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My Selby Little Fest Experience

Last weekend saw me strut my stuff in Selby as part of Selby Little Fest. It was the fist time I had been involved in any kind of arts event or festival and I was more than happy to attend and gain experience, meeting like minded people and discussing potential collaborations along the way.

I was to demonstrate the processes used to create paint in situ, engaging the public with the idea that creating paint can be fun and stimulating, and generally delighting and intriguing those who cared to look. That was the plan anyway, and for the most part, I’d say it was a success.

What was instantly pleasurable was the ability to directly engage with the public and to simply discuss my work informally. Gone was the endless need to justify my positioning within the genre of still life and the validity of my practice. This was me, simply chatting to those who naturally appreciated and embraced my work. There was no grandiloquence, no-one attempting to undermine;  Just raw, informal yet direct conversation. Refreshing.

On Saturday, I arrived with a backpack full of oil, eggs, spice and palette knives, and approached the On Our Turf double-decker bus, which acted as a kind of hub from which to initiate your activities. I met the festival organisers and was given a table on the street near the bus from which to begin making paints. The experience of making paints on the street was a little bizarre at first: I believe there is something slightly unsettling about cracking an egg outside. But after about 3 minutes I had fully adapted to my surroundings and set about filling people with unabashed wonderment. The day went well, although between endlessly hip graffiti art and endlessly fun drum bashing my stall was probably a bit obtuse.


My stall at Selby Little Fest on Sunday. As you can see I’m making some lovely turmeric paint and demonstrating the process, for all to see.

Immediately after Saturday, inevitably, came Sunday: A far more grandiose affair, I was removed from the streets and thrust headlong into Selby Abbey. In between two other artists and just right of the Abbey entrance, I felt a little more comfortable and able to express my artistic practice more decisively.  Needless to say, I had more people approach my stall, engaging in conversation and entering into discussion regarding how my practice can be adapted ad applied to teaching children Which is always an exciting prospect.

So, a success then. Relatively speaking. For whilst I didn’t generate a mass of interest I think it’s safe to say that those who did engage with my work left feeling a little enlightened and perhaps a with reaffirmation of what paint can be.  If you would like to see more photos of my experience, then this is where to find them:

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