an exhibition for paintings and photographs in Sawbridgeworth. It was pointed out by a cousin on facebook so I foolishly decided to do something new. I don’t often print pictures and I’d only ever once put a photo in a frame for somebody. Showing photos in public was unthinkable.  I made promises to random people that I’d enter some pictures so that I wouldn’t succumb to a crisis of confidence and carry out enough avoidance activity to justify running out of time. The failure of confidence was easily predictable but because the intention was out in the open I felt committed. Anyway, today was the day and I delivered 6 framed pictures to the hall at 4.45 , watched them being labelled by the organisers and left with my receipt. What ever have I done?

The first difficulty was deciding on pictures? Why did I think that anyone else would be interested? The choice was influenced by the need to print to standard sizes and buy commercial frames. I only have the option currently of printing to A4 (although I hope to change that later in the summer) so elected to put A4 size photos matted in 16 x 12 inch frame. So the first cut of pictures was decided. I chose 10 and whittled it down to 6. Was that too many? I have no idea what people normally do. Sending 6 pictures sounded vain but the application form suggested that if there wasn’t enough space in the 12 line grid people could use the back of the form – this meant only 6 was ok. A pricing decision had to be made early, the amount people might be prepared to pay was going to have an influence on the quality of frames etc I had to buy.

So, pictures have been selected and printed, what about the next steps?  I found a nice place selling discount frames and didn’t notice that they were really provided in packs of 4 so I’ve now got lots of spares. I got the Mattes cut professionally too.  Then, do I need an extra backing board, what about positioning the pictures safely, did I need to tape the back of the frame, what kind of wire would be best, how do you attach it? YouTube and the local stationery shop proved wonderfully helpful but framing, taping and wiring etc the pictures proved incredibly stressful. It all added to the evil “why would anyone give these a second look” imp that kept coming back to worry me. They were finally finished and ready to hang by 10.30 on Thursday night. Actually, I hadn’t thought it would be such hard work but I think stress accounted for most of it.

The fear isn’t over. What if none of them sell – I’m not sure why anybody would pay proper money for my pictures. The exhibition is only on tomorrow and the day after. It is going to be so humiliating going back to pick them all up. Anybody want a cheap free print?

These (without the signature) are the pictures. Results to come Sunday night.

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