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12 Months of Gratitude 2022 - Number 2!


York Open Studios 2022

I still remember the feeling of nervous excitement as I made my first application to join the team of other artists and crafters at the York Open Studio event. To put this into perspective, it is the first time that I have ever exhibited my work personally and to add to the fear, I was willing to open to door to my family home to complete strangers, take it from me, this thought was utterly terrifying!

Despite my reservations, this is one of the most prestigious events for any up-and-coming artists as it is a respected event that takes place nationally every year in the UK. Consequently, it is professionally run by an amazing team of voluntary participants who are not only great artisans but who also possess many other administrative, marketing, PR and financial skills and the support for everybody taking part is incredible.

This year was a little different to the previous years that suffered the effects of the pandemic and it promised to be exciting, unpredictable and enjoyable. People were leaving the comfort and security of their own homes to venture out into public places for the first time and feelings were mixed. In light of this, we were expected to provide antibacterial gel and masks in addition to ensuring that our visitors had the opportunity to social distance if they so wanted to.

All of the planning and preparation paid off and I met some wonderful people who were genuinely interested in learning about my art and it was a pleasure to invite them into my studio, a space that I work in almost every day and generally have only myself to speak to! The whole experience gave me the confidence to do this again and to participate in a similar event in the future. I was initially advised by some open studio veterans that I would "get out of it what I put into it" and that was so true, I feel like all of the lessons that I learned this year will help me to improve not only with the next exhibition but also in developing my artwork.

Participating in this exhibition made me realise that it would be so much better next time if I allowed myself the space needed to create an entirely new collection of artwork. The key focus of this year has been with my family and consequently creating artwork has been on the 'back-burner' sat waiting for the right time to pick-up and start again. We have been through many changes, some terrible and others fantastic and I am proud to say that I have enjoyed providing the necessary support as well as enjoying those precious moments that pass us by so quickly. If there is one thing that we learned from the recent pandemic, it was to appreciate all of the people that we love even more than before, everything else can wait...and it will do!

For all of those lovely people who visited my exhibition and provided all of the much needed and very appreciated support throughout this event, I would like to say a HUGE thank-you from the bottom of my heart. I feel unprepared for the York Open Studios 2023 and so I haven't applied to enter which makes me feel a little sad for all of those visitors who said that they would look forward to seeing me again 'next year' and to those people, I am very sorry. However, I will be working hard to create some new and exciting artwork throughout the new year and can't wait to share that with you! I'll be back bigger, better and stronger thanks to your wonderful words of encouragement and for believing in me. It was wonderful to meet you!


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