Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Deemed acceptable

Before I sign the forms for my space at the art fair I find in the small print a line about all works on sale needing to be “original”. As my works are scanned drawings with digital colour printed in editions of 100, they are originals, in the sense that they don’t exist in any other real form than a print, and yet not, because there are (or will be in time, hopefully) 99 others knocking about.

A flurry of emails follows. The organisers don’t want artists showing reproductions of paintings, and are careful about whom they accept. Time is short, and the only spaces they have left are bigger than I really want, but I find I have built up anticipation and enthusiasm to make it work and will be disappointed to not be able to attend.

My work is printed using the giclee process using archival quality papers and inks. The questions to ask myself, another art fair organiser advises me, are:

1 Am I a digital artist?

2 Does the work exist in another form?

3 Are the prints of high enough quality and small edition?

If the answers are yes, no and yes then giclee prints are deemed acceptable.

I can tick and cross the right boxes, and eventually I get the OK, and the rush is on. I mark out a wall at home the same size as my space to get an idea of what I can take. I can hang about eight works at any one time – then it is a matter of working out how many other works I may need to take the place of those I sell, and then get them printed, framed, priced and labelled.

Naomi, in an act of supreme support, makes the frames. Spare moments are spent in framing suppliers, glaziers, and a fantastic local framers, S’graffiti, that mitres the moulding for us. I make more drawings and get them printed.

The joy of a deadline. It’s amazing what you can get done.