At the beginning of this year I moved into a temporary studio in Dewsbury, my first dedicated workspace for art. I already have a studio for music production so this new one felt like quite a self indulgent move for someone with a young family and a mortgage, but intuition told me it was the right thing to do at this stage in my development - risky but not reckless - and fortunately my ever supportive wife agreed.
Part of the reason for the new studio was my commitment to a solo exhibition as part of the RedbrickThursday group. This also felt "risky but right" with the opportunity to test my mettle and hang my work in such a fantastic space seeming too good to pass up. Of course, all the usual hand-flappy questions came and went over the weeks and months that followed, Could I deliver the goods? Would it be too much pressure? Should I wear flats or heels at the reception?
One particular problem that I wrestled with on almost a weekly basis was the temptation to ask for help. Being part of an art group with such a knowledgable and generous leader is a very special thing, but if there is a drawback it could be that it creates a situation where we ask for an opinion on some aspect of the work too early rather than allowing ourselves time to come to our own conclusions. I think I've been guilty of this at times, although I have never regretted the outcome.
Today I returned to Redbrick to dismantle the show and transport the work back to my studio. It wasn't as depressing as it sounds and I guess it marks the endpoint of this opening phase of a more committed approach to my practice. Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from putting together this body of work is to be brave enough to sometimes hold back, to not give the viewer all the answers or indeed expect to have them myself, instead to put the work in front of people and see how that feels.
by Patrick Gomersall
Paintings and drawings by Dick, Hadyn, Ian, Roger H, Roger S, Russell, Sue D-Y, Sue, Tom, Tony and featured artist Patrick.