Open night at Eco Park.

I was ready at 6pm, with tea, coffee and rum punch on hand.

I had allowed for up to 30 guests. Only 6 came, with a handful of people wandering in from the Otter Surfboards open evening taking place on the same night.

In one sense this was a disappointing turnout but it had been a gamble to use the venue and, as I had decided that as I am having a larger show in July to keep press packs back for that event instead, it’s totally understandable.

In Figs. 1 and 2 below you can see images of the work in situ.

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Fig. 1: Harena Now images in situ
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Fig. 2: Harena Now images in situ – side view

One visitor, a fine art photographer, was incredibly interested in the work but had said that she was disappointed the venue had not promoted the show more.

She said she had booked on my cyanotype workshop running at the site but only received a message the day before from the venue to tell her about my show. She said see had told as many other people as she could about the exhibition but with such late notice no one else was free to attend.

As this is the first time the venue has held an exhibition, it is something they will need to address in future if they want to attract other artists to the show. They are very good at promoting the events they organise but it seems external events that could still be of interest to their customers perhaps are not yet seen as important to promote as internal ones. And given that I kept my own promotion small scale, this is not a big criticism, more a learning point for next time.

Despite there only being a few visitors I still gave a ten minute talk about my project. I recorded this but unfortunately it seems my camera stopped working a few minutes in (yes, I had checked cards, batteries etc).

Below is short, low resolution film of elements of my talk.

This show has given me an opportunity to learn what to do better next time. These are primarily to: conduct a fuller media briefing; utilise paid-for social media; and encourage the venue to promote the show via its own contacts.

Given my next show is to take place in a well-established ‘grassroots’ art space, I’m hopeful it will be better attended.

However, despite the low turn out, I have been invited to give a talk at the venue’s yearly festival, Tropical Pressure. This would be a huge boost to sharing my work further.

You can find out more about this festival at: tropicalpressure.co.uk

The venue staff were all very helpful, and I think with time and more experience it could become a great venue for art shows with an environmental edge.

Another plus point from the night was connecting to Rob from Beach Guardian.

Fig. 3 provides an outline of what Beach Guardian is:

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Fig. 3: Beach Guardian About Us Facebook section

Rob was very interested in my work, and the story behind it. I hope to collaborate in future. He kindly took a picture of me in front of my work to share on the project’s social media (see Fig. 4).

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Fig. 4: Great plug from Beach Guardian @PlasticWaive

And which I was able to share further (see Fig. 5).

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Fig. 5: Shared post promoting my work via Beach Guardian on Twitter

I left a feedback form at the venue from which to gather input about my work.

Three comments have been made. They are:

“Amazing images. Full of life and in touch with reality.”

“Fascinating story about sand but most beautiful and interesting images and how they are made. Thanks.”

“I like the space/cosmic portals. And the colours.”

These comments are of course great to have received. And it will also help me with my further research into how people respond to non-documentary photography that is telling a very human story.