I’ve had the strangest experience today. It’s quite amusing now but at the time it was traumatic. I’d decided to go and take photos of my current exhibition. I rarely go out on my own, as I suffer badly from anxiety, especially having to interract with people I don’t know. As my exhibition has been up for more than a week, I decided I really needed to get some photos for my website. Ha! Who’d have thought something so simple could be quite so eventful?
I’d just finished taking the photos when security approached me. ‘You can’t take photos in here.’
Seemed fair enough, should somebody want to plagiarize my work, although with my work all over the internet a pretty feeble attempt at preventing such an unpreventable crime! ‘Well,’ I explained, ‘I’m the artist, they’re my paintings.’ quite proudly.
He walked towards reception and explained to the receptionist ‘They’re her paintings!.. Over came the receptionist to explain ‘You can’t take photos in here.’
‘But they’re my paintings. I always take photos of exhibitions, to put on my website etc. Every artist does. Do I need to delete all my photos?’ Bemused!
Over walked the supervisor, Gestapo. Up until now, it had been quite a polite exchange but this lady felt it was her duty to intimidate me. ‘You can’t take photos in here’
‘So I’ve been told, but I’ve taken them, are you suggesting I delete them?’
Her demeanor indicated that she did. WTF! ‘You need permission from the landlord.’
‘But I didn’t when I exhibited at Colchester Hospital Gallery’
‘They are a different trust, this one is very strict’
‘What, like Russia during the cold war,’ I thought to myself. ‘Who is the landlord?’ I enquired.
‘If you come over to reception, I will give you the necessary paperwork.’
My last and final statement was laughably ‘I’m with mental health as it is, I can’t be doing with this!’ With that I walked out, photos intact. Camera under my arm, feeling devastated, after being surrounded by three people, one a uniformed security officer, all for photographing my own paintings.
I sat in the car park and cried and also took a diazepam (tranquillizer, valium). After getting myself together I drove home thinking and swearing to myself, ‘I’ll never leave my house again. Why are some people so mean. Why didn’t I tell them I’d remove my paintings, have an hysterical episode and cause a scene, at least swear very badly. Perhaps I didn’t want to be frog marched out by security but I would have felt a whole lot better anywayl.