Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/27/2004: "50 years of British art lies in ashes"

music: Mozart's Requiem
technorati tags: Sad

I read about this last night and thought it timely considering our recent discussion about the potential loss of artwork, slides, etc. through fire. I was a big fan of some of the works destroyed; I wonder why such a huge and important collection didn't have better fire precautions in place?

Below are some links to articles about the tragedy.

Up in Smoke

50 years of British art lies in ashes

Fire devastates Saatchi artworks

Art world reels as losses mount

Replies: 10 Comments

on Thursday, May 27th, John said

*blink* acetylene and oil paintings in the same building? *blink*

on Thursday, May 27th,">Stacy said

Yes, that is incredibly tragic. I had done some small research on Ofili (and the Turner Prize) last year and the year before for school. Interesting that we've been on this topic of art and fires for the past week... Miah Lagar lost everything in her apartment, but hopefully she still had some artwork here in Juneau.

on Thursday, May 27th, Elise said

Yes, not very clever were they John?

And Stacy, did you study his Captain Shit series?


on Thursday, May 27th, John said

And here I was, under the impression that if you paid someone reputable to store your valuable one-of-a-kind artwork that it'd be in a climate controlled vault, or at least in a non-industrial space.
Wow, that's the most disturbingly stupid thing I've heard of in a long time.

on Thursday, May 27th,">Stacy said

I was fascinated by the Sensation Exhibit, and mainly researched Ofili's The Holy Virgin Mary.

on Thursday, May 27th,">Elise said

Well luckily the Holy Virgin Mary piece escaped unscathed at the Saatchi Gallery.

I particularly liked the observation in the first Guardian article

"It is therefore an exaggeration, but one I can't resist, to say that young British art has ended in flames in an east London warehouse. The setting seems singularly appropriate for its Viking send-off. Leyton is part of the post-apocalyptic east London landscape this art always mythologised - this art born in industrial spaces in scrappy sidestreets of the capital, with a kebab shop across the road and Charles Saatchi's Rolls pulling up outside. Now, some of the best recent British art is ash where Lea Bridge Road opens on to the Dantean wastes of the Hackney Marsh. Ugly, crummy, the burned warehouse is just another eyesore. If it ever stops smoking, it will blend anonymously into its surroundings."

Still, it makes me more convinced than ever that I need to develop a better fire hazard plan for my own place.

We had a HUGE self storage facility burn down about a year ago here in Juneau and nearly everyone I know lost possessions in it. (do you remember that Stacy) Of course, most people probably weren't storing priceless works of art in it.

on Thursday, May 27th,">Stacy said

Heidi has put me in charge of hanging the show pieces and doing the labels. I was wondering if you had a specific format you used for making labels.

As of now I have:

Artist's name
Medium $price

Also, any other suggestions for someone who's new to this??

No, I don't remember the storage units burning...
(Eek, but I'm in the Goldstein Building where I have all my stuff that burned already in 1939.)

on Thursday, May 27th,">Stacy said

Actually, I have a few more questions.

There will be four to five people showing stuff next Friday. Do you think it's important to give out business cards at an event like this? Since this is pretty last minute for me, I'm not going all out on publications, ads, presentation, etc (I don't have business cards made and fliers are going out tomorrow).

Also, if I don't want to put a price tag on a piece yet it is still saleable, what should I label it as? "Name your own price" seems tacky to put on a label, but the goal for me is to have the buyer set a price. Or would you recommend me setting the price? I really don't know how to value my artwork. And I've already looked at ratios of cost of materials, time, etc, but it is really hard to say... None of the stuff has put a huge dent in my pocket except for the framing and matting (one piece). :confused:

on Thursday, May 27th,">Stacy said

One more thing... how successful is it for an artist to gain commissions at a show like this? I am currently looking for a part time job this summer, but if I can get commissions, that would be awesome. Of course I would be dreaming if I got several commissions, but what has your experience been like? Do you get a lot of them over the net or from your solo shows?

on Friday, May 28th,">Elise said

Oh, just changed my response from here in the comments to a new post, since I got a little long winded. I hope it helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.