It wasn’t supposed to get in.
The idea was to keep entering the same work into all the available art competitions and to have it continually fail to get in. I was adding up all the tries, the competitions, entry dates, costs and refusals and collating them into a wall text that would accompany a blank drawing box. I was planning to exhibit it in the Masters seminar as: Failed Posted Drawing Box (Never Sent).
A way of commenting on the nature of sending work out to competitions, of entering things and not getting in (a process I was familiar with) of looking for validation and cash prizes. An artist’s joke or game.
The rules were that I played their game, fulfilled their entry requirements. Parkin wanted up to two images, a title, sale price and $40. I didn’t get in. One down. Wallace didn’t want my money, but they did want a supporting text. I wrote one. Two down I thought.
And then it got in.
I had not envisaged this. It left me in a somewhat awkward position. obviously I’m really happy that I placed among the finalists, I was just really excited to be in the travelling show to be honest, but it has ruined the possibility of making my oh so clever-clever blank box drawing.
I’m not unappreciative, I’m overjoyed that the work is included, that other people find the same interest that I do in the work. I also love that in a homestead full of shiny, colourful, beautiful, thoughtful work my slightly dented cardboard box manages to hold its own.
But I also feel like I have lost my chance to critique the idea of art competitions which was my intention, the game I was playing. I’d never really wanted to critique anything before and I thought the drawing box was a good vehicle for that.
Now I have to find some other purpose for them, another game for them to play, a process for them to record.
and another way to critique the competition process, but from a different position, as benefactor, First Runner Up.