Thursday, April 22, 2010
Nailed to the wall
London, ON, February 2009
Just over a year ago, I was privileged to have my work exhibited by a local studio. It was a surreal experience to see my photos printed, matted and hung in a space specifically designed, from the paint to the lighting to the layout, for art.
I had never before thought of photography - nay, my photography - as art. But seeing and even feeling them on the wall made me realize that whatever we create can have a very real impact on those who experience it. I guess I had been sharing my work virtually for so long that it was easy to miss the real meaning of it all: It took the tangible act of printing, preparing and mounting everything to drive that message home.
When the show was over and I was finished taking the last one down, I stopped beside this one nail and stared at it for a good long while. On the one hand, I was somewhat saddened that it was all over. The experience was a thrill - made even more meaningful by the fact that I got to share it with my wife and kids and our friends from the community. I got to see my parents experience my work in a way they never had previously, and I'd like to think that my dad got an especially satisfying jolt of pride that his kid followed his voice and created something neat. I'll never know, of course, but the mere thought is a comfort.
Staring at the photo of the nail today, I'm reminded that the process of exploring, capturing, learning and sharing is a never-ending one. And as long as I am able, I'll heft my camera in my hand and head out on new adventures. And perhaps soon I'll find another nail much like this one, and I'll be lucky enough to once again hang something tangible on it for a whole new audience.
Your turn: What should be hung here?