Curating the Show

This week we have been curating the show. This has gone through several stages and started with the tutors arranging work as per Abi's plan. I was a little disappointed to see that my painting had be highlighted as going in a couple of areas I felt would not do it justice. I did not pass comment on this as I felt that after a while my painting would end up in the place I wanted it to go in. Also the curation of the shows is quite a stressful time and people can get a bit stressed out when their work is not where they want it to be. Ultimately it is most important for all the art to work together rather than all the individual works going in the best possible spaces for them with no regards to what is going around it.

It is also better to allow the tutors to get on with curation rather than interfering and making demands about where work should go. I have quite strong ideas about the curation of work but this is not MY show to curate so I would leave things as they are unless it was at the detriment to the show as a whole.

Shortly after curation began Abi realised that my work was not really going to work in her original position. This allowed me to express my thoughts that it would work a lot better at the back of the 7th floor where I had originally hoped it would go. I suppose this is an example of not throwing your toys out the pram when you don't get the space you originally want as eventually the works will move and go into better spaces. This also makes for a much less stressful decorating experience.

Above shows the photo of my work in the new space, the one I had originally hoped for. This allows it to be viewed from a long distance as well as up close. Yes the area above the painting is quite cluttered but there is nothing that can really be done about this given the space we have.

Once I started to hang my painting in my given space It became apparent to me that there was too many large paintings in this space and they were all choking each other.

I didn't get a picture of this at the time but the photo above shows Charles painting and Lewis's which was next to mine. If these where hung altogether they would have reduced the impact of all three works. This was slightly tricky to deal with as I didn't want to just say "Lewis painting does not work next to mine" as this could piss lewis off and it looks like I'm only concerned about my own work not the exhibition as a whole. I approached the subject with Matt and explained ~I felt that there was too much painting in such a small area and perhaps a slight re-arrangement may benefit all three works and the show as a whole. Matt agreed and we took Lewis's painting and tried it in a few different areas to test it out. As soon as Lewis's painting was moved mine and Charles's has much more space to breath and with space around them there was lots of white around them to enable them to be considered more easily.

We also found a nice space for lewis's painting where it worked much better - next to Marie's framed black and white drawings' Lewis was pleased, Charles was please, Marie was pleased and so was I so it was a win win situation all around.

Above shows the final hanging space for my work. AS can be seen there is lots of white space around it to allow it to breath. One can also view it from several different focal lengths so all in all I did pretty well in my placement.

I spent the best part of the afternoon ensuring that my paintings were hung straight and even. During this process I learned from Andy the importance of not relying on what the spirit level tells me. The boards are not 100% true so the most important thing is to make the painting look straight in the environment it is in rather than what the world of physics says.

I also tried my paintings upside down or with one upside down just incase they made the work stronger. Actually this just made them look really weird and weakened them as pieces. I also tried them in many configurations which experimented with different amounts of space between the two works. Eventually I settled for the size gap shown in the photo above. This was the result of looking at each configuration at various distances and consulting with others for a second opinion.

In the end I am really happy with my space and I feel that I have got the best possible space for my work and it is shown in the best possible manner given the limitations of the showing space.

I was quite conscious that there was an awful lot of work in the show. A bit too much in my opinion and I felt that a few people came off pretty well in the amount of work they got to show. I had some much smaller paintings that I really wanted to show too but I did not want this to be at the detriment of others work or the show as a whole. I noticed there was an area towards the small glass room where there was two panels that were not really visible enough for most work to go in so I caught Matt and suggested if this may be a god space for some of my small paintings. He said yes and I could do with it what I wanted so I selected a few paintings with Andy's help and displayed 4 of them in a scatter hang arrangement.

Above shows the result of my efforts. I hung these in a way that hopefully made viewers question its purpose. I also expected it threw some people as the are more used to seeing paintings hung in a conventional side by side or grid arrangement. I deliberately chose to hang the painting on the right below the usual hanging line so that viewers had to stoop down to view it. This encourages a closer interaction with the work and viewers tend to look much longer and closer at it. I was pleased with my little area as it would have not got used otherwise and it did not interfere with anyone elses work.

Now that the show is all hung one can see the limitations of the space more easily. For one it is a unusual shape rather like a number 7. The low ceiling is also a problem when it comes to large pieces of work. I do feel that there could be much better use of the space if there was able to make some adjustments. Firstly I think the current boards are looking very old and tired. They are also too short in height. I think a huge gain would be made by purchasing some new, better quality boards that are taller in height (though not touching the lights). I feel it would be best if these boards where then use to cover the entire wall space of the seventh floor. That means both sides including the glass windows in the small rooms. This would enable as much of the room that was not necessary to be disguised so that the eye could focus onto the actual work. I also feel that it would be a worthwhile investment to purchase some better lighting for the ceiling so that it can be used for the purposes of shows. This could be sat alongside the existing fluorescent lights and only used during show time. Ideally these lights would be fully adjustable and turned on and off independently when needed. Maybe the area outside the lifts could also be utilised as there are two good walls here where wall based work could be seen. These are relatively small adjustments that I feel would make the seventh floor a much better environment for displaying work than it currently is.

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