Monday, August 28, 2006

I am a Jazz Event

I thought I ought to do a blog about having a show, because I am going to have a show, and by ‘show’ I mean exhibition.

It is on Friday and Saturday.

Here’s the press release, as written by my friend Marcus.


Talented and imaginative local artist, Chloe Cumming, is showcasing a range of her work in a free exhibition in The Shop at Enterprise House, North Street, Crewkerne, during the festivities of the Crewkerne Fair. Open from 1-4pm on Friday 1st Sept and from 10am-4pm on Saturday 2nd Sept, Chloe will be on hand to talk about her work which will be available for sale or for orders.

Enterprise House who run offices and premises for small businesses in Crewkerne said: "We are delighted to support Chloe's work by opening this special two-day exhibition. Chloe's art adds an fabulous extra to all the jazz of the Crewkerne Fair!"

For further details of Chloe's art visit: anyone interested in exhibition or office space should visit:


This will not be a usual kind of white blog for me. The pictures will not be new work. They will be a motley selection of stuff, which is exactly what will be at the show.

It is not big or long, it is for two days in an office space in Crewkerne.

It will coincide with the Crewkerne Jazz festival. Fancy some Jazz and Chloe? Why don’t you come along?

When I was younger my Dad used to take me to Crewkerne Furniture Emporium. It’s a big place full of old furniture. I remember they also had people’s old family photographs, that were unwanted or the owner had died. They were spooky and mesmerising.

I remember one that had written on the back ‘One of the last photos of Alan’.

Anyway, now I am trying to organise myself, which does not come naturally to me. I am also bracing myself for being physically near the paintings whilst people gawp at them and ask me questions. I am never prepared for the frequently asked questions; which is silly, seeing as they are frequently asked. What I’m doing, which is really an uphill struggle, is writing some wall text.

I hate wall text. At art galleries. Especially the contemporary kind.

But I’m hoping it might go some way to diffusing questions such as ‘What’s this one about?’ and ‘Why wrestlers?’ and ‘Have you ever thought about illustrating children’s books?’.

But with the wall text, when I try to be concise, when I try to condense my meaning into pithy sentences… it comes out even more pretentious than the pretension I’m trying to avoid.

Here’s a quote from some stuff I have come up with in my wall text plan:


I don’t like wall text at art shows.

Whatever my paintings have to communicate is not verbal and cannot be explained in words. They are not about things. They are things.

See… that’s kind of meaningless drivel. It’s concise to the point of vague-ing itself to death. At the same time, maybe it gets the point across.

The point roughly being that I do not buy into the art school cliché where the paintings are about something and the thing they are about is something you have rehearsed talking about and it is something pseudo intellectual and you explain it to people so that they are in on it and feel they get it. All of which bypasses actual human responses to sensual stimuli and caters only to snobby ideas about being an Art Person, and Art being all about intellectual bollocks.

See this is why I like cartoon people and art shows make me want to run away.

I paint for real compulsive reasons, which have nothing in common with the mechanics of the art world. Nothing at all.

So… well I don’t want to make this blog all about writing. So I might update later in the week about how the preparations are going. Or about something else that’s fun, like George Herriman or stuff that doesn’t make me whiny.

But more importantly:

Kurt Angle has left the WWE, because his body and his brain and his soul were so battered he needed to stop before they all broke.

I love Kurt and his big eyes and his inimitable neckhead and his humour and his intensity. I loved painting him and I will paint him again, you mark my words.


Shawn said...

I do fancy myself some jazz and Chloe! I wish I could be in your distant land to visit your exhibit and meet the famous Chloe Cumming!

You must be honered to be a part of such an event, and you well deserve it! Don't worry about talking to the people, your words will come naturaly.

I'm not a fan of the wall text either, and when I go to art exhibits, I never even read them (apart from reading the dates). Not to be too pretentious myself, but art is the feelings that cannot be expressed in words. That's why you bring it out in images and color. That's why it's the deepest form of expression. You can't explain it, and that's the entire reason you put it on canvas. It's much easier to discuss technique rather than meaning. This holds true to cartooning as well as fine art.

Anyways, your exhibit will be great!

Good luck!

P.S. We looove you, Kurt! Your beefyness will live on forever!

J Topple said...

Usually best just to go with your name on the wall text.
The Last Exhibition I was in, my wall text was "12" (that was the number I was in the catalogue.

Perhaps you could do a cartoon convention/art exhibition crossover and stand by your work signing A4 reproductions of your drawings and selling t-shirts... Every cultural event has it's own meaningless and silly traditions, it's all part of the fun. :)

j topple said...

PS, congratualations on the show, I hope it all goes well.

It's kind of terrifying showing your work in public as I'm sure you already know, but overall the feeling of partial success when random people say they like your work is worth it.

I'm going to be down south soon to see my family so maybe i'll try to get along to see the show. My brother is at art college in Exeter which is not too far away...

greg oakes said...

i love jazz... and while i'm here i must say... your work is bleepin' amazing woman!! your style of writing is killer as well! ;) it!! i got a kick outta the following because this seems to be the way i see things. nice.

"I paint for real compulsive reasons, which have nothing in common with the mechanics of the art world. Nothing at all."

love all those wrestler drawings in the previous post. BRILLIANT stuff!!!

hoping your exhibition was everything you dreamt it would be and more! ;)

bye for now...


ps. thanks again for the myspace comment the other day! ;)


Chloe Cumming said...


Don't worry, I dispensed with the wall text entirely.

Instead I got old men with thick west country accents exclaiming 'This man's got a haaand growing out of his face!' which was much more fun.

John: I'm looking into being a cartoon celebrity crossover ho. I want the legions of geek fans queuing for a piece of my sweet signaturey action.

Chloe Cumming said...

And John... you didn't come! Maybe you could come and visit our house instead.

Greg: Thank you... I am planning mindblowing things. I shall have to write the mindblowing thing ideas down in my notebooks.

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