After suffering from a long-term mental illness and leaving work due to my illness & disabilities. I approached a local charity who specialist in my disabilities for advice to plan for my future. In the meantime, I returned to painting after many years suffering from a long-term deep depression of I made the decision and taking my 1st commission, to paint a landscape and refound the love of painting again it was an answer to finding the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
After, contacting a local charity Disability Resource Centre for advice and guidance over my disabilities, (Dysliaxa, verbal dyspraxia, & MD Macular Degeneration common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision, which lets us see objects that are straight ahead, which was diagnosed in my mid-twenties rare for somebody of my age to suffer from MD known better as AMD as it is more common in over 50 +). met with John who encouraged me to return to painting and promote my art to the community. His advice helped me to rethink a new start in life with art as a focal point and find my confidence to start life again as an artist.
I was able to express myself through art, not written words and following a number of other landscapes bright and cheerful I think this was an expression where my journey had begun and where I wanted to go.
The next target or goal I placed was to pass the panic attack test and step out into town where I had avoided all these months and face the unknown and meet and chat to strangers, go shopping. This is when I discovered Karen Cross independent handmade arts & craft store Naissance store, in my hometown. Met with Karen and after showing photos of my art with her encouragement that my paintings would be the idea to show in her store.
This made me feel great, up to now I was my critic and family, friends.
My first website
In the meantime, I set up my website done nothing like this before it was a good learning kerb and decided my next goal would be to show them to the public gallery.
Local art groups
I then set about looking for local art groups around my area to join in order to be able to have an opportunity to display my art,
Joined them in the past but never at that time wanted to show.
But to my dismay found they were fully booked a waiting list. Then found an art group which turned out you had to apply for a job, fill out an application form, and wait for an interview and then they would make a decision. After looking at the membership it occurred to me it was made up of BA artists and would stand no chance of getting in. Plus I felt the public don’t care if the artist has a BA degree or not it comes down if they like the painting or not.
The decision to make the big step to the unknown
So fuck it will do it myself and hire the gallery myself.
The gallery space was too large for one artist and space was fully booked until the following year, this gave me time to find other artists to share the space.
I approached Karen about the idea and sharing this with the other artists in her store, and name the show after her store, thought this would help promote her store along with the other artists. She loved the idea and so I booked the gallery for Summer 2017.
Please take a look at our short film of our Summer Exhibition 2017
Unfortunately for several reasons out of Karen’s control the business failed and closed down soon afterwards. However, I carried on with the exhibition plans this did not deter me with my goal.
I posted on Facebook if anybody would wish to share with me and out from this Paul Turner replied and it was apparent he was on the same wavelength, along with several other artists.
Paul & I met chatted about the plans and out of this the name Core Collective was born. With Paul’s help, he designed the logo and promotional posters. Including the Core Collective statement.
The idea of the Core Collective is for like-minded artists coming together to sharing costs for exhibitions and help each other promote our art to the community. From our 1st exhibition in 2016 to the end of 2017 the Core Collective had five exhibitions our membership is growing with artists, landscape painters, Birmingham cityscapes, abstract artists, 3D, photographers, needlework and sculptures.
In 2018 further exhibitions have been planed nine in total along with our 1st Summer Surprise Arts & Craft Festival week during August held at Gunmakers Arms, to ending the year 2018 we got further three other exhibitions held at Solihull Hospital in aid FOSH Friends of Solihull Hospital 20% of sales goes towards equipment to the local hospital. Further to this, we have two art exhibitions at Brown Lion on Hall Street plus Urban Coffee Square Peg both at the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.
.As the Core Collective has grown without there help I not sure if I would have considered displaying my art to the community so I wanted to give something back and say my thanks for their advice from DRC. In my small way to say thanks to them, and help promote them as a local charity I decided that we would fundraise at our opening nights, with support from the other artists and very grateful to them we now help contribute towards their equipment for their art group for the disabled held on Friday.
Our first fundraising night we had a guest speaker from the charity also we invited Made in Birmingham TV very exciting to have the local television covering our exhibition and interview me and Karen Cross along with CEO Louise McKiernan ACIS; PG Dip (Prof Admin), Disability Resource Centre were interviewed.
For further reading about the charity and my other blogs please click onto the links below, thank you for reading it.
From that small roots grow and the buds form, new growth, flowers are forming