the artist project
deborah harris presented her work at Toronto exhibition The Artist Project in 2014
Being a first time participant in The Artist Project in 2014 was a great learning experience. I appreciated the response from viewers — received in their postures, expressions and many times their words. I would also note that it is of utmost importance that I include myself as a viewer of art.
Reflecting on this experience has lead me to write an acknowledgement to viewers.
I have the perception that viewers are not aware of their importance both to the artist as an individual and to art in general. I have observed that often the viewer sees themself outside of the creative process, they acknowledge the artist’s creativity but are somewhat in awe of their talent. I would like the viewer to recognize that it is their ability to see the work which completes it. If they are moved by a particular piece of work and wish to purchase it, their purchase is a way of supporting the artist to continue to work. It is a gesture which supports the value and necessity of art itself. Without the viewer the work of art has no need to continue. Without the viewer’s support art has no means by which to continue. The enormous attendance at the Artist Project, the diversity of age and culture of its visitors indicates that there is a curiosity and interest in art. Each of the artists participating invests time, attention and money to make their work accessible to the viewer. We are dependent on the response of the viewers to validate those efforts. Art is a living language only if it is able to communicate to those who agree to see.
deborah harris, winter 2014