It all started with comment that Katherine Tyrrell (Making a Mark) made about holding an exhibition in a place where the people who can afford to buy your paintings live (or work). Normally when people put on a botanical art exhibition, they seek out a gallery or a Botanic Gardens, but what if instead of trying to coax people to come and visit your work, you bring your exhibition to them?
So with that in mind, Yanny Petters, Liz Prendergast and I approached the Law Library in Dublin, where Irish barristers and judges have their offices, and the seed of the Natural Law Exhibition was planted.
|The Natural Law Artists (L-R) - Patricia Jorgensen, Yanny Petters, Lynn Stringer, Shevaun Doherty, Elizabeth Prendergast, Holly Somerville|
We planned it very carefully. We invited three other artists to join us (Lynn Stringer, Holly Somerville and Patricia Jorgensen), all superb artists. This meant that the exhibition would have a good variety of artwork of a very high standard. Everyone was given a job to do- invitations and posters, printing, email lists, labels, hanging. We organised sponsorship (a logo on the posters and invitations) to cover our costs. Our little group worked very well together and by November 8th, we had 73 paintings to hang.
|Some of my paintings laid out on the floor whilst I decided how to hang them!|
The honourable Justice Nial Fennelly kindly agreed to open the exhibition for us, which was a huge boost as he is held is such high regard in the legal world. He took his commitment very seriously and not only researched all the artists involved, but also gave a witty and very knowledgeable speech on the merits of Botanical Art on the opening night.
|Liz Prendergast looks on whilst Justice Nial Fennelly gives an entertaining speech about botanical art|
I have to admit the paintings looked great up. I loved the space. It was originally an old Distillery Building, beautifully restored to provide offices for the barristers, so the old stone walls are still in evidence. As well as the wall space, we were also given 4 stands on which to hang our work and these were placed in the central atrium. It’s such an elegant and well lit building. A small bar is conveniently located to one side- this used to be the stables for the draft horses, but it’s a bit more comfortable today!
|Lynn Stringer with a selection of her paintings|
|Yanny Petters large drawing of flag iris was a real show stopper. Her Verre Eglomise pieces hang on the wall on either side.|
|Paintings by Liz Prendergast|
|A selection of my smaller pieces|
|The stands were a great way to display the work. We had four stands and used both sides, as well as hanging the larger pieces around the the room|
|Paintings by Lynn Stringer|
We were unfortunate with the weather. It didn’t just rain, it was torrential! However that did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the guests and we had a sizeable crowd in to wish us luck. It was great to see so many familiar faces, especially from the ISBA (thank you ladies!). The wine flowed, the paintings were admired and there was a great buzz of excitement in the air! We had scarcely arrived when someone bought 6 paintings (as you do), and after that the sales just kept coming!
|My Calamondin painting on vellum is going to a very good home! No wonder I look happy!|
It has been a fascinating and very interesting experience. In all, we sold an impressive 25% of the artwork at the opening. I have been told of a number of other interested buyers which is very encouraging. The exhibition continues for another week so hopefully those lovely red dots will continue to appear!
It’s definitely worth thinking out of the box and trying something new.
Instead of bringing people to your art, bring your art to the people.
The Natural Law Exhibition continues at the Law Library, Church Street until November 21st