What to do when an exhibition ends

What I do at the end of an exhibition

There’s a flow to mounting an exhibition, a pattern of highs and lows and the bits in between.

From the start to the end of an exhibition, I feel hopefulness and excitement, creative risk, vulnerability and doubt, pleasure from sharing what I make, joy in connecting with people through the work. There’s praise and criticism, intense activity and hours of frustration and occasional, moving glimpses of strangers falling in love with my artwork. That’s a whole pile of emotions there!

So it’s never as simple as just putting things on a wall – there’s always this emotional aspect to showing your work and I’ve gradually learned how to respond to it rather than ignore it over my years of exhibiting.

Here’s what I do when an exhibition ends

  • Say thank you to anyone who helped make it happen – I couldn’t do it without them, so I tell them they are appreciated
  • Check over works that have come back to the studio, then store them – with labels visible on the OUTSIDE of the wrap
  • Update my Artwork Archive inventory so I know where works are and should be – I could not function without this
  • Contact collectors and arrange deliveries and studio collections
  • Update my Studio News mailing list with the new people who want to hear more
  • Put all the installation images I have in one folder (I should but I don’t always)
  • Gather all the writing and documents for the show (as above)
  • Update my website exhibitions page, moving ‘current’ to ‘past’
  • For a solo show, I might make an archive page too, it’s nice to still be able to see it somewhere
  • Reflect on what worked, what didn’t, what I’ve learned and what I’ll do differently next time, and write that down where I can find it again
  • Feel a bid sad/wistful and sit somewhere comfy with a cup of tea, relax, stare out of the window and be nice to myself
  • Resist the urge to race towards the next thing, just revisit my sketchbook and see where it takes me

artist Tansy Lee Moir with her work at the end of an exhibitionAn art system

OK, I appear to have created what Alyson Stanfield has shown me is a system, so I’m putting this here to save for the next show – please save it (or share it) if it’s helpful to you too.

Of course I don’t always follow my own advice but I recommend this approach to all the regular things you do as an artist.

If I were to meet my former self, I’d tell her this…when an exhibition ends make time to rest and reflect, pause and treat yourself well.

share:

Artists in Calder Wood

Poster for Artists in Calder Wood Exhibition by Tansy Lee MoirOpening soon

‘Artists in Calder Wood’

Almondell Visitor Centre, Almondell & Calder Wood Country Park, West Lothian

20th December – 4th February 2024

A satellite exhibition looking at the creative processes behind the exhibition ‘Calder Wood: Contemporary views on an ancient woodland’, on show at Linlithgow Burgh Halls until 21st January.

Anne Gilchrist, Kirsty Venters Marks, Tansy Lee Moir, Jennie Tuffs and Cordula Marks Venters have spent the last four seasons discovering some of the stories and secrets of West Lothian’s foremost ancient woodland, Calder Wood.

They have interpreted what they found in the wood from their own individual perspectives, exploring it from their differing cultural and historic viewpoints and considered the perspectives of the non-human world and how these ancient, complex relationships can be read in the landscape.

charcoal drawing of birch branches
‘Birken’ Charcoal on panel 30 x 30cm Tansy Lee Moir

‘These works help us to look beneath the surface of what we see to understand the layers of human and non-human relationships more deeply.’

Catalogues for sale from the Visitor Centre £8.

Supported by Jane Begg, Tree and Woodland Officer and Kirsty Morrison, Country Park Ranger, West Lothian Council.


Calder Wood Artists Walk

Sunday 14th January 2024 10.30-1pm

Join some of the Calder Wood artists and Ranger Kirsty Morrison on this gentle walk around West Lothian’s foremost ancient woodland. Hear about how it inspired their new work, see some of the special places they found there and stop to share poems, stories and memories along the way.

Free to attend but places limited, contact the Visitor Centre on 01506 882254 or almondell&calderwood@westlothian.gov.uk to book.

Details

Meet outside the Fork & Field pub Mid Calder from 10.15am (what3words ///knees.bounding.older)

Outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear recommended. Paths are uneven, steep in parts and may be muddy. Bring a flask if you wish for refreshments. Please note there are no toilet facilities in Calder Wood.

In the case of bad weather, the walk will be rescheduled to Saturday 20th January.

share:

Calder Wood: Contemporary perspectives on an ancient woodland

Coming soon to Linlithgow Burgh Halls, West Lothian

19th October 2023 – 21st January 2024

Five artists spanning a variety of approaches and media will present works made over four seasons in response to the life and history of Calder Wood.

Along with Anne Gilchrist, Kirsty Venters Marks, Jennie Tuffs and Cordula Marks Venters, I have spent the last four seasons discovering some of the stories and secrets of West Lothian’s foremost ancient woodland.

