Then I found AWE

Migrating from Cornwall, I moved to Exeter in the autumn.  Originally from Penzance (far down in Cornwall), I moved to Launceston in 2010 (high up in Cornwall (practically Devon anyway)) and studied in Plymouth (2010-12).  My sort of Bermuda triangle of stuff happening in my life, friends, colleagues and family scattered in those three corners (I daren’t venture into the middle).  So when I decided to move to Exeter it was a bit of a nervous time for myself, not knowing anyone and anything happening in the area.  Then I found AWE, also known as Art Week Exeter.

Not long after moving I made a conscious effort of finding all things ‘art’ and ‘Exeter’ related on social media, I highly recommend this method of stalking everything going on in a place you move to as soon as possible!  I checked out Evenbrite’s, well you guessed it, events; and groups, page and accounts on Facebook and Twitter.  Then within a week or two I was at my first Exeter Visual Arts Forum (EVAF) meeting and it was here I found out about Art Week Exeter (AWE) which is now running into its second year.  Keen to get stuck in with what’s occurring in the city I soon got into lauding myself around like I was some kind of cool kid in town! (I exaggerate, far too introverted and a lack of confidence for such self reverence).  Anyway, running for nine days (I’ve had weeks that have felt much longer) from 13th May, AWE, the coolest acronym gets its groove on and I knew I had to have some of that action!

Art Soup team for Art Week Exeter
Morph (pitcher), Naomi Hart (AWE team), Rebecca Harris (me), Stuart Crewes (AWE team), Sophia Clist (pitcher), Gem (SOUP team) and Cleo Heard (pitcher). Photo credit: Exeter Soup

Delighted to to receive an invite by the AWE team (Naomi and Stuart above) to come and pitch at Art Soup in November for projects running as part of the city wide event in May.  It’s a great concept, people turn up, pay a fiver for a bowl of soup and to vote for their favourite project, the winner takes the pot of cash.  Not really sure what to pitch at this point, I had a vague plan of my year ahead so pitched the project I plan to do soon with Professor Mike Wilson  from UCL who I collaborated with on my Eden Project commission.  Sophia Clist’s project Stretch won that night and I’m very much looking forward to seeing this in the Cathedral fin May.  I find with much of these sort of events it’s not about winning, it’s the taking part that counts (I’m sounding like a meaningful parent or teacher here).  Seriously though, it’s so important as an artist to start getting known by people, networking and letting people become more familiar with your work.

Since pitching my project, my calendar didn’t pan out as I hoped.  So for AWE I bring breasts.

Storm in a B Cup a story of breasts exhibition by artist Rebecca D. Harris

As part of Art Week Exeter I am finally getting the show ‘Storm in a B Cup’ out of my system, clearly obsessed with breasts I look forward to working through my various bosom related paths and ideas.  I recently finished a crowdfunding campaign to part fund this show and am delighted to exceed my £1,000 target (and dear reader I promise to have my guide to arts crowdfunding series of blog posts over the coming weeks).  I am currently working on putting all the rewards together and am slowly crocheting my way through a plethora of breasts (below).  More posts will follow about the details of this exhibition and the thinking behind it.

domestitties artwork by Rebecca D. Harris

 

In the lead up to AWE, the team have sent out a series of questions for all those involved to answer and will feature 60 of those over the next sixty days, we’re now onto day 5 and my responses featured on day one.  I really enjoyed answering their questions and very soon I will create my own blog post expanding on those questions here soon.

Moving to Exeter has been a very positive experience for myself and being part of this event is creating lots of new connections and opportunities that I am sure will unfold over the coming months.  It was daunting at first but I think I am slowly getting to know the city and the arty peeps around.  Do comment if you live in the city, say hi and/or if you’ve moved to a new place, what sort of things did you do to settle in and establish yourself?

 

 

 

Rebecca D. Harris how to write your first blog post

How do you write your first blog post?

I have spent the last fews days tormenting myself over how to write this first post. What do you write for a first blog post?  It’s very restrictive when you start overthinking…

 

I see it like a blank canvas, nervous of making that first brush stroke

Tweet this

 

What is the best way to open a blog? Do you just chuck in a post like you’ve been blogging forever? Or do you start with an intro sort of blog? I couldn’t decide, so here I am writing my first blog post about not knowing what to write here. I apologise if you’ve come here thinking I’m another one of those blogs that give you all the advice and rules on how to write blogs posts and in particular your first one. Trust me, I searched my fair share of these blogs and seriously, how many bloggers write about blogging? It’s lots btw. It’s great though finding so much information out there and guidance on how to do this blogging lark (sometimes though there’s just too much information).  So using Outbrain Inc tips I shall start below:

 

hello my name is rebecca

 

Introduce yourself

Many suggest just letting people get to know you, introduce yourself.  Let’s face it, if we met at some sort of social event I wouldn’t just barge in and try and share all my great cooking recipes for the season without at least letting you know who I was (just so we’re clear, this is not a cooking blog).  So, *clears throat* I’m Rebecca *puts out hand to shake and swiftly returns after it awkwardly not being accepted*.  Ok, I’ll stop the stupid socially awkward scenario now, I get enough of that real life experience, in well, real life.  So if my website hasn’t given you a hint already, I’m an artist.  I have done many other things within my adult life but my path has always steered me back towards art.  In 2010 I returned to finish my art degree and then not content enough with how much debt I had accrued so far I went on to do an MA in art.  It was during these studies I discovered how bleddy obsessed I am with the human body and it’s all I want to make work about.  I’m sure you’ll get to know more about my ideas and process as the blog posts continue.

 

Your topic

So that leads me to talk about what I will, um, talk about.  Over the coming posts, weeks, months I am sure the blog and myself will get caught up in our new love affair and develop and evolve.  My thinking for now is that I will share things that relate to the themes of my work, my processes, thinking behind new and old works and just other stuff going on which might be relevant for sharing here.

 

Find your voice

*clears throat, again* I think maybe we’ve established this?

 

Social media links

May I, huh hummm, direct your attention to the footer on the website.

 

Include media

CHECK!

Share links

There you go Outbrain Inc.

 

Take time writing your blog

Oh trust me, I have certainly done that, I’ve left this stewing for days before deciding to write my first post on trying to write my first post.

 

Proofread

Outbrain Inc suggest:

This blog will reflect you personally and professionally. The last thing you want is to have a blog entry that is full of problems. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes even after the post is live. The best way to edit is to finish your post, save it as a draft, and taking time off. You need to rest your eyes and your mind for a few minutes before you come back to read it over again.

 

So I’m off for a cup of tea and I’ll return shortly for a quick edit.

 

Encourage feedback

Genuinely asking this now, what hints and tips do you have for starting a blog?  Don’t be too good though as I might have to start again!

 

 

 

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