Well, Bird/land closed just over a month ago and I have to say in many respects it was a success. Feedback was excellent; visitors were particularly complimentary about how different the work was to anything that I had previously done. Print sales were also very good and much better than I was expecting. As a result I have just sent a cheque for £140 to the RSPB towards reconstruction of their hides at Snettisham in Norfolk. I had hoped to make multiple visits to Snettisham during the course of the project to photograph the countless thousands of waders which congregate there but a storm surge of December 2013 destroyed the hides. So my small contribution will benefit conservation generally and bird photographers in particular.
What has been disappointing is the almost complete lack of coverage I have received in the press and the photographic media in particular. I suppose the exhibition did fall between two stools – not really bird photography, and not landscape either – so it was difficult to categorise. And, of course, it was in a small town in mid-Wales and who could even pronounce its name? But not for the first time have I believed that there is a prejudice amongst the English media about all things Welsh.
All is not yet lost, however. I have agreed to display some of the work at RSPB Ynyshir, my local reserve, next spring. And on a much larger scale the whole exhibition will be shown at Aberystwyth Arts Centre for two months next summer. I am hoping to be able to expand it to fill the larger photographic gallery there but that will be subject to receiving further funding from the Arts Council of Wales. So watch this space for further information about dates, etc.
The image above is one of only two singles in the exhibition. It has sold really well and only one remains at the time of writing. How I wish I’d offered an edition of ten or more instead of just six! It is so difficult to know how to sell photographs. Over the summer I noticed an exhibition of really rather average black-and-white landscapes in a bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, in an edition of 295. Only in the photographer’s wildest dreams would anywhere near that number be sold. A short edition would, I hoped, create a feeling of exclusivity around the work, and thus increase sales. But I think I may have misjudged it. Just one of the lessons I have learned over the last few months!
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