Friday, July 9, 2010

Take a hike.

                                         Wild geese.

My photography club recently had its first gallery show here on Saltspring and the other night Heather and I went to the opening. A hundred photographs covered the walls, shouldering each other aside in a bid to be noticed. I was sad to see that my own precious pieces were lost in the bravura performance of so many large, bright, beautiful, professionally framed photos. Here was an opportunity for me to understand my own way a little better.

Typically for me I had made my own frames, sawing, shaping and sanding the simple strips from the rough cedar planks I had earlier cut from my own trees, buying large sheets of glass and cutting them down to fit, gluing, spray painting and finally choosing mats and cutting them to frame my photos. The whole process took time but what pleasure to have my art work in tangible form rather than simply a computer screen image. I was doing what ‘tiggers do best,’ not letting my lack of cash stop me from achieving a high level of satisfaction.

The choice of which of my images I would display was difficult: how to fit in with the group has always been a problem for me, I`m usually off on my own adventure. No really edgy photos, I decided, and that cut out a lot! My choice came down to simple, non flashy, carefully composed, contemplative nature images. Small wonder then that they were lost in the shuffle. Here was the nub though, did I want to shine out among my fellows or did I wish to represent myself and my present interests? Really there was no choice to make, although it was painful to see my little creations squeezed so badly. I am on a personal journey after all, and my work will increasingly diverge from the usual standard. That is the most difficult thing, to trust my own passion and follow my own path even as it becomes more and more remote from the main road. That pain I`m feeling, that`s just the sign that I`m moving forward.

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