Headed into uni after house viewing to meet with Fin and Annabel. On the Sunday I had confirmed the images we needed to print and what size with the group, and Fin had mocked up a new exhibition layout using the sizes and all 5 images. We had compromised and used all 5 but at varying sizes, so the group seemed to be more content.
Fin was working in the studio so we had space to quickly mock up the size of the wall on the floor with masking tape, checking that all our sizes looked big enough in the space. We changed the alive animal images to A3 instead of A4: they would be too small within the space.
I sent the images off to print, Fin sorting out the vinyl which we decided to go for in the end.
At this point I felt organised with everything, but felt a bit grumpy that it was being left to myself, Fin and Annabel to do the ‘heavy-lifting’, being the only 3 on campus and available the day before the exhibition. I think clearer communication and delegation would have taken some of the stress out of it, as it took up a lot of my time and energy that at the moment I just don’t have as my mental health is so bad. It felt good to be able to concentrate on something more structured and solid, rather than my very abstract project, but I think it was probably more of an excuse to not do my project work.
I collected nails, hammer, spirit level and blue tack from around the department, placing it all together so the team members picking it up in the morning could get to them easily.
After prints had been printed, I left Freddy to trim them and sent the group chat the location of them for pick up in the morning.
Annabel gave me her artist statement which I rewrote for the exhibition in situ, adding social media and Annabel’s instagram and the name of the exhibition. Once I had printed this out I think I was pretty much done with the organisation, just needing to keep the google drive updated with any documents or screenshots of the chat I had made. I felt very relieved.
TUESDAY MORNING – INSTALLATION DAY
I headed over to uni just before I had to catch the bus, meeting Paige and Katie on the bridge carrying all our materials, and Paige offered to drive me up.
Once the whole team arrived we decided on the wall space, unrolled our prints onto the table and started to hang them. This seemed like a tense situation as again, our curator had a very set vision in mind that potentially wasn’t fitting with the space we had. I felt we were able to compromise as we went along but I felt very much like I wanted to take a step back, letting the rest of the group take charge of the actual installation. I felt quite frustrated at times as it felt the communication between us was strained and things were not being said outright but in whispers to the side. I could feel that potentially Annabel was finding it difficult to have her work displayed in a way that she hadn’t envisioned and that her creative voice wasn’t being listened too.
I went in with a lot of gusto but this seemed to fade after a while, it seemed a bit ineffectual trying to get my thoughts across so I decided to just take a step back before I started getting sarcastic and a bit grumpy and mean. (This makes it sound like it was a bad experience, the actual installation was fun, but it was coupled with a lot of other emotions).
Once the images were up, we laid the vinyl down and placed the podium ready for the meat, covering it in clingfilm so we wouldn’t get any of it on the actual stand. Then came the argument about the meat which after saying my bit and getting a lot of backlash, a strong opposition and a ‘whats your problem’ pointed at me I very quickly backed away from. I wanted to leave it in the bag until the opening later, otherwise it would smell, go off and potentially create health and safety problems, but I had a resounding ‘we don’t agree’ so I left them to it.
It looked successful when the whole exhibition was up and installed, the added texture of the meat really emphasised the message. I felt the meat looked a bit sad and flat when we returned at 4pm for the opening, but there wasn’t much we could do…
We had good feedback from our peers and the gorgeous year 3 students that came along, saying the final layout was successful and worked with our message. The meat was a great talking point, and I feel the potential in that was quite big, say in a bigger gallery with more of an audience the meat could have been displayed in very many different ways (and obviously refreshed every day!)
I feel much closer to the tutorial group I am in now, after working closely with them in a very short amount of time. Some of the voices that contributed I didn’t expect and it was actually really great to hear them. Working through the tension and keeping the exhibition and friendships as two different things is definitely a skill I gained, as the noticeable tension and frustration at the beginning had to be absolutely put aside in order to keep the friendship and tutorial communication going.
I felt a lot of responsibility to organise the final end piece and I think I possibly should have reached out more, as people were very willing to help, but these are all great things to learn for the actual year 2 show that will be coming up soon.
We were discussing earlier on that we felt the groups should have been smaller, but I think that possibly wouldn’t have been realistic and reflective of the real world. Tensions and conflicting voices will come up everywhere and how you deal with them is how successfully the exhibition will work.