"This One's For You" Retrospective/Post-Mortem

"This One's For You" was a scraped-together solo exhibition by myself in October of 2023. It ran for just under a month in the foyer of the UWTSD Dynevor building in Swansea and received foot traffic from all visitors to the university including all students and staff. I want to write about my experience of this exhibition for anyone who wasn't there, or who were - for those who are interested in my work and those who aren't and are here for some other reason (hi). First of all, to all who have supported my work, thank you. Thank you for looking at my paintings with open minds and open hearts, taking meaning and emotion from the works. You are what keep the art alive. For this reason, I wanted to create a body of work that was larger-than-life and full of energy. This is why "This one's for you."

I also want to thank the Artist Benevolent Fund- a charitable organisation that has been supporting early-career artists for over one hundred years and are continuously working on improving the support they give!

Now for the retrospective. When I think back on this exhibition I feel very little. I remember the crowd of mostly students who oggled with fresh faces at the works in the opening- that made me feel a quiet relief.

I felt the same relief when I noticed a little note on the wall that said:
This was a body of work that was made to be exhibited, and I valued the reactions of others more than I ever had.

For me, what I associate strongest with the exhibition and this body of work is the colour yellow. Yellow is an interesting colour because it signals both alarm, anxiety, sickness and also happiness, sunshine, warmth. It feels like thrashing about in bed unable to rest, giggling half asleep in a sex dream. It's being locked in a cell with nobody to inspire you but ghosts from your past life that don't even feel like you anymore. It's waking up each morning in your cell and declaring "I AM that person! I just need to work a little harder" before taking three steps forward and picking up a loaded paintbrush.

So, this one's for you... to gawk at.
"Shock/ London Cornwall" 2023. Mixed media on canvas, 70x55cm.
Self-portrait 1, 2023. Oil on canvas board, 25 x 30cm.
Self-portrait 2, 2023. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30cm.
"Bekkah, all grown up", 2023. Spray paint, acrylic and buttons on canvas. 75 x 60cm.
"Inside/Outside", 2023. Mixed media on canvas, 105 x 115 (framed).
"Bed composition", 2023. Mixed media on canvas in velvet-coated frame, 107 x 117.
"For Her", 2023. Acrylic, emulsion and sand on canvas, 90 x 100cm.
"Steely Dan", 2023. Oil on canvas, 125 x 85cm.

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