Monday, 31 October 2016

Remembering My First Art Show

Whilst sorting through some boxes I found something very cool; my solo exhibition comments book. A few years back, I had my own art show. I was invited by a gallery to host my work on their walls.

I created a concept, and got to producing many artworks. It was a brilliant, although daunting experience.

"Every Heartbeat" by Marc Godfrey
"Eve" by Marc Godfrey

Throughout the course of time my work was on show, I kept a comments book. It was really good fun to pop into the gallery and catch up on what people thought. The comments ranged from a few words to a sentence here and there...then there was Jenny. God bless, Jenny. She left an epic, six page essay for me. I love that she took the time to write so much, and I'm happy to have inspired so much opinion in her.

Here is her comment.
19th September – I’m writing this w/ my left hand since my right is currently occupied. Side note, I’m training myself to become ambidextrous…it’s coming along quite nicely – but you probably don’t believe me judging from the handwriting alone. So I didn’t read your entire description of the exhibit (short attention span…) but I just wanted to contribute this thought (I put down what I was holding…my L hand was makin’ me crazy…)
There are so many notions of what love is in this world, and I’ve only met one person who I actually understands what love actually really really is: Thank God he’s my boyfriend, right?..................
So many people think that love is giving or showing that you care or sharing or doing things for someone else. While you may do all of that BECAUSE you want to – that’s not love.
It’s letting everyone be themselves and letting you be yourself. People say ‘I love you’ as if it’s some kind of reward, and they say ‘but I love you’ like it’s a stipulation. Love is not a term reserved for the person you have sex with and marry. Love is for everyone.
I even love you. Not because we’ve had an intimate connection, but because if I were even to meet you, I’d accept you as you are and let you be you and me be me. There’s no such thing as ‘unconditional love’ because there’s no such thing as ‘conditional love’. I feel that so many people give their love under certain conditions – in which case, it’s not love at all. It’s slavery. It’s rewarding behaviour that you want to see. Like I said…
Be free, and you will love and be loved. I hope that this all makes sense. It’s kind of foreign to some people – they just don’t understand and that they’re actually destroying their boyfriends by trying to force them to quit smoking (like I did, for example) I finally read some books by Miguel Ruiz and discovered that love is something quite the opposite of what everyone I see does. Sorry to sound harsh – it’s just how I feel. OK, I’m wrapping up now. I hope this becomes good fuel for thought and perhaps comes out somewhere on the other end. I just don’t get a chance to tell people this because they just don’t get it. But I felt comfortable here because
1) I wrote it out
2) The exhibit is about love
3) I thought I should speak out how I truly feel about the topic.

…sorry it turned into a novel…it’s just that love is so important – it deserves as many words.

Half way through my month's run, the gallery extended my residency by another month. As I had sold some pieces, this meant I had gaps to fill. Luckily I had sketches and other paintings planned out, so this wasn't a problem.

"All You Need Is Love" by Marc Godfrey
"Bette" by Marc Godfrey

"Jenny" by Marc Godfrey
At the end of Jenny's comment, she left a funny symbol of a heart with a cross shape, a bit like the "ban the bomb" logo inside. As I inspired something in her, I decided to use that symbol to inspire me, and so I created an extra piece. Here it is...

When I was studying art at university, I was always conflicted with my style. I have always loved graphic based work, but I also really like more expressionist and experimental art that played with colour and texture. So, for my art show, I presented a juxtaposition between graphical art and expressionist colour treatment. Both related to the theme of love. The show called A condition of Absolute Value, and played with images and symbols that different social groups, cultures, myths and history have used to repesent love.

If you like what you see, maybe share this post and add another comment below...the comments book may live on once more :)

Marc x

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