Saturday, December 7, 2013

How to Write About Your Art

When you enter a competition or group exhibition, you are required to write about your specific artwork/s usually referred to as an Artist Statement. This is not to be confused with an Artist Bio when the criteria seeks to know about your arts practice, qualifications, and general background. So for the purpose of writing an artist statement for a piece of work entered into a show, it is in regards to the specific work itself. Call it art statement/ statement about your artwork or the like.

Writing about your art is about educating the viewer to better understand your intention or meaning you wish to communicate. If the artwork has been entered into a themed exhibition, then be sure your statement reflects the theme/links to it.I have read many statements about artwork which do not explain well what the meaning is, does not link to the theme or discuss the inspiration or choice of materials. Get someone else to read your statement and if they don't understand your artwork better, then the gallery viewer won't either.

Hints & Tips:
  • Generally a statement about your artwork is 150-250 words.
  • Write in 'third' person and mix it up between first name, surname and both names. e.g. Dwyer is inspired by....". Do NOT use first person ("I") as remember this is being read by other people.
  • Re-read your paragraph and make sure it flows from one topic to another
  • This statement is what is included on the didactic panel/label in a gallery next to the artwork

My suggested formula on how to write a statement about your artwork:
  1. Describe the artwork (2D/3D, photorealistic/abstract, impressionistic, figures etc)
  2. Describe what the artwork is about (concept)
  3. Describe the materials/mediums used and technique/process used
    • What feelings, emotions does the work evoke or convey
    • Is there colour or subject symbolism? Explain
  4. Link to theme (if applicable)
  5. Link to other body of work or how it fits into your arts practice (optional)
Similar resources:
How To Write A (General) Artist Statement
Writing An Exhibition Statement

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