Thursday, 28 January 2010

Exhibition Day

I feel numb; completely and utterly drained.

I really enjoyed being part of the curation team, me and Claire joined forces to tackle wall #3 - the biggest wall in the far corner of the main studio - and I reckon we earned our keep there. I never expected it to be that difficult! But trying to select 11 pieces objectively that compliment each other and work well as a collection is surprisingly tricky, especially when there's a room full of people trying to do the same - it takes really quick thinking and nimble footwork to nab the best pieces for the job.
Because we were dealing with the first wall that you see when you walk in the room the pieces had to be bold enough and good enough to warrant the audiences attention. We opted for mostly colourful pieces revolving around the large bear illustration which really brought out the warm colours in the other work. We decided on a tapered layout on the wall to direct attention to Steph's photograph, which we thought was the strongest piece on our wall.

Having a plan is all well and good but erm, where do you start?? Most of our hanging time was spent gawping at the dirty white wall. Then we painted it. Then we gawped again. After some eye glazing and head scratching I made an executive decision to hammer a nail and BOOM we're on fire. Once you have the first piece up it's just a case of constructing the whole thing around it but the fear of getting right to the end and realising that you should have positioned the first piece about 20cm to the left is frankly, at the time, horrifying. Luckily we seemed to have cracked it first time and I think our wall looks pretty amazing! Team Bellia/Gauntley is go.

The weird thing is that whenever any of my friends were looking round I was quicker to point out the wall that we'd curated than my own work in the exhibition. Hmmm need to sort that one out.

The final thing worked so well. The salon style made it work as a whole so much better than individual workspaces ever could. There is the issue of the sporadic composition removing context from a lot of people's work and making it much harder for those 3rd years involved in things like community practice to show off their work but I think the main point to remember is that this wasn't a graduate show - it was simply to exhibit Viscom as a whole, each student had set guidelines to meet for this show and will have the opportunity to exhibit anything outside of those in their graduate exhibition that they will curate themselves. In short, we compromised the minority for the sake of the greater good I suppose. And we made the right decision.

There was so much positive feedback; it felt so good! I physically can't talk about this anymore. Everything hurts and my pillow has never screamed my name louder.

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