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After the event: when the excitement dies down

You know how you can get so involved in the preparation for an event and caught up in the excitement of seeing your plans coming to fruition? But afterwards, there's a different array of emotions as you come down to earth again!

I shared my thoughts on the preparations for my first solo exhibition and when it was in progress, so here is my reflection, a month after it has finished and I'm needing to move on.

When I went over to the Little Gallery in the Derbyshire Makers' shop at Rowsley to take down my exhibition, it was with feelings of sadness that my time there had come to an end but also excitement to find out whether I'd sold other pictures or bags. Only a few more cards had been sold, making me reflect that, without more significant sales since the Bank Holiday weekend, I was right not to prolong the exhibition. It took a mere half an hour for me, with the help of my husband, to take down, pack away and transport to our car everything, leaving the gallery space clear and ready for its next exhibition. I was left feeling deflated, as empty as the gallery.

A coffee at Massarella's followed by a walk around the nature reserve at Peak Village, helped to restore a sense of normality and calm before getting home and tackling the unpacking and putting away of all the items that had been on display. We decided that we might as well hang my main piece, "Crooked Spire at Night", in our hall: a space that is light but gets little direct sunlight. I love seeing it there every time that I come in through the front door! Will I still hope to sell it? Yes, but enjoying it myself up until that point seems like a good idea.

Before packing away the greetings cards and prints that I'd had made, I photographed them so that I could list them in my online BuyIndie shop, BarMadeCreations. After all, if people visiting my exhibition had taken away a business card and were interested in buying something that they hadn't been able to decide on at the time, they might want a way of doing this, other than contacting me directly.

We had booked a few days away at the coast and this proved to be a refreshing break in more ways than one. It gave me a break from thinking about the exhibition and my creative endeavours and was also very cold and windy - not the sort of weather that we had expected in the first week of June. That didn't stop our enjoyment of our coastal break: visiting Filey where we saw ex-Sheffield resident and friend, Jane Marsden of JaneEmarsdenArt at a craft fair and going to RSPB Bempton Cliffs were two of the highlights for me.

After getting back home, lots of enthusiastic comments from friends about my exhibition were encouraging and made me determined to get back into making more of my textile art pictures. I had recently taken two photos on local walks that I thought would be good as the basis for more in my series "Walks around Holymoorside". However, before I could get started on either of these I needed to make a rainbow pen roll for an online order that had come in while away. After that, a series of other distractions have meant that it's taken me some while to get started on making my next textile art collage, which will probably be called "#4 Old Gate by Harewood Road"

Current work in progress

Having had the experience of exhibiting my work, I'm now thinking about other possible opportunities to repeat the experience, especially as I increase the selection of textile pictures that I would have available to show. For next year, I will definitely be considering the Derbyshire Open Arts event that takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May, and I may well consider exhibiting again in the Little Gallery at the Peak Shopping Village in Rowsley, Derbyshire. In the meantime, I have submitted "Crooked Spire at Night" for the Harley Open Arts 2024 run by the Harley Foundation at Wellbeck near Worksop. While many friends and acquaintances have admired this work, I think it will be helpful for me to have it judged by professionals alongside the other 1200 works of art that have been submitted. Initial judging of my digital submission is currently taking place and I will know after 12th July whether it has been short-listed for final judging. If it has, I'll be sharing this news first on my Facebook page.

A more definite event is the Derbyshire Makers' Summer Craft Fair at Peak Village, Rowsley where I will be having a stall. I will have bags and other useful bag-related items for sale along with my smaller textile art pictures and prints and cards of the larger ones. This is happening on the weekend 27th-28th July from 10am-4pm. If you're in the area, do come along to see me!

My stall at the Christmas Fair

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and I hope that you've found this of interest.

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BarMade Bags
BarMade Bags
Jul 06

Thank you for your comment, Juliet. I won't be holding my breath for "Crooked Spire" being shortlisted; I don't know how many pieces go through to this next stage but ultimately only 125 go forward for exhibiting.


Jul 05

That's a great blog and so interesting about how you felt afterwards, something I could relate to many times over. How interesting to enter Crooked Spire for judging, and fingers crossed it is accepted. Good luck.😀

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