On the agenda this week, prepare for an exhibition to take place between 11 and 18 August.
Exhibitions are complex projects to undertake, requiring skillsets from a number of disciplines – that much was clear before the outset.
Delving deep into the subject of exhibitions: trying to highlight best practice, identify problem areas and possible solutions, and confirm areas for further research, has turned out to be a solid investment of time, has turned out to be informative and quite interesting.
Whilst some of the points discussed in ‘On Exhibitions …’ might be perceived as common sense, arguably being so obvious makes such points more easily overlooked and therefore adds to the value of covering them.
Exploring the hands-on, creative aspect of exhibiting has been incredibly appealing. There is something deeply, inherently satisfying about making things – mounting and framing photographs is a creative activity I have always enjoyed.
The research has highlighted several areas for further research, areas in which my knowledge is clearly lacking, areas such as copyright and other legal issues associated with exhibiting; funding, sponsorship and the legal obligations associated with sponsorship; and contracts between the exhibitor and the venue.
It’s interesting to step back and look at how we think. We automatically assume the obvious. Why would I want to stage an exhibition? The easy answer, perhaps the ‘lazy’ answer is because I want people to look at my images. After some interrogation, that isn’t a real answer at all. More valid answers range from it being a mutually beneficial experience for both myself and any venue offering exhibition space, through to it providing networking opportunities.
An important question to answer with some clarity. Anyone who is in a position to grant access to exhibition space will only do so after some convincing, you’ve got to sell yourself. And you can only do that if you have belief in yourself and understand your own motives. In short, if you want to convince someone else, first convince yourself.
The aim of this week’s research has been to increase my knowledge in relation to staging an exhibition, to facilitate staging an exhibition to a professional standard, and to enhance the viewing experience. An exhibition is an interaction between the artist and the audience, with the artwork acting as an intermediary: small details make a huge difference.
So, have I achieved my objective? Yes, for me this week has been most productive. I’m certainly taking away a much greater understanding with regard to staging an exhibition, a deeper understanding of psychological responses to art and their implications for the sequencing of images – the latter being an area of study which I find compelling.
As a final point, purely for interest, as a qualified accountant, it has been quite entertaining to read the various methods suggested for the pricing of artwork.