Wednesday, 29 January 2014
I've got an exhibition coming up this year, which means I've been going back over my prints, my books, this blog, and my backfiles, looking for images that I both still like and which I think others will find rewarding to look at, printed, framed, and hung on a big white wall.
This is harder work than you might think, and not particularly enjoyable. I have tried to regard myself as a species of artist, rather than just some bloke with a hobby, and the main point and pleasure in that has been the constant exploration and the sense of going forwards. To look backwards is to see nothing but a pile of failed attempts, lost opportunities, and contrived, pretentious fumblings after significance. It's like the worst morning-after ever. Did I really do that, say that? Oh, God, what was I thinking?
Still, it has its rewards, too. In the last year or so I've learned a lot about the mechanics of image-processing and printer output, and am a far better printer than I ever used to be. Rediscovering overlooked older work, and re-processing it from the original RAW files (the "digital negatives") to my current standards has redeemed this tedious and humbling task, at least enough for me not to get on the phone: "Sorry, I'm an impostor, you've confused me with someone else -- the show's off". So far, anyway.