Round and Round

Bicycle Wheel II

Last week I was talking to a friend who is also an artist. She had an interesting problem in that the work she had created over a lifetime had become expensive to store any longer. A few years ago I had helped her place all the work which is two and three dimensional on paper and board as well as ceramics from her studio and into a commercial storage space. I think the hope was that in a short while good homes could be found for the works.

Meanwhile, galleries seemed uninterested in expanding their collections as their storage spaces were also full and resources stretched. No private collector stepped forward even though her work is included in public and private, national and international collections. I wondered how many other artists are wrestling the same dilemma when she commented that perhaps too many artists were being trained and a glut of work existed in a market supported by too few buyers.  I'm not sure that too many people could receive training in the arts, there may even be an argument for increased arts education and as for buyers I guess the sale price is determined by buyers and sellers alike on any given day.

She also commented on another artist who had died a few years ago whose work now languished in storage under the weight of valuation and legal positions. The very same artist had lived a very frugal life in order to create the work for which she received very little monetary return during her lifetime.

So work sits in storage, crows circle and nobody benefits.