You need a very special friend so be able to DO this . . .
Why Clare wanted me to get involved in her DIVA project in the first place was beyond me. I thought she just wanted me to photograph her opening night, but that’s not what she had in mind at all.
We sat at my kitchen table, winter sun dancing in the windows, she kept pushing, pushing, pushing . . . after getting the shakes from the third cup of coffee I could only say – Yes, Go On – I’ll do it!
But, I am no artist and I don’t display my work – my clients do – in their homes, but . . . but . . . but . . .
I have done a lot of BIG things in my life, – but this was BIGER than BIG! This was pushing myself far beyond my comfort zone – pushing myself to be just me, a me I did’t even want to admit to being.
The initial idea was great, photograph all the artist as they work, but there wasn’t enough time to carry it through. The second idea feel through when the Rose of Limerick feel ill and and couldn’t make the photo shoot. Suddenly it was just me, on my own, in the studio, both in front and behind the camera, – with a little help form a friend . . . There is no way I can pull this off, – I thought, but I did because it mattered to Clare and eventually it became more important to me than I ever thought it could be.
On the opening night of Diva, when my 4 portraits hung in the entrance hall, behind the Jazz musicians, and I walked in, with Shane, Ruby and our friends – I was shocked! – Shocked to feel proud more than embarrassed. Shocked that I’d followed through and my work was actually hanging on the wall. Shocked that I could be part of an art exhibition.
There I was with my work on the wall, on opening night, mingling with real artists and not one single person thought my work was ‘fake’, only I did. Why?
Why is it that we think of ourselves as fakes, instead of believing in our right to be part of everything good that is going on around us?
For me? – Fear – I think. Fear of making a prat of myself. Fear for starting something and not finish it or worse, finishing but the result is just blæ. Fear of the embarrassing feeling of not being good enough or that snide ‘who does she think she is?‘ remark.
It was that fear I had to let go of to do DIVA and it also became the subject of my photographs.
Believe, – I am OK.
& I was OK, I was much more than OK, – It was a night to celebrate an awesome feeling kind’a OK.
Diverse Individual Visual Artists (DIVA) a heArt concept created by Clare Hartigan.
Love & Light