"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?" - Frida Kahlo
ARTONLINE - My virtual art gallery
Ruth Carneson (1)
[Click on all pictures to enlarge]
My initial idea was to gather together one hundred pictures and put them on Facebook and invite 1,327 friends to buy my work. I would make the price affordable and if just one hundred people bought one picture each, I would be able to put bread on the table, pay off my credit card and buy air tickets to visit my sons and grand daughter and I would be very happy.
Earning a living as an artist is challenging at the best of times, particularly when times are tough and people don't have money to spare for luxuries like art.
However I soon got distracted from my original idea of making money and became engrossed in finding and re-discovering art work I had completely forgotten about. It was a time-consuming activity digging up my art work, scanning it and organising it into albums, and I completely forgot about selling my work in the process. Instead I focused on sharing my work and sending out into the world.
I created a Facebook page Artonline-Ruth Carneson and invited my Face Book friends to an on line exhibition – 21 Days in August. At the same time I emailed every one I knew inviting them to my online exhibition by clicking on a link- facebook.com/ArtByRuthCarneson
Each morning for 21 days I focused on particular aspects of my work and sent it out into the world beginning with a birthday card I made for my mother when I was 7 years old while she was locked up in jail as a political prisoner. I combined autobiographical work with photographs and letters to give my work context.
Facebook was an ideal place to have an exhibition – the costs were low, I didn't need to frame the work and I had a huge response. It was highly affirming to see all the likes, comments and shares from people. The act of sharing my work allowed it to breathe. It also gave me a chance to stand back look at my own work.
Ironically, the most popular picture that got the most response was not one of my art works but a photo of my 98 year old mother that I posted on the 9 August on South African Women's Day.
Which just goes to show that grandmothers are more popular and marketable than art
A sampling of the pictures displayed. Further samples are available from the facebook link given above.
Click on the thumbnail pictures to enlarge
(1) You can learn more about Ruth from http://art4joy.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/ruth-carneson.html