It’s been 4 months since I last wrote in this diary, and I just can’t find the words for what has been happening. I have so much to tell you, so much in fact that the idea of trying to write it all down is daunting. Wonderland has literally gone around the planet. I have exhibited in a group exhibition with Italian Vogue, been showcased as one of 16 artists for the Ulsan International Photography Festival in Korea, been chosen for a solo show in one of London’s most famous restaurants, and ……….. most importantly of all I am about to hold my own Wonderland exhibition in London next week. This entry is just a last minute desperate attempt to post the flyer for the show on here before the doors open on Tuesday. The next time I write I will share photos of the event and hopefully tell you it was well received!
So much has changed, The Daily Mail article and the BBC News coverage opened the gates for Wonderland and so many people from around the world have been in touch. I have been overwhelmed, overworked, out of my depth, but also for the first time in my life felt like this is all really going to go somewhere. It is almost a year to the day that I handed in my 3-month notice at the fashion design studio, if you had told me back then what I would be writing today I wouldn’t have believed it. The pictures in the last month have been published in Australia, Finland, and Korea, with large features and a magazine cover about to go to press in New York and London in the coming weeks.
Its been a massive learning curve for me, and I feel when things calm down I want to write a long and thorough post to help anyone reading this on how to deal with some of the experiences I have been through. I don’t have an agent, or a press team, or a business manager, every step of the way has been blind, and I have had to rely on my own judgement, or the advice of some very precious new friends I have made in the industry. Dealing with taking your work from a hobby (or an obsession in my case) to giving up your job…… to developing your ‘brand’, promoting yourself and your work, and then coping with what happens when the mainstream discover you is a mine field. Moving out of the comfort of having a little bit of success on the internet, to suddenly being thrown into the reality of the serious art world is a whole different ball game, and your priorities change immensely. I had a great many romantic visions of this first year of me being ‘free’ to be an artist, most of which involved jumping around in fields of flowers taking hundreds of photographs, but that has not been the case. My idea of the physical ‘worth’ of my work has completely changed and the time and effort I have invested into the pictures I have created (mostly still unreleased) has been on a completely different level. But anyway for now this is just a brief, frantic and exhausted hello to let you know I’m still in one piece, and that there are 6 new Wonderland pictures stacked up waiting to be released in the coming weeks. I know I sound like a broken record every time I write but I want to thank all the people who have written to me about the series or mum in the last few months, I am constantly humbled by the support and kindness of complete strangers, and it honestly means so, so much. I feel terrible I can’t always reply to everyone, it is just impossible with everything that is going on for me right now but I’ll try my best to catch up when things slow down.
So I guess this is it for now, the exhibition is a ‘selected works’ from the series as Wonderland is still not finished. I hope to complete all the shoots by the end of this year, as I have 4 more big scenes to create. There will be 25 of some of the most famous pictures in the collection at the gallery with the sizes ranging up to 150cm wide – so they will be pretty glorious to see (and are all available for sale). I will also be displaying a few of the costumes pieces – two of which are from brand new unreleased pictures, so I hope people will enjoy them :)
Anyway, fingers crossed for the coming week….. deep breath…. I cant believe its almost here, I promise to post lots of pictures for everyone who can’t make it, and once again thank you for how kind everyone has been, I truly mean it xx
oh and PS, this was a little moment for me. The exhibition was announced in Amuse magazine this week, 100,000 copies released at all major tube and railway stations in London, It didn’t felt real when I held it in my hands ….. looks like this is finally going to happen !
*’ ‘Wonderland : Selected Works’ will run from September 11th – September 15th at ( SW1 Gallery ) London.
*My second London exhibition will open on the 20th September and run till Novermber 13th at ( Quaglino’s ) of Mayfair, I will post further details soon.