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.

I’m attaching the photos of the exhibition and saying politely to Supervisor (jobsworth) ‘f*** you.’  I hope she does see this. 😀ImageImageImageImage

About larainbriggs

I'm an artist and have been since I can remember. Being an artist is one thing that has remained constant. At 10 I received my first oil painting set and by the age of 14 I had my first piece of work in a local gallery window. I am not an artist by choice, art chose me but I am extremely happy that it did. It is my path and vocation and the right thing to do for me. As long as I am doing that then I am doing the right thing, there is no question about that for me. It's a spiritual experience that is difficult to explain but I am sure other artists will understand exactly what I am saying. Here is my artist's statement to explain what my art is about:- I am currently a practicing artist living in Dovercourt. I previously taught in London and was a self-employed supply teacher where I live now. I studied Fine Art at Camberwell, and at Goldsmiths in London for a Post Graduate certificate in education. I also studied for a BSc in Computer Aided Visualisation at the Anglia Polytechnic University and Art Therapy at the Institute for Art in Therapy and Education. Unable to work outside of the home due to disability both mental and physical, I now focus on my multi-disciplinary art practice full time. My work has been inspired by Carl Jung for a long time and exploring my unconscious for even longer. I work through painting, assemblage and installation, employing various strategies to access animus, the shadow, and my soul. Through creative expression, I attempt to externalise the inner reality of my psyche. My work acts as a mirror where I try to see my soul - the inner workings of my mind. It transcends persona and barriers to connect with my true self where I hope to reconcile internal conflicts and heal myself. It would be impossible to communicate these aspects of my psyche verbally. The work is full of symbolism and archetypes which I believe are viewed in turn by the viewer in an unconscious manner. I hope that this will also be as therapeutic for the audience as it is for myself. My work is healing, especially to those who have mental health issues. I invite others to have a glimpse of a mind that is often troubled, anxious and depressed and to find empathy and understanding for people who are suffering from mental illness. I hope to touch the soul of anyone viewing my work. Currently, my work is mostly abstract in style but just as I can see archetypal images and symbols within the abstracts that reflect my own soul I hope that the abstract will act as a mirror to the viewer where they will see relevant images that relate to their own psyche. I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder and BPD(Borderline personality disorder) sometimes known as emotional intensity disorder. I believe this latter diagnosis has developed through a number of traumas occurring through my life. I wish to raise awareness of mental illness through my work and hope to one day be able to show to many more people where I will have a forum to discuss the difficulties that these problems bring. View all posts by larainbriggs

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