Monday, February 16, 2009

Writing an Artist's Statement

whale vertebra, driftwood, and stones (copyright Mark Chaddock 2009)

Sitting down to write an Artist’s statement is a daunting task but an absolute necessity - especially for an emerging artist. It not only focuses on why you make the art you do and what you are trying to achieve, but just as importantly, it informs your audience.

I am now considering approaching galleries regarding exhibiting my paintings and photographic art, so I need to be clear about what questions I am asking, and wish to ask, through my art. What is unique or individual about it.

Writing an Artist’s statement is not a biography, although that information is always essential, too. But the Artist’s statement is going to be what defines my work, what it is that makes it different from other people’s work.

It should answer why I use the medium I do and how I have progressed with it over my career. And who/what my influences were. Why does my chosen subject interest me, and what led me to your current work. These are just some aspects of my art that need to be conveyed.

All this makes it necessary to assimilate information about my art through listening, questioning, and absorbing. Once I have thought about it a while I shall be able to ask myself some questions about my work. The answers to these questions will form the framework from which I will begin drafting my statement. But I know from experience as a writer that I shouldn’t settle for my first draft. I shall keep re-drafting and improving it until I am satisfied that I am saying what i wish to say about my art.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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