For this collection of new work the artists have interpreted what they found in the wood from their own individual perspectives, exploring it from their differing cultural and historic viewpoints. The works here also consider the perspectives of the non-human world and how these ancient, complex relationships can be read in the landscape.

‘These works help us to look beneath the surface of what we see to understand the layers of human and non-human relationships more deeply.’

a charcoal drawing of a birch tree against the sky
‘Birken’ Charcoal on panel

The show encompasses vibrant colour, intricate detail, poetic imagination and dark drama. It aims to reveal some of the tiny marvels and big mysteries to be found amongst these trees.

See the virtual tour here»

Events

There will be an Artist Talk with all artists on Thursday 23rd November, 6.30-8pm. Free, book here»

I will be in the gallery for informal ‘meet the artist’ opportunities on Saturday 11th November 10am-12noon and with Kirsty and Cordula on Sunday 10th December 12-2pm.

We are also planning a woodland walk – join my Studio News for details.

Visitor information

Linlithgow Burgh HallsLinlithgow Burgh Halls are fully accessible and open to the public every day 9am-5pm.

The exhibition is free to visit and the Halls are a 5 minute walk from Linlithgow train station on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line.

Full venue details here»

share:

‘Conversations with Trees’ now showing

Kilmorack Gallery virtual tour screenshotThis autumn I have work showing alongside some stunning artists in this unique gallery space. Art is best experienced in person of course but if that’s not possible, take a look around this 360 degree tour created by gallerist Tony Davidson.

‘Conversations with Trees’

Runs from 2nd – 30th September at the Kilmorack Gallery, near Beauly, Inverness-shire

share:

Conversations with Trees at Kilmorack Gallery

Kilmorack GalleryImagine driving three hours through the rain to an old limewashed church in a quiet Highland glen, then stopping to find a giant spider guarding the entrance to an art gallery filled with creatures conjured from scrap metal parts. Then, just as you duck under the arachnid and approach the doorway, picture yourself being baptised in a drive-by puddle incident. True story.

This was my first, slightly surreal experience of Kilmorack Gallery near Beauly. It’s a beautiful building with a reputation for excellent art and I’m delighted to be one of its newest artists.

share:

Dara – Tree of Life exhibition

‘Dara – Tree of Life’ now showing

The Derbyshire stone walls of The Old Lock Up Gallery are now hung with beautiful art celebrating trees and our relationships with them. Gallerist Rachael Pinks has taken a bold step in a new direction for her gallery, curating this themed exhibition through an open call to draw in new creative talent. I’m very happy to have been one of the 32 artists selected.

an oil painting of a large old tree by Tansy Lee Moir
‘Turning towards the light’ oil on wooden panel

I have 5 works on show, 4 paintings from my ‘Grounded’ series and one of my ‘Rivers of Oak’ charcoals.

The gallery is open 25th June – 5th August, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm and there are a series of related events planned -check the website or Instagram for details.

I recently did a short residency in this lovely gallery space which you can see more about here.

share:

Spring exhibition news

an oil painting of an ancient beech tree
‘Roots reflected’ Oil on wood panel

Two of my oil paintings will be featuring in The Old Lock Up Gallery Open Exhibition opening 14th May and running until 10th June. I was very pleased to be selected to show in this beautiful gallery space along with 31 other artists – I’m looking forward to seeing all the works chosen by gallerist Rachael Pinks.

oil painting of an ancient tree
‘In Place’ Oil on wood panel

See here for a full list of artists, venue and show details.

share:

Introducing the art of Calder Wood

a large tree in a lush green woodlandOn the horizon for autumn 2023 is a group show which I’m co-curating for Linlithgow Burgh Halls with West Lothian’s Arts Officer Camille Archer.

‘Calder Wood: Contemporary views on an ancient woodland’ will run from October 2023 – January 2024 in this beautiful historic building.

The focus for the exhibition is the rich and diverse ancient woodland site of Calder Wood, recently chosen as one of the Queen’s Green Canopy woodlands.

share:

Review of the SSA 130th annual exhibition

I’m delighted that my drawing ‘Seraph’ got a mention in the Times this week. It’s one of three charcoal and conte drawings available from the 30×30 section of the exhibition. You can read the full article here.

small square artworks on gallery wall shelves a newspaper clipping

Thanks to Giles Sutherland for a great piece on the Society of Scottish Artists 130th Annual show at the Royal Scottish Academy and thanks to the whole SSA team for presenting such a rich selection in this impressive gallery.

The show runs until 10th January 2023.

share: