Thursday, March 19, 2015

On Losing Your Head - A Cautionary Tale of One of My First Submissions

The mission of The Visual Art Exchange (VAE) in Raleigh is "To foster the advancement of and provide opportunities for all visual artists, particularly emerging, and to increase community awareness, appreciation, and support of North Carolina artists."  I love the VAE.  As a newly professional artist, they provided me with an accessible venue to test the waters with my creations.

I was absolutely thrilled when they accepted my very first submission for a Mixed Media event there, and over-the-moon when an image of "The Guardian" graced the promotional email that I received for the show. 

I visited the VAE on the opening night of the show, and I still remember my excitement at seeing my piece on display.  A month later, a bit disappointed that it hadn't sold, I returned to retrieve my creation.

Imagine my surprise, when halfway home on US Highway 1, I heard a thud from the backseat.  I glanced in the rearview mirror, and quickly realized that my masterpiece had lost his head.  Literally! Apparently the generous quantity of E-6000 that I'd used to attach it had reached it's limit.  After my laughter subsided, and I phoned a friend or two with the news, an overwhelming sense of gratitude overcame me.

Gratitude for the experience.  Gratitude that the head only rolled onto the floorboard of my own car and not onto the floor at The VAE, or worse yet onto the floor at a collector's home!

Lesson learned.  I stayed away from E-6000 for years as a result, and I learned a variety of other cold connection techniques that would ensure a more secure future for the work of my hands.

My approach to chemical adhesives has softened a bit through the years.  I use it judiciously now.  Often it remains unseen, as it serves its function as a temporary bond while an alternative and more secure connection is made.

The moral of my story, "It's OK to lose your head, as long as you learn from the experience."
At the time, of this piece I wrote, "The Guardian makes use of many of my favorites. A doll's head that I'm sure was loved by a little girl...or two...or three. A lampshade halo and kitchen-gadget wings. Tins and buttons, spools and game pieces, keys and scrap-metal, springs and a garter hook; and words...lots of words. These and more combine to bring this piece to life. It's my way of honoring the past while
encouraging hope for the future.

As for its purpose? It's to protect and guide. It's to keep dreams alive in the face of adversity. It's sole purpose is to brighten the heart and feed the spirit. It's something that we could all use in our world today."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean! Great message and reminder that perspective is everything!