There was of course a little bit of drama. I wobbled down to Cardiff Central on my bike with one painting under my arm and another in my back pack, on my way to the Royal Academy. The reason there was a drama was because I decided this year to submit my work in a glass frame as the previous two years rejection had been un-glazed. Unfortunately I'd mixed up the dates for submissions and by the time I realised my mistake train tickets had long been bought, so I decided to just risk it. Plan B was to just take the glass out when I was there which I really didn't want to do, so I had that nagging worry.
The paintings did look good with the glass frames. As my paintings are quite visceral, the glass had the effect of tempering them a bit, it had the same effected as adding some yogurt to a spicey curry. In the case of the larger piece of work it meant that I had to cut it down, which actually made it punchier and it did make the both of them look more professional. In a cynical move to get my paintings into the Summer Exhibition I worked smaller this year with the painting in my back pack barely larger than a hand.
I always enjoy the experience of trotting up to the Royal Academy to submit work. I love the expectation on the faces of my fellow hopefuls; my chops probably look the same. I always make a point of walking through the arcade to the back entrance to drop off the paintings, walking through that arcade is like stepping back in time and it reeks of money! I thought my worry over the glass might temper the experience for me, but it didn't one bit.
The word for the day for me was; Hipster. When I met up with a mate later everything from me seemed to Hipster this and Hipster that, oooo, look at that Hipster in the bobble hat! Maybe it's cause I hadn't been in London for a while. Still as I approached the entrance there was a Hipster in a bow tie with a huge canvas getting ready to be interviewed by the BBC, didn't seem bothered by me in my Captain America Beanie and NASA t-shirt. My rubbish plan to get the glazed work in was to act feckless – not a huge stretch – and mumble "Sorry, got the day wrong…" but as I joined the queue I thought "Fuck, that's not going to cut it." Every year I want to savour the experience of submitting the work, but it's always over in a flash and this year was no exception. I took the bubble wrap off the bigger work and took the smaller one out the Sainsburys carrier bag it was wrapped in. Nervously I approached the art handlers. They scanned the work, one looked quizzical, shit."Darren…Line?""No, Floyd, that's just my hand writing." and bish bash bosch they were on a trolley, the art handlers hadn't even looked at the paintings. I did take a look around at the other work then left, smiling at the queue as I left. Dropping the work off took a weight off my shoulders (and under my arm) and then "Here Comes your Man" by Pixies came on my Ispod. Larvely. Whistling "The Spanish Fly" I took a flyer for the rejection show and walked in the direction of "Foreboding Prices" to meet my mate and look at shinny things.