Very early on, Amanda Blake, course tutor, struck an alliance with Lisa Lucy; an architect turned shop manager who decided that creating a collaborative space for artists and practitioners alike to sell and display goods or run workshops was the way to go. This connection was strong and thus a deal was struck that we would hire a share of the space for a 3-4 month period and in that time we could, as a collective of students, sell and display work and thus the exhibition space was decided.
The shop itself is based in Priory Square Birmingham and situated right opposite the Oasis Market, a popular shopping ground and likely to attract some attention. We began selling items in the shop itself on the 6th April 2017. We each created items specifically to be sold in the store:
Looking at the shop space, its a lot smaller than that which we had last year :
The Exhibition 😀 – More here.
However saying that, its a lot better placement for foot traffic and also had a massive advantage of being at ground level and flat, last years space was on the fifth floor and tucked away in the back roads of town.
Although it was open for all to draft design a logo so that we could choose a favorite design, Marie Bindley was enlisted to create the poster this year, this suited her needs as it worked towards honing digital skills that directly impact upon her as a digital artist.
At each stage both the years came together to discuss the designs and layout.
The final Poster:
Displaying my work:
Looking at the space and how they are using alternative display methods, this will suit our needs, there is definite ability to be creative in how we present our work. However having created a car as my FMP that was not going to be easy lol. We considered all the options such as taking the whole car, the logistics made it almost impossible, I may have gotten permission to park within the Priory Square complex save for the fact that she is broken and and thus we would now have had to take her there on a recovery truck, this was too much- the trailer/dolly would be too large to negate the small space let alone asking the price of the haulage itself.
The removal of interior was considered, I could have taken the seats and steering wheel and set up a small installation, however as the interior was never pimped it was a bit of a wasted effort, also as I was having to pay people to aid me in removing and moving parts it was just not cost effective either. It was also a consideration to display imagery of the event itself, photographic and video shots of the car at Pride of Longbridge, owing to the fact that NAF could not get there video recorder to POL as it was already in use elsewhere, I was sent a photographer by NAF, he turned up fairly late in the day and did not hang about, this meant that even collating all the photographs I could from him and other sources, including POL’s recommended photographer, the quality was just not of a standard to be displayed. Bournville College Marketing were all enjoying the Easter holidays but I did ask on the off chance. I suspect the best images are with the guy from Holland!
It was ultimately decided to remove the bonnet to display in the show, this way my work could be shown alongside my fellow students works. In order to be able to do this, I had to find someone to help me remove the bonnet and then transport the piece to Bournville College where I have finalized the design and seal coated the whole thing in preparation for transporting her to the show.
Pimp My Rover MG was publicly executed and displayed 10-4pm on 15th April 2017. The project was a huge success and here below is the tweet which sealed the deal, the car itself wound up in B31Voices Storify compilation 🙂
Also on the day, a reporter from Holland who had come along to interview Gemma Cartwright in order to write an article in a Dutch printed Car enthusiast magazine, he was so taken with the overwhelming crowds of people drawn to the vehicle that he asked if he may write a short article and take photographs for publishing in the same magazine. I agreed and await a copy of the published journal!
Curating the group exhibition space:
Proved a lot trickier this year, the space is far more compact than that of the humongous studio we had last year plus we are sharing the space which is an open retail store. We are restricted in what we can place where and which walls we can screw into. Thankfully the car bonnet is rather too big and heavy to consider hanging and far too big to sit in the floor space, so I am very grateful they have a large window area and that the bonnet fitted in there neatly! However it has been a bit of a game for those of us with wall mountable items, there is little space between each artists display and poor Marie has had to forgo her plan of a video projecting upon the wall 😦 Instead the projection will run just for opening night and 4 still images will be displayed in its wake, the link to the online video is provided within her artist statement though so lets hope they inspire a visit by their viewers.
Image courtesy of Kirstie Lewis.
Overall the tensions are a bit high strung with a few artists being a little unforgiving in their opinions upon placement or shared space, however it is all part and parcel of the curation. Although I was unable to help out beyond loading and unloading the van on the tuesday, I will be helping to finish the exhibition set up on thursday before private view opens at 5pm 😀 It’s exciting!
Ways to curate:
Exhibition event planning files:
We have frequently discussed ideas formally and informally both with our group, the year ones and the course tutors, we have constantly shared information and kept ourselves abreast of the time frames, requirements and jobs within our FdA community online. All of our collective work towards FdA Exhibition can be found in our private group on Facebook. Links are attached here but obviously access is restricted to those who are members, they are for my tutors and myself to access quickly.
Any particularly relevant screen shots or files are attached where they belong above, but the page itself shows evidence of group work and the sharing of relevant or notable information/links/events. As a strong year group we have continually watched over each other and been keen to share if we found something seemingly relevant to another in the group, the year ones have also begun using the platform, which is a successful outcome we believe, a way to feel as though we are part of a group as sometimes in Higher Education courses it is far easier to hide in a corner and believe you are alone. Being part of a larger group also means that we can benefit from 40 eyes all peeled looking out for things like open exhibitions or current trends.
Private view: Here is a collection of pictures from the private view 11/05/2017.