100 Days Exhibit at Tutere Gallery
Before diving into the 100 days project this year I knew I needed an exhibit at the end of the road to keep me motivated and on track. Nothing like a blank wall to fill at a gallery to inspire me to get to the studio every single day.
So back in May, I approached the owner of Tutere Gallery and asked if she would be interested in participating in the challenge*. Happily she said yes and a group of six artists committed to the project and to holding an exhibit at the gallery after the 100 days were over.
During the opening of the exhibit I gave a short talk about our project. Unfortunately we had the great idea to record it after I was done talking. The main focus of the talk was about the incredible growth we all experience over the 100 days. Both in our art and the confidence and clarity it brought to other areas of our life.
We calculated that our 600 individual artworks represented 1000-1500 hours of collective art making. The result of that much creativity was a positive glowing vibe in the gallery. You could feel the energy in the room.
I share images of our exhibit at the bottom of this post.
[*She also said yes to representing my artwork, which is now proudly on exhibit at the gallery year round.]
Belonging, not just Fitting In
We each answered a few questions about our participation in the project (mine are below) and the consensus from all of us that the best part of participating in the 100 days was the community.
Over the three months of the project we supported each other by posting our work daily in a private facebook group and also in person. Gathering at the gallery to talk about our work and get encouragement to keep going. Doing something every day for 100 days requires a lot of dedication.
It is a wonderful and magical thing when a group of people come together and they just click. This group is like that. Everyone is dedicated and serious about their art and incredibly supportive of each other. We’re all a bit silly also so laughter is a key ingredient. There is a comfort level in the group so we can just be who we are without having to feel like we need to pretend.
This is the difference between belonging and fitting in.
This group is what has convinced me that I can live in New Zealand and thrive. While I can fit into a lot of groups, it is a gift to feel I belong. I have nothing but huge huge admiration and gratitude for the magic that brought us all together and for the other women in this group.
And I look forward to 2018 with these artists by my side.
Photos From the Exhibit
My Thoughts on My Project
What inspired you to participate in the 100 day project?
I did the project last year and loved it. I was eager to participate this year as a way to explore new territory with my work. It was time for something new.
Are there any changes in your artwork / life that the project helped bring about?
This year my project was to experiment with incorporating mark making into my textile paintings. I’ve spent the last 17 years mostly working with un-textured plain fields of color.
In the beginning of the project my mark making was complex and layered and towards the end it because simpler and more spare. I felt like it was starting to have more purpose and I was able to integrate the stitching with the marks in a more meaningful way.
What have you learned about yourself by participating in this project?
There are some days I am very patient and very in tuned with the process of making art. On those days I would lose track of time and could spend hours creating a single 5” textile painting, exploring and enjoying the interaction between my marks and my stitching.
There are other days I am impatient. On those days I wanted just to get the project over quickly. On those days I resented the extra challenge integrating the marks into my usual creative process, which is very comfortable to me. Pushing myself into the unknown can be uncomfortable.
What are some of the best things about 100 Days?
This project brought me to Tutere Gallery and the sense of community as we supported each other over the last 3+ months was by far the best part of the project.
What are some of the worst things about 100 Days?
I was out of the country for 2 weeks at the beginning of the project so I had a lot of catching up to do when I returned. It was a bit overwhelming feeling behind but I was committed to keep going and the cheering from the group was a huge boost.
What kept you going through the 100 days? Did you ever consider giving up?
I never considered giving up – which is the value of this exhibition. Concrete goals can be very motivating. As can be friends walking the same path.
What advice would you share with someone considering their own 100 day project?
Don’t over think your decision – just jump in and start. You can always modify the parameters of your project mid way through if needed. Don’t make it too precious. Have fun!
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