I felt pretty exhausted after the MA final show. It had been a pretty intense few of months, with writing the dissertation and then sorting the publicity for the show, then putting the show on. It was strange afterwards to have no work to do. Finishing uni coincided with my job at the Bower Ashton Campus cafe and bar ending, which meant I was immediately unemployed, and for almost a month I couldn't find a job so I signed up to job seekers which was a great relief, but felt strange for me to do as I was earning more money a week than I had earnt at the uni cafe! I was very lucky to then find a job at a lovely cafe (The Sourdough Cafe) in St Nicks market in the old part of the city, and I am now working there two or three shifts a week.
Since I finished the MA I spend every Monday working at Motorcade/FlashParade, which is an artist run gallery in Bedminster. I am really passionate about the gallery as it is completely a not for profit, artist run space. I organise the marketing and fundraising side of things, which is something I find really interesting. At the moment we are organising our National Open, which I am really excited about!
One thing I am really trying to gain more experience in is community arts, and arts education. (which is extremely hard to get into!) I spent a morning running a felt making class at the Southville Centre Monday Club for Older People. I have run felt making classes for older people before, and it is something I really love doing and find extremely rewarding.
Some felt flower patches made in the session.
And finally - I have also been doing some of my own work too! I am lucky enough to be in an exhibition at Bletchley Park called 'Ghost Station' organised by ArtHertz. Its been good for me to get back to doing some painting, although I have to say that it's a very strange (and rather freeing) sensation knowing that it is not going to be placed under scrutiny in an MA critique!
So that what I have been up to. The job market is extremely hard for artists (and pretty much everybody) at the moment, and it is disheartening to apply for jobs that you know you are more than capable of doing, only to not get an interview, or even a reply from the application! However, despite this, I believe so far I am going down the right track in terms of gaining experience, and also having time to develop and continue my own practice.