I created and began writing on the SAW blog on Tuesday 8th June 2010, I was 23 year old recent Fine Art graduate and was eager to learn more about the art world that I suddenly found myself in. Writing a blog that used critical writing as a way of reflecting on both local and national contemporary art was the perfect opportunity to explore this and hopefully meet new artists, institutes and galleries along the way. On my first post I introduced myself to the world of blogging with the photo above followed by the quote,
“Hello! The person in the photo above struggling to hold a giant wrench that's grappling an equally giant spider. That's me.”
Three years and 162 blog posts later and I’m still that same person grappling the giant spider that is ‘art’....Or something like that, I’ve learnt lots of new things along the way, gotten a bit wiser and probably also a bit crazier none of which is necessarily a bad thing. Whilst it has been a privilege a joy and an honour, I now feel it is time to move on to something new and focus on establishing and creating my own independent blog page and bid farewell to my days in residence with SAW.
The SAW blog in numbers:
Over 20,000 hits
11 Art book reviews
3 Somerset Art Weeks
14 posts whose titles come from song lyrics (can you spot them all?)
160,000 words written on blog (at least)
The SAW Blog has chronicled my personal account of discovering new things in Somerset, for example; Jamaica Street and BV Studios in Bristol, Bath Artists Studios, the opening of The Crescent Contemporary, pop up art shops, The Brewhouse (there are so many posts about the Brew!), art in Tithe Barns, Old School Rooms and Collar Factories, glove factories, bridges, Willow Cathedrals and more. I’ve travelled to Plymouth, Weymouth, Bath, Exeter, Bristol, Bath, Reading, Oxford, Cardiff London, Liverpool and Edinburgh and more. It has covered the highs and lows of two Liverpool Biennials, Turner Prizes, The British Art Show, degree shows and Contemporary Art Opens throughout the land. The SAW blog has also allowed me the special opportunity to communicate directly to SAW artists and particularly in the run up and during art weeks which have been amongst the liveliest and rewarding posts I’ve had the pleasure to write. And as an artist the ongoing dialogue with contemporary art and artists has been at times cathartic as I’ve been able to express my opinions thoughts and rantings, enlightening as sometimes I’ve actually changed my opinion of much work as a result of writing about it, inspiring as it has given me the opportunity to see other artists work and create posts about them in return.
Hopefully the SAW blog will continue to thrive soon under a new resident writer, watch this space. In the mean time it is very important that the last thing I write before I go is to say a really big thank you to all who have followed, commented, contributed and EVEN READ the blog over the years, it has been a pleasure and thank you for your motivation and inspiration to write.
Annnnddd.... If you’re really going to miss me (why wouldn’t you?!) then fear not for I’ll be continuing to write posts on exhibition reviews, arty nonsense, books, films and more on my blog page, http://spannerintheworkz.blogspot.co.uk Please check it out.
Writing here has been the best work and joy I have had outside making actual ‘art’ and has actually helped me make sense of so many exhibitions, art works and more. I’ve always enjoyed it and have tried to be honest and responsible in what I am writing aware that it is in the public realm. So it is on that note that I’d like to end this chapter of my blogging career with a quote that echoes my own blogging philosophy (and features tools of sorts) from Hunter S Thompson,
“I find that by putting things in writing I can understand them and see them a little more objectively. For words are merely tools and if you use the right ones you can actually put even your life in order, if you don't lie to yourself and use the wrong words.”