After She Wins Silver at the RHS Show
Back in June 2019, in Issue 20 of NZ Photographer Magazine we did an interview with fine art photographer Marina de Wit. Her roses had just been selected for the prestigious RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show in London and she was on a quest to make it happen. Here's what took place in the weeks leading up to the show, as well as during.
What was going on in the weeks before the event?
It was a crazy couple of months leading up to the RHS Botanical Art & Photography show and I am so grateful for every single person who contributed to my Give a Little fund which helped me pay for my plane ticket so that I could be at the event in person.
I did have a couple of frantic last moment hiccups before the show but I suppose that was to be expected - you realize soon enough that most things can be dealt with but one thing I have now learned is never to assume anything, always ask and double check when entering these sorts of events!
I realized last minute that the venue did not accept any deliveries of art work (I assumed as in NZ that this was the standard practice) so had to phone around.
Luckily my hotel was kind enough to accept my prints a week before the event. (I found out too late that it's possible to take your art as checked luggage!).
Previous to this, I had really been hoping that John Botton from Printart could print my work in NZ, but the cost of shipping was so high that I had to get them printed in the UK.
What happened when you arrived in London?
I flew out the 19th of July and arrived very jet lagged in a very hot London, we had crazy high temperatures between 36-39 daily.
Monday was the big day to hang and I was super nervous, there were so many things that could go wrong and I had no idea what the walls were made of or what they looked like but had packed as many items as I could potentially think off to help me out of any situation.
Framing was out of the question for me so all images were printed and matted on backing board ready to hang, well that is what I had hoped for - I was gutted to open my box to find my prints super dark and not attached to the backing boards at all. I was really disappointed but the clock was ticking. It seems that Velcro fixes most things so 2 hours later they were all up and lasted the entire show, many entrants had to re do the entire exercise due to the heat.
Tell us more about the show...
30 Artists and 10 photographers took part and the show ran from Monday to Thursday with an evening opening event on the Tuesday. Medals were awarded on the Wednesday.
I did not stay at the show the entire time as I'd decided I would rather go and explore London and the surroundings, making the most of my 10 days in England. It was however a well run very popular event and I will be back in 2021 hoping (planning) for a Gold!
How were your emotions during all of this?
I was experiencing a range of emotions the entire time, It still blows my mind that I made it to the event, from initially being too scared to apply to standing on the steps receiving my name tag, indescribable. I was super excited to receive a Silver medal with a pretty good review from the judges.
Do you think attending the show has helped you creatively?
Absolutely, there were so many lovely people around and everyone was super helpful. I met people from all over the world and incredible botanical artists who spend up to 200 hours on each piece of work, it really humbles you to be among so many dedicated talented people.
What did you learn from the whole experience?
· You can never plan enough.
· Never assume anything.
· Go the extra mile (pay more if you have to) to ensure your art/prints are exactly how you envision them to be.
· Details matter, I got marked down for my matte boards colour (white) not matching the colour (white) of my name tags.
· Always take extra Velcro!!
What sightseeing did you do in London?
I loved London and was fortunate to visit Hampton Court Palace and Hever Castle just outside of London, the gardens were amazing and I have enough Rose images to last me until next year I believe.
What would you say to others based on your experience?
· Believe in yourself, trust that you are good enough.
· Say yes, worry about details later.
· You won’t always get it right the first time, learn, grow move on and be better next time.
· You have to be in it to win it!
What's next for you?
I am very excited to have my first Solo exhibition at “The Art Lounge” in Tauranga (managed and owned by Mira Corbova) later in the year. Not only is this my first solo exhibition but at the same time we will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of this beautiful gallery in the heart of Tauranga.
The exhibition will run 25th October - 21st November 2019 and the evening of the 25th October from 5-7pm at 117 Willow Street promises to be an exclusive event filled with florals and some very special guests... Hope to see you there!
Inspired by Marina's story? Sorry that you can't make it to her solo event in Tauranga NZ? Don't worry – You can enjoy Marina's floral's on your phone 24/7 with the Excio app.