Before the Exhibition Thoughts and Tips

This exhibition means everything to me at the moment. Mainly because I have spent a lot of time and effort making everything for many months. I have been physically, emotionally, mentally and creatively invested in this process.

For 'now' and during the 'preparation time' this has been my life. I really enjoy the challenge of making, and figuring out new individual creations and bringing the whole exhibition together.



The biggest challenge I have faced during this exhibition preparation time has been the loss of my elderly grandmother. Even though I knew it was coming (she was 99) I had spent a lot of time with her and offered a lot of support regularly for many years prior. She was the only grandmother I knew and how blessed I was that we hung out together so often - even though she ultimately passed away from dementia.

Dealing with her passing inspired me to make a special flowerpot to house her ashes container until our family unite to spread her ashes at the end of 2024. From that I became quite obsessed making more grandmother flowerpots and vases. These became the 'grandmother' collection of this exhibition.



I have been quite surprised by how well everything has come together for this exhibition - don't be fooled though as it has consisted of many 10-14hr days and incredible effort that has been put into this.

My sculptures, especially the 'Light Within Lamp' sculpture turned out amazing and came together pretty well. This 'smooth sailing' (or smooth creating) doesn't always happen when creating. Sometimes a sculpture just doesn't work out easily - the clay may be too hard, too soft or not quite the right clay for the task. Sometimes the weather is too hot so the piece dries very quickly, other times it is too cold or damp and the piece is very slow to firm up. Of course an obstacle may be my approach to the task - which may not be the most ideal way to tackle the build.

I guess that with things flowing pretty well with the builds in this case, that it shows that my experience is improving and perhaps my skills are vaster than before. I would hope that I am learning and growing as I go, and the results speak for themselves.



My top five tips for others wanting to exhibit their art in a solo exhibition are:

1. Come up with an idea - a theme - a title for the exhibition. I like to consider what I am exploring or curious about at the time. When writing up a proposal for an exhibition I imagine what I want to create, come up with a punchy, short and relevant title, consider how long I need to make for it, and also reflect on how to present it.

2. Look for a suitable venue. If you haven't had a solo exhibition before then it may be tough to get approval for the first one, so think outside the box. Approach friends, other types of businesses etc with your idea and go from there.

3. Create a timeline to ensure everything gets done. Because I am a visual person, I make a big poster using a blank piece of paper and a texta. I work out my aim and goal for the exhibition, and how much I need to make each month getting to the exhibition date. I allow a little extra time just in case something comes up. My timeline is flexible to begin with, however once I get down to the last 6 - 10 weeks I ensure everything is amped up, production and creation is occuring and keep checking to make sure I am on track.

4. Allow some extra time to catch up, for contengencies and to avoid stress. Some people like packing their bags for a holiday the night before leaving - I am not one of those people! I will slowly pack my bags a few weeks before - adding to the pile as I think of things. This means that I tend not to forget things and it keeps me stressfree. Unforeseen things can happen when preparing for an exhibition, so allowing extra time - depending on the material being used (e.g ceramics requires quite a long time between making and finishing) can be a wise move - and this very much works for me. Plus, then if you have everything done one week before, you can relax a bit before the exhibition / event itself. *hint - pricing, cateloguing and packing everything takes longer than we might think - especially ceramics!

5. Make exciting, well made pieces - something new, something different. When creating I need to challenge myself to make new pieces that I have never made before and to ensure my standard is as high as I can manage. Why? Because I want to have an exhibition that I am proud of and that people who are making the effort to come and see can be excited by it too. If people choose to visit my exhibition, no matter if I know them or not, then I want to make it worth their while to take the time out of their day to see what I've been doing. To create a mediocre exhibition is not in my vision at all.



I would like to achieve personal satisfaction from my exhibition. Currently (as the exhibition is still 8 days away from when I am writing this) I have a vision, I know my pieces and my rough ideas, but bringing it together, putting it all on display will be a fun and focused process.

Today I bask in this pre exhibition feeling - the satisfaction of everything being done and an excitement to share my creations.

Next week I will feel satisfied when the exhibition space is set up and the display is clear - showcasing my work as best as I envision it to be.

The week after, hopefully there has been good feedback, some sales and personal celebration that it is all over and I can then focus on the next creations, projects and plans moving forward.


OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 29th February
Arrive from 5.30pm for a 6pm start.
Nanna Bayer will open the exhibition.
All welcome.

Wed 28 Feb 10am - 5pm
Thu 29 Feb 10am - 5pm + opening night
Fri 1 Mar 10am - 3pm
Sat 2 Mar 10am - 5pm
Sun 3 Mar 10am - 5pm
Mon 4 Mar 10am - 12pm

Salamanca Arts Centre
67 Salamanca Place
Hobart, Tasmania

To learn more about Lee-Anne's work please visit or follow her on Facebook


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