Friday, 2 November 2012

My first Exhibition. Excitement!

On 31st October, I had my first ever exhibition in Stoke-on-trent. I had been planning this exhibition for a while now and I really wanted it to be the best it could be. There is a company called Start-up Britain, which helps young people start their own business (great idea I know). They were scheduled to visit our university on the 31st and as part of this exhibition they asked us to set-up an exhibition stand so we can help inspire a few of the students and answer any questions they might have.

For this exhibition I wanted to launch three new pieces, this time I wanted try my hands on portrait art, following the Sam Spratt style that I had been practising for some time now. I launched three new pieces on this day:

These were by far the biggest painting i've worked on to date and by mistake I increased the canvas size in the process so I was dealing with over 20k of pixels, no wonder my pc was crying....

The concept behind these pieces was quite thought after. I wanted to give a sense of these athletes entertaining the world and also being the role model for them. It doesn't really matter what colour they are or represent. I also wanted to show some grit/ dirt/ scratches on their faces to show the hard work that celebrities usually hide behind their skin. I used textured brushes to add noise into these pieces and kept working in layers to get the desired result I was after. 


To prepare for this day, I bought a box of empty key chains from ebay (cheap as chips) and also got my business cards printed (finally). 
 My sister also decided to help me with this event so she helped me along at every stage.

We were quite strapped for time with everything else that was going on around us, I really wanted to wear a custom made t-shirt saying Banksy, Damien, Warhol, GDSWorld on it (the people I would like to reach/ beat one day). Since there was no time left to get them printed and shipped over from eBay my sister decided to buy some T-shirt printing paper. What a genius idea and the end result looked epic.

To gain some interest and momentum on these pieces I utilised a campaign trick to reveal a small preview of the images before the exhibition. 2 days before the event, I uploaded Usain Bolt's preview, a day before Mo Farah's and on the morning of the event a small preview of Jessica Ennis. 


As I live over a 100 miles away from Stoke, I decided that it would be best for us to leave a day early and stay at a place called 'The Lodge' in Stoke. This Bed & Breakfast was a great place to help us get away from our city lives and the people running this place (Alan and Sue) are just brilliant. 

 In the morning of the exhibition, we woke up early and decided to go for a little walk to get some fresh air into our system. The sight seeing in this place was something I can't describe in words. Nothing too extra-ordinary if you live in a farm but if you're used to living in a city this with no room to breath, this was definitely a vacation.
We also decided to take a walk around a tiny lake just behind 'The Lodge'. 
We couldn't spend too much time there as I wanted to get to the exhibition nice and early. 

Image Credit: Leila Abar

I was so busy in this event that I didn't take any pictures on my phone. This was the first time my work was exposed in this way so I tried to make the most of it. 

Dragons Den: As part of this exhibition I was asked to be a part of a workshop which was designed to help young people interact with each other and come up with a business pitch based on the product they were provided. I was one of the four dragons helping with the event and it was past awesome helping all these students get to know each other and come up with a winning idea.

The winning team not only had a good business, but they also made use of the whole package that was provided to them and everyone pitched when it was their time to shine. Well done guys! Enjoy your Amazon voucher.

So that concluded our day at the exhibition. I still get happy just thinking about it. After this event, we decided to have a nice dinner at Sweet & Spicy across the road and then me and my sister drove back to London.

I want to say a big thanks to my sister without whom the trip would've been a bit bland.
One last person that deserves a big thank you is Leila Abar, who not only helped us throughout the day but also made it a fun day for all of us. She's always smiling! Go you!

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