Some of you may know that over the course of organizing this exhibition, from applying to funding to installing and organizing the exhibition and live stream event. I (Amanda Lynch) have been working remotely. This is something many of us have had to do over the last year with the Covid-19 pandemic, and I can especially relate to this. Zoom calls, emails and phone calls have been the way in which this exhibition was able to come together, with great help and team work from Clayhill Arts.
It has been a unique position to be in, I had only seen/read participants applications forms, some of whom did not have any reference images or websites to show what they would plan on making. For example a print maker wanted to make a sculpture but had no previous work of working within a sculptural practice. I was in a position where I could allow people to try new things, allowing for expansion of creative practice as well taking a risk with artists and the work they wanted to make. I was very fortunate that everyone did extremely well with their work and the outcome was impeccable, even if I have only seen it from afar. It was a privilege to be able to say yes to artists, go try that and see what happens, there have been many emails with individuals to try and build confidence in their own work to. However not knowing all of the final outcomes was a risk to take, I was unsure what the work would be. This was also incredibly exciting as not many open calls allow for the room to try new things. I have found that some open calls and exhibitions are rigid and confining, I wanted to try and do something different.
All of the artwork was then sent into by post to Clayhill Arts, working together as much as possible we went through the work. The post did pile up with over 200 artists involved and 1022 small pieces of work it was an incredible feat for Clayhill Arts. It was down to team work and I was only able to support Clayhill Arts the best I could from afar, again with zoom calls and emails it was all able to come together.
We were lucky to have Somerset film come and assist with the live stream event, setting up cameras and over coming any technical issues that came up. The live stream was a huge success and people from all over the world were able to view it on Youtube, we have views from Japan to Canada and everywhere in between. On the day there were 120 people watching live, and to date we have had 1000 views on Youtube. I could not be prouder to be able to of curatored this exhibition and the collective itself is doing well, connecting artists and building new friendships, lets build this Collective together. #Artisessential