Mr. Martyn Dukes, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, plunged back into the world of professional Fine Art exhibitions at the beginning of the summer after a number of years absence. His summary of the experience:
Oddly enough, my IB teaching was partly responsible for getting me back into exhibiting: A change of syllabus saw young artists having to write a rationale for their final show, and in effect curating their own shows. As their teacher, this got me thinking about how I used to do the very same thing, as a painter, and little by little, this rekindled my desire to exhibit.
The international art fair in Basel in June was an exciting and hectic week and attracted galleries, artists, and buyers from all over the world. Rhy Art Fair Basel, one of a number of fringe events, was the setting for my showing of paintings from a long running series called Icons. These reflect a fascination with the world of the consumer and explore the enduring and idolized symbols that have grown out of it.
This was a tiring and sometimes stressful return to what is also sometimes a capricious and volatile business. In addition, as one of the warmest Junes on record, there was no air conditioning in the exhibition halls and temperatures were close to 40 °C. There were other changes too, with social media having become the indispensable tool for promoting the artist and their artworks; my clients would more likely buy my work if they felt connected to me in others ways—for example, if they knew which coffee brand I drink...There was, however, good company, with fellow artists from all over the globe spending many hours sitting around in our respective areas, willing the visitors to turn into interested, potential, and then real buyers. There were plenty of jokes and shared commiseration when they didn't.
Was it worth it? Well, yes, it was a great experience. And I’m going to do it again.
Mr. Dukes’ artworks in this show (Icons) can be seen catalogued with other works at www.martyndukes.squarespace.com.