Thanks to the Blueprint100 members fund, I was able to pay for the printing costs of my photographs for an exhibition during the months of December and January. I was incredibly grateful to the team at Blueprint for awarding me the funding, as having my work displayed in an exhibition was a really big step in my career and a great learning experience. When I graduated from my Photography degree in 2011, my class had a small exhibition to display our end of year project – that was the last and only time I had ever had my work on display or had been through the process of organising work for an exhibition.
In the last few months, a lot of my work has focused on portraiture, and portraiture in specific places. I am very drawn to areas of decay and vast open spaces, so when Emily from Blueprint100 asked if I wanted to be part of an exhibition on the subject of place and identity, I knew that it was a theme fitting to what my practice had been focused on in the last few months. My model and I spent an afternoon at Castle Milk Bank in October. Although the building is in a true state of decay, I think this just adds to the beauty of it. I wanted my images to tell a story of the relationship and the connection a person can have with a place, and how particular spaces and places can shape us.
Once I had chosen my images and experimented with the layout of how I wanted them displayed and at what size, and I made numerous printing enquiries. Another local photographer had recommended Loxleys to me, and they were a fantastic company to work with. They were quick to answer any queries and offered great advice regarding the type of prints I was looking for. I ordered three 10×8 images and one A3 image, all mounted on foam ex board. The total cost was £80, which, although may seem costly for four prints, is certainly worth the cost if your work is to be exhibited.
The exhibition was amazing and it was an incredible feeling to see my work on display, especially alongside other fantastic artists from the region. This has now prompted me to organise my first solo exhibition, which will hopefully occur sometime during the summer.
Written by Kirstin McEwan.