Planning & Preparation for ‘Daisy Lane Books’

Publicity Daisy Lane 2

Have spent a lot of time over the last 2-3 weeks getting everything ready for the return of ‘New Photographic Chemistry’ to its origins – Daisy Lane Books shop. This colourful piece of ‘artwork’ that I have designed myself is now being displayed as posters in a couple of locations in town and as A5 ‘flyers’ at three suitable premises. It will also, by Friday, be outside the bookshop, at around A1 size on a display board (printed in four parts). My idea was to produce something that encapsulates something of the ‘story’, displays some of the colourful images in a way that might intrigue, hopefully catches the eye, and provides the essential information (including the new website). I’ve also publicised it on the OCA Student website and a version of it on Facebook. Clearly, the location of the show is somewhat off the beaten track, so I’m not expecting the bookshop to be flooded with visitors wanting to see the exhibition, but I have wanted to take a reasonably thorough and professional approach – well, why would I want to do anything other – and it serves as useful practice for any future events.

The printing and mounting of the images has been time-consuming too, of course. I have around 10-12 A3 prints, and have concentrated on the most colourful of the digital constructs. Then there is a similar number of A4 prints, and I have gone with the ‘burned’ images and a small selection of those where I cut up the book. Finally, I have four much smaller images, more like ‘page-size’, of those where I produced, digitally, something resembling a highlighted/doodled page. This is likely to be more than I need in the shop but, without an opportunity to do some sort of careful measuring and planning, I figured that it would allow some flexibility when I come to ‘hang’. And on that point, I have arranged to be at the shop in the late afternoon of Thursday 30th to do just that.

I want to provide some information on-site for the viewer and have dealt with that in two ways. Firstly, I will have two identical, A3-size, laminated boards on display, featuring a modified but hopefully still valid version of my artist’s statement for the project – intended to be suitable for a more general audience. It’s viewable here PDF of display board. It may be a little ‘wordy’ but I’m hoping that visitors to a second-hand bookshop will be reasonably literate and engaged. With that in mind, I have also produced some printed A4 information sheets that can be given to visitors, and which they can take away, if they wish. These have the same ‘statement’ on them, but also a background piece about the ‘making of’ on of the images. The info sheet can be viewed here Info sheet PDF.

So, in theory, everything is in place ready for the hanging on Thursday evening.

www.wherenothingisreal.com

wherenothingisreal page

As part of the development of my ‘New Photographic Chemistry’ project – and as an essential element in ‘sustaining my practice’ – I have completely re-hashed a website that I originally set up for my ‘Portraits’ Project in Body of Work. I bought the domain name ‘wherenothingisreal.com’ and built a free site via Weebly. The image above is the front page of the new version at www.wherenothingisreal.com; I envisage this being a kind of ‘brand’ for my practice .. for reasons that are hopefully obvious! It’s been done in something of a rush, last week, because I wanted to have it in place for the exhibition of ‘New Photographic Chemistry’, 1st-17th July, that I wrote about here (and of which there will be more to come around preparation, promotion and feedback).

I have sought some feedback on the website from my tutor and fellow students. That has been very helpful (‘thanks’ to those who commented) and a few minor amendments have been implemented as a result. The general consensus seems to be that the look of it suits my work, which is good because I wanted to emphasise the colourful, lively, (seductive!) nature of the images (and it is a style that fits with some other contemporary artists who work in a similar manner). A few of things about the site to comment on:

  • There is only one project on there at present. I considered adding the ‘Portraits’ work, which would certainly fit with the ‘wherenothingisreal’ theme, and consulted with others about it. No one seemed to feel that it would improve the site to any great extent and my tutor recommends building the website around the newest project and adding further work as it develops forward from here. So that’s the way I will leave it, for now; though I don’t rule out adding ‘Portraits’, were I to do anything about taking it to an audience in the future.
  • At present, the site runs on the free version of Weebly and so has their advertisement at the bottom of each page. It is only visible if a viewer scrolls to the very bottom; and I have to say that the quality of the build package, for free, is very good ‘value’ for the sake of that inconvenience. It does irritate me to have it there and I could get rid of it for around $40-50 per annum; but I’m going to live with it for the time being (and only one person commented on it).
  • I’m hoping to add another video when I have time to produce it, a short one with voice-over in which I talk about the way I have developed the work.
  • The ‘News’ blog is useful and I intend to use it to write more about the forthcoming exhibition.

One further reflection, I am not, at present, making a great deal of use of ‘social media’ for promotional purposes. I know someone who has a good knowledge of this field and am hoping to seek their assistance in the not too distant future. I’m quite happy with this new site, though, and feel confident about using it in connection with the exhibition; and Weebly offers plenty of flexibility for further developments/enhancements as I go along.

Assignment Two Proposal and Feedback

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I submitted Assignment Two ‘Publication Proposal’ last week and had a feedback tutorial with my tutor yesterday morning. Key elements from the proposal were:

  • To stage a ‘pop-up’ style exhibition of the ‘New Photographic Chemistry’ (‘Textbook’ officially retitled!) work in the bookshop where I originally bought the second-hand ‘Textbook of Photographic Chemistry’ back in 2014. (That’s Daisy Lane Books, as illustrated above, in an image from my Level One ‘People and Place’ module!!). This event is going ahead from 1-17 July.
  • Potentially, to put on a small but more ‘developed’ exhibition of the work at an established gallery in Sheffield, later in the year, probably October.
  • To promote these in a variety of ways but, potentially, including a ‘presentation/talk’ at said gallery in September.
  • To redevelop my ‘Wherenothingisreal’ website as a showcase for this (and other) work.

Wendy was fully supportive of this approach and had some particularly good thoughts around maximising the benefits to be gained from the bookshop show. She suggests seeing the event as a continuation of the project itself and presenting it (installation images/video/sound commentary from me about its development) on the website – perhaps even retaining some link/reference to it in the shop after the exhibition is over. Her suggestion is that I focus some time and attention to the website development over the next few months – though I have to admit I’m somewhat preoccupied with getting the exhibition together (and another, different one for the local Art Week Fringe).

Another strong recommendation was to enter the work for a Printmaking open event. That surprised me, I have to admit, and she has pointed me in the direction of this. The documentation refers to work that ‘encounters’ print, which mine certainly does, at various stages in its making. So, willingly but with arm firmly twisted (!), I shall be giving it a go.

Still encountering gallery frustrations on other fronts but I’m sure things will get resolved. Lots moving forward (and up to my ears in prints/mounts …).