This week I am having a rare quiet time sitting in on my Pop-up exhibition 'Painting the Peats'. The gallery is at the foot of Dundas Street, in the Newtown and between The Botanics and a few select cafes, so I've had quite a number of passers by drop in and the response has been very positive. But regardless of feedback, I know that it has been essential for me pull all this work out of a messy, chaotic studio, dust it down, wrap it in a fresh mount and frame and give it some space on a clean wall, where others can see and appreciate it. The point being, that I can finally appreciate this work myself. Some of it is as good as I had hoped it might be - and some isn't. The best pieces are the ones that I hadn't expected much from at all, the ones that in this environment (frame, mount, wall, spotlight) suddenly shine out in the way that I had hoped as I did battle with the materials to try and make something happen. Making art is basically a performance - an attempt to communicate with others and, I believe with ourselves. Every now and then it is necessary for an artist to pause, like a piece of punctuation, and take stock. What was it I was trying to say...what did people hear me say...?and now that I hear it, or see it for myself, is it what I meant to say?
Damian Callan is a practising figurative artist and tutor based in Edinburgh.