I never imagined that printing and framing twelve pictures and hanging them on a wall would be so stressful. But it was and I did it anyway.
My part of Landings 2019 was to show some examples of my work in my home town. I was offered the use of the walls in the local department store for which I’m very grateful. But I had never done anything like this before and so was starting from scratch.
I felt my organisation was good. I ordered printing ink and paper, frames and mats. I bought Command strips for hanging and a new tape measure and spirit level, so would not need to use the dirty ones from my DIY toolkit. Everything went to plan and I got all the pictures printed and framed, then hung at the pre-arranged time. Yet I found it emotionally draining, the experience was like going on stage. Intense tension beforehand, a real buzz whilst hanging the pictures and a feeling of exhausted satisfaction afterwards.
On reflection, the comparison to being on stage made more sense. I was putting my work out there for people to see. Many people would look at the pictures and I would have no idea what they thought. So many unknowns about my work. But I realised that, like the actor, the photographer just fires their work out into the world and they have only limited understanding of the impact made by that work.
My goal in being part of Landings was to get the pictures on the wall. I’m not looking for praise for them. Organising and delivering my first exhibition was the target. I have achieved that. It’s another first.