As I stapled the last of the photos to the walls of The Hut at 1 o’clock in the morning, a few hours after the Wigtown Book Festival had officially closed, I realised no one was going to see all the images on the walls for another 8 months.
Normally you finish putting up an exhibition, and then people view it, but because this was an ongoing installation, visitors only saw it in progress.
The room I was given as a studio space in The Hut, while I was Artist-in-Residence, will now return to use as a place to catalogue the books destined for the shelves of ReadingLasses café and bookshop, until the first weekend in June 2012. It will then be opened up again to the public for the extended bank holiday weekend as part of the Spring Fling Open Studio Event.
It’s difficult to believe it was only 10 days. Thinking back to at time before the festival, it feels more like a couple of months have passed rather than less than 2 weeks.
There have been disappointments and delights, new friends made, opinions revised, lessons learned, skills enhanced, and seeds for potential futures have been sown.
I started off with naïve enthusiasm, fell into despair, adjusted my expectations and grew in confidence.
There’s a saying I love, which goes, “experience is something you gain immediately after you needed it the most”, and the experience of being artist-in-residence has felt a lot like that. At the beginning I didn’t really know what to expect or what was expected of me. I made my best guesses, but it’s only when things go wrong, and you have to revise your ideas and expectations that you really learn.
As the Festival drew to a close, I knew how I should have handled it from the start. I could see clearly when I should have acted differently, when I should have been bolder, and when I should have been more subtle.
So now it’s about finding a way to allow all the experiences and lessons to settle in and let them become part of the fabric of who I am and who I will become.
And trying to catch up on some sleep…
To view the full set of 174 portraits taken over the 10 days of the Wigtown Book Festival, visit my Facebook or Flickr albums: