Gallery 1-2 The Art of Rejection
by Georgie Maddox, Alessandai Fiorina and Jenni McLaughlin
The Art of Rejection is a collaborative exhibition documenting and exploring the journey of three artists Alessandra Fiorina, Jenni McLaughlin and Georgie Maddox, as they entered international and national art competitions, prizes and awards over a 12 month period.
This visual art exhibition informs the viewer regarding one of the processes contemporary artists endure to sustain or further their professional artistic pursuits, namely the entering of juried art competitions.
Rejection is part of being a modern artist, whether emerging or established and whilst the artists have been selected as finalists in reputable art competitions, all artists can expect more rejection than acceptance. Leonard Mlodinow wrote in The Drunkard’s Walk:
The cord that tethers ability to success is both loose and elastic. It is easy to see fine qualities in successful books or to see unpublished manuscripts, inexpensive vodkas, or people struggling in any field as somehow lacking. It is easy to believe that ideas that worked were good ideas, that plans that succeeded were well designed, and that ideas and plans that did not were ill conceived. And it is easy to make heroes out of the most successful and to glance with distain at the least. But ability does not guarantee achievement, nor is achievement proportional to ability. And so it is important to always keep in mind the other term in the equation – the role of chance.
This quote encompasses both current and historical notions of success as an artist and represents some of the discussion seeking to be provoked through this exhibition. Whilst the idea of what defines success is subjective, as with all art, the exhibition is in no way intended to criticise or question the judging process.
Many great artworks have and will remain hidden to society due to the unattainable financial costs incurred by artists. It can be argued that it is in the viewing that the created work becomes art. Engaging the general public with this important role in mind is key to The Art of Rejection.
In reality, being a practicing artist often comes at a financial and emotional cost. Artists for the most part of their career, practice to their financial detriment. The average earnings of an Australian artist is around $7000 with less than 20% being able to work full time at their art practise.
The Art of Rejection by sharing knowledge of the process of entering juried art competitions increases the awareness and understanding of the plight of an artist, as well as providing a collection of works reminiscent of the Salon des Refuses.