There are more than a few artists who have used the increased attention on Hull in 2017 as a platform to launch their own artistic careers. They have taken the initiative and taken, what is in many cases, a huge leap of faith and decided to put their art out into the world for all to see. Anyone taking this step deserves credit for simply trying. If they then go on to forge a career as an artist and make a living doing something they love, they are to be applauded.
I have been able to meet dozens of artists this year, through various projects I’ve been involved with, who have taken this step. Some of these have been shocked to discover that the journey is far from easy. Those who have gone in with their eyes wide open however, have been able to carve out their own places in the City of Culture, and further afield.
I know when I first started out as a professional illustrator, the idea of having to reply on yourself entirely to earn a living can be a challenging one. Talent only goes so far. Unless that talent is coupled with hard work, serious dedication and a willingness to take risks, an artist will rarely get beyond the confines of their sketchbook. As someone who has been there, and is still doing it, it’s a bumpy ride but it’s also fun and hugely rewarding.
An artist I first met last year is taking this same leap, with her first exhibition of paintings going on display in the centre of Hull. Emma Garness will not only be showcasing her work for the next four weeks at Queens House Showcase on paragon Street, but she will also be painting live in the window of the recently opened gallery space. There is no better way to engage with the public as an artist, than by painting live and making yourself available to discuss your work.
Emma, who studied at Hull College before gaining her degree in Performing and Visual Arts, now lives and works in Hull. Her work has featured in the Ferens Open Exhibition, and permanent murals are installed at ERT Theatre Beverley and numerous schools across the region. The large pieces on display as part of the exhibition, titled ‘Something In-Between’ have a dream-like quality to them and are impressive statement pieces which capture light and movement elegantly.
Something In-Between runs until the 6th of October at Queens House Showcase, which is open each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am until 4pm.
Find out more: www.enrghull.co.uk/creative/queens-house-showcase