Today I finally hung my Ripley Rattler exhibition, something I have been working on for well over a year. It has been a challenge for myself to see a project through from an idea to actual fruition.
I have learnt so many things during this task the main one being stamina!
To carry out a project from start to finish is something that I learned mainly from being a designer for twelve years you are given a brief and usually in the lingerie design world you actually get given a brief! A buyer would show me a swatch of fabric and the name of a film coming out in spring summer and ask for a collection to be produced.
I would then head off back up the M1 from London and start my research which in the days before the internet involved magazines, phone calls and trips to department stores and lots of sketching on benches in the town centers looking for inspiration.
Then when it was all created and stitched together I would go back down the M1 to see the buyer and they would either love it or tell me they were no longer running with the film as the lead actress was no longer their muse. The whole thing was always interesting either way as I learned a lot about said film and how to take photographs of lingerie in changing room cubicles without being caught and put in prison!
Because this is my project and mine alone the outcome for the Ripley Rattler paintings has been far less dangerous than cubicles or the tram journey I am celebrating!
I started with the daunting task of filling a room but I had no idea what with so with my designer head on I took inspiration from the fact that it was the DH Lawrence Hertiage centre, I then saw a post from Crich Tramways facebook page all about DH Lawrence's short story 'Tickets Please' after reading his story and realising that it was 100 years since the first tram travelled along the UKs most dangerous tram route which also happened to have been my journey to work for two years I was hooked.
So my year long journey began and the curator said yesterday she didnt know how I had found the time and neither do I but Im glad I did because to see all 40 paintings hanging together and filling the space is great.
The one thing I will be most proud of is when I show my Auntie around who is in her 80s and is coming up to see me during June just so she can see my show out of all of this that is the one thing that will make it all worth while as she was my mentor and inspiration in becoming an artist in the first place.
It is not the sales outcome from something like this it is the bigger picture I never set out thinking I will paint this subject and sell it, no for me it will be the memories of the trip out to Crich tramway with my Dad visiting the archives to learn about the history of the route and the endless trips along the route taking photographs and observing the people that live there.
Its been fun please if you are in the area visit and have a look as these will never all be together in one room again, I have hung them in order of the route itself this video ( I am no video expert) gives you an idea.
The Exhibition is on from May 30th - July 13th
DH Lawrence Heritage Centre