My Konscht am Gronn on the first of May wasn’t particularly successful. It almost covered costs, which is something, but it’s not enough. Oddly, I made more from poetry than photography—sales to visiting residents of Antwerp is something I didn’t consider when I named my first poetry collection for the city.
A problem is that most of my photographs aren’t visible unless someone makes an effort to look through them. That’s not good enough. They should be immediately visible. Why should I force someone to do work when, for my photography (unlike my poetry), that’s not necessary? Those photos should be as visible as possible. People should see them by simply looking their way.
That’s why I should do what most artists at Konscht am Gronn do, use a gazebo. It will let me display photos (and books) so that many more are immediately visible. But gazebos have problems. On Sunday, which wasn’t particularly windy, a gust almost blew one unfortunate artist’s gazebo into the river. I’ll have to buy something stable in gusts. It’ll require weights to hold it down, and something to keep it rigid if the wind swirls. Furthermore, whatever I buy must fold and fit into a small car.
Showing more photos, though, involves more than just buying a gazebo. There’s little point in getting something that allows me to display lots more photos if I don’t also get something to do the displaying. The gazebo will have walls, and I must find a way to put photos on those walls. Well, not literally, they are canvas walls that flex in the breeze. Whether I get folding stands, or something to hang photos from the gazebo structure, requires thought. Wind will blow hung things around, but stands need more space when transported.
Photos on walls are still not enough. I need to use surfaces too. Fortunately, Konscht am Gronn supplies tables and benches. That’s a start, and it’s enough of a start to have allowed me to discover my work does sell. I’ve got stands to put on the tables to show off books, which helps. But now I’m going to get a gazebo, I’m going to want to put a table and maybe a bench in the gazebo, and cover it appropriately. The covering isn’t difficult, just a matter of finding suitable cloth. Given the habit of gusts of occasionally taking things, and the detail that gazebos are not intended to be wind–proof, I probably ought to organise some sandbags to put across the feet of the bench and table to keep them immobile, and something to keep the cloth in place.
Finally, I find Konscht am Gronn uncomfortable. We stay there from 8am to 6pm, most of the time sitting down. Sitting on a bench for 10 hours is horrible. I have to keep moving around to prevent backache. I could bring my camping chair, which is a start, but there’s two of us. I’ll have to buy a second one.
So, if I’m going to keep exhibiting my work, an investment is needed. Since my exhibiting covers its costs, usually, and investing with a one–off cost will allow me to exhibit more at each event, and since I expect that showing more images will create more sales, I’m going make the investment. I hope it works!