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Engaging with your audience #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so I let you into the dustier pathways of my mind and let you know what I’m thinking about today. I’ve been thinking about art and audience engagement. Some artists create for themselves, true artists create for other people and engage with the audience.

I don’t like these politically correct terms like ‘engage with the audience’ but it is a useful term and so I’ll use it. I criticised an artwork this week and a lot of younger people liked it. It was a by a young artist and feature two guys, one of whom had his cap on backwards. To people of my age, that just says idiot and the painting did not engage with many older people or me but did with the younger people. I also posted a picture that engaged with a lot of people of all ages. The image was of a painting by a local artist of the town marketplace and the town clock. The image got 120 likes and 47 shares on Facebook. Now that’s engagement. Not only can they relate to the place featured but also to the work and creativity that went into creating the painting.

My image today is not quite as readily recognised and is a photograph rather than a painting and so easier to produce. I’ve had it professionally printed on canvas. Is it a work of art that people can relate to? Am I engaging my audience? A lot of people like it, so I think, yes.

I’m admin of the History of Wednesbury page on Facebook. I have to engage the fans of the page. This means posting words and pictures that they can relate to. We have a shared history and it’s something we can relate to because we share it. We can also share art, in the same way, but it must, in some way, relate to us. Art needs to engage its audience. I saw Damien Hirst’s sheep pickled in formaldehyde once  and it did nothing for me but there was a group of children around it. Maybe it did engage with children who couldn’t really understand it was dead. To them, it was like a stuffed teddy bear, a toy rather than a dead animal.

The weather

We British talk about the weather a lot, it does dominate our lives. A good way of engaging with people here is to mention the weather. It’s cloudy today but I think I will go out and try some landscape photography while the roads are quiet. I can’t just go anywhere, I still want to avoid traffic jams and there are  road works everywhere at the moment. Cloud cuts the light down, but I can use a higher ISO setting making the sensor on my camera more sensitive. White cloud gives quite a good light, it’s the dark rain clouds that make things looks gloomy. Mindfulness is another trendy word, that appears to mean awareness. I am more aware these days and can predict when it’s going to rain down to the minute when the dark clouds start to move in.

If this is you first time reading my blog, I do post on a variety of subjects. On Mondays, my posts are about psychology or life in general. On Tuesdays, photography and art, on Wednesday’s I simply vary my posts, on Thursday I write about being thrifty and saving money, then on Friday I write about how I invest money which brings me to Saturday when I can write about what I want.

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