"I hate being filmed." It's a phrase I've heard often and I've always tried to be sympathetic to it, especially given its a sentiment I thoroughly agree with. But last week it was my turn to wrestle with this thought as I took a disconcerting step out of my comfort zone when Josh Pratt of Wonder Associates, visited Artizan Gallery to interview me about the Artizan Summer Open Exhibition and the work we do on Lucius Street to support Torbay creatives and visual arts.
Those in the know will be aware that we produce all of our exhibition photography and event videography in house, and the person behind the majority of that content is me. You would perhaps therefore guess correctly that I am far more comfortable stood behind a camera than sat in front of one! As such, I cannot definitively say that it was without trepidation that I awaited Josh as the hour of our interview approached.
Time constraints had meant that we ultimately filmed in two separate locations across two days; with both spaces to be manned a window where I could spend the required time in the Summer Open venue on Fleet Walk was not forthcoming, so eventually we settled on filming the majority of the interview up at Artizan Gallery with Douglas Bardrick's recently hung "Aspects of Abstraction" as backdrop.
Josh arrived punctually, dashing my hopes that maybe he'd forgotten, and I'd avoid the whole experience, and began unpacking kit. This first day also coincided with what was perhaps the peak of the heatwave we've been having, a fact which did nothing to help my already parched mouth. We chatted as he setup, I gave him some background on the gallery to inform the interview, and we shared our experiences of working in amongst the landscape of Torbay's cultural offer, both expressing similar enthusiasm and frustration at "the way things are round here".
Ready to go, I sat down, (on what I still maintain was the wrong side of the camera) and was immediately overcome with the urge to break every rule I tell people when I'm interviewing them; my eyes dragging themselves to stare down the lens, a sudden inability to rephrase questions at the start of my answers, the overwhelming urge to "um" and "erm".
But the urges were repressed and the whole thing was over before I knew it with very little trauma involved. I went about my day telling myself that I didn't even have to watch it back and hear myself talk, knowing that in reality this was never going to be an option.
And then yesterday it landed on the internet and helpfully also in my inbox, on my twitter feed and in my pages notifications… It was clear there was going to be no avoiding it. So, I sat down with a coffee for what I anticipated would be an uncomfortable two and a quarter minutes of self-conscious viewing.
The reality once again was nothing so traumatic, and in fact, I hope I've done an alright job of explaining what it is we do at Artizan. I shan't be watching it again too many times though!
The sad news is, that the release of this interview marks the final stages of the Summer Open. We have just 7 days left to enjoy in our wonderful Fleet Walk venue, to show off our 100 participating artists and to shout about the 200+ pieces of gorgeous work. We're marking the final week with 10% off online purchases with the discount code SUMMER2018 so make sure to take advantage of that over the next few days.
We wish we could stay longer, despite the fact its meant over a month of 7 day weeks and far too many hours, this has been our favourite project to date since we started here at Artizan. We're coming away with more knowledge than ever before, from an event that we hope you'll all agree can only be considered a success for Torbay arts.
We know this won't be last project like it for us, and we hope that all of our participating artists will join is in the future. We're already thinking about what comes next and we've still got some huge shows to look forward to in our Summer Season including Creative Coverage at the end of August, Devon Open Studios 2018, and our September exhibition "Distractions".
Our next calls will be for our October, "We Are Building a New World" show curated by Becky Nuttall, followed by our Winter Open in December which will have further details of soon. In between, we hope to also have a couple more sneaky interventions on the cards before the end of 2018 and perhaps even a big announcement about the main space on the cards...
Until then though, thanks to everyone who has supported the Artizan Summer Open 2018 from partners to visitors to artists. We'll see you on the other side!