Leading up towards the exhibiting part of my final collection was very stressful. I had partially prepared myself with quick sketches detailing several ways in which I could present my work, this proved extremely helpful. I would consider myself to be a bit of a perfectionist so this also came in handy when deciding what worked well in the space I had been provided, and what didn’t. However, trying to work around others and work as a team was a huge struggle for me!
As a student representative I became heavily involved in the preparation of my universities end of year show. My duties included purchasing non-alcoholic ‘mocktail’ beverages and putting together handmade retro sweet-bags. I very much enjoyed this process as I was able to take control, make my own decisions and develop methods of promoting within an exhibition environment.
I also found it really enjoyable to interact with visitors at the gallery. I was able to promote both my work and other artists exhibiting work. At the same time I was also able to learn about the visitors and their interests/interpretations.
The V&A is the worlds largest museum dedicated to decorative arts and design, both modern and historical. During a recent visit I explored a variety of Fashion and Textile permanent/temporary exhibitions which displayed a range of vintage styles on mannequins and vertically hung Persian rugs/textile works. The contrast and variety of work/media presented at the museum is a huge positive for anyone considering a visit.
For the last few weeks I have been especially interested in methods of exhibiting and presenting collections of work. During previous gallery visits I have generally been more focused on the content of work rather than the way in which it has been displayed. I am slowly understanding that the process of presentation is equally as important as the work itself!
In preparation for my exhibition this May/June I decided to take a visit to the ‘Pick Me Up’ exhibition/graphics festival at Somerset House. The festival provided viewers with tons of opportunity to explore the processes behind particular methods of printing and etching with a number of artists/collaborators providing public workshops or live displays. Each artists unique way of presenting their work was especially interesting, for instance, some used free standing boards and others used ordinary bulldog clips held onto patterned boards. Presentation is a vital part of any exhibiting art type, it is important to set the scene and present work in an environment which matches or compliments the works intention and meaning. Each stall of the festival supplied artist books, prints and designs available for purchasing, so I would highly recommend saving some pennies before visiting!
Elena Munoz is a constructive textile/knitting artist who primarily focuses her work on natural architectural forms and animal body parts. Munoz experiments and manipulates traditional knitting methods in order to produce modern/contemporary outcomes. Currently working in the textile design department at Givenchy, Paris, Munoz is definitely one to watch!
Dan Mountford is a photographer and graphic designer who specialises in the manipulation of images/objects. Mountford’s most notable works include a variety of surreal double exposures which have been created strictly in camera (no use of Photoshop or digital alternation) through the process of layering more than one frame. His careful and precise dual placements which combine portrait with scenery create beautiful forms that push the boundaries of normality. Mountford describes his work as ‘a visual journey through our minds by calm and tidy means which the reality of everyday life does not show’.
I have very recently discovered a textile technique called slashing. The process involves sandwiching strips of fabric, yarn or other materials in-between two larger sections of fabric. The sandwich style construction is then stitched with horizontal or vertical lines (or both) to seal the filling in place. The gaps in between the stitching are then sliced with a scalpel to reveal the hidden materials. Below are two examples of slashing that I have created in response to the bodies chaos after a traumatic brain injury.
Very recently I decided to visit my local cinema to view the newly released BBC film, ‘Woman in Gold’ starring Helen Mirren (as Maria Altmann) and Ryan Reynolds (as Randol Schoenberg). The film is based on the true story of a Jewish holocaust survivor from Austria who seeks to reclaim her families artwork which was commissioned by the very famous, Gustav Klimt. The artwork was looted from her family home by the Nazis and later renamed ‘Woman in Gold’ in order for it to have no relation to its Jewish origins or content.
The film tells of only one example of the thousand artworks which were stolen by the Nazis and claimed as there own.
I highly recommend the ‘Woman in Gold’ for both historical and art interests.