Assignment Four–Tutorial and Feedback

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I’m pleased to say that there isn’t much to say about submission and feedback for Assignment Four. The submission is about a final ‘draft’ of the proposed publication of the work – in my case, the plans for the exhibition at Bank Street Arts, which I sent to my tutor last week. We had an online tutorial yesterday and, apart from a whole series of very useful and encouraging tips/comments, the feedback is, essentially, get on and make it happen, enjoy it and, in the parting comment, ‘break a leg’, That’s not entirely inappropriate; so much is about rehearsing ideas and then putting on a performance.

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As these images show, the layout planning has progressed; the wall mural and larger prints are ordered (and the mural has actually arrived, within four days of ordering!); my own printing & framing is also under way; and, most importantly, the publicity machine is turned on and beginning to roll. There is a social/preview on Friday 30th and OCA are fully on board with invitations for that – 150+ have gone out, including 30 or so that I have done personally. Many of those are to people that I know won’t be able to attend but this is, of course, an excellent opportunity to promote the work anyway. There is to be a Study Visit type event on Saturday 1st, and this has been publicised on WeAreOCA – here. These two events are important – partly, of course, as a means of publicising, but also as a potential source of feedback. Engaging an audience with the work is also about engaging the work with an audience, so to speak. The student event, in particular, should be an opportunity to talk about the work and gauge responses – just hope I get a few people there. I’m also in discussion with the gallery about their related promotional activity, which is likely to be very useful.

Some key pieces of input from the tutorial, in no particular order, were:

  • make sure to gather as much in the way of statistics about site hits, footfall, views and so on as I can; and fully document them for eventual assessment submission.
  • make sure to have sufficient assistance at the installation stage because something is bound to go wrong;
  • take some good installation shots;
  • consider doing a set of affordable, editioned prints for sale at the preview as a means of covering some of the cost;
  • write personal e-mail invites to people I’m particular keen should be aware of the work/event.

The sale of a set of prints wasn’t something I’d considered at all & I wish I’d thought of it before sending out invitations. However, still time to do something, if I decide to. So, all seems to be in order, for now.

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Exhibition Planning–Gallery 1 Bank Street Arts

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It is all confirmed. ‘New Photographic Chemistry’ will have its first ‘proper’ showing at the Bank Street Arts gallery, Sheffield, on Friday 30th September 2016 & Saturday 1st October 2016. I have the whole of Gallery One for those two days – set-up is Thursday 29th; open to the ‘public’ from Friday morning; a ‘social/preview’ on the Friday evening; an ‘event’ for fellow students, with OCA’s support, on the Saturday; take-down immediately after closing on that day. It is, in effect, a kind of solo graduation show, I guess, and I have just over four weeks to make it happen.

The image above is of a scale model of the gallery that I’ve made over the weekend, from a floor plan that I picked up in a meeting with the gallery manager on Friday. I’m awaiting his feedback on a ‘trial run’ with some self-adhesive vinyl material that we stuck on the gallery wall, which I expect to be OK, and then I’m hoping to have a large-scale ‘mural’ printed of one image, which will go in the large space on the back wall. I’m also planning to have a selection of images printed professionally, at around A2 size. The main purpose of the model is for me to experiment with layout using some scaled down prints & get a feel for how I can use the space most effectively. Once I have a firm idea on what and how many, I aim to order my external printing this week. I’ve already sourced printers for the mural and the A2s. The latter I plan to have mounted on PVC, as a sort of compromise between highly durable but hugely expensive dibond and the cheap but vulnerable option – foam mounts. I’ll also do a fair amount of smaller printing myself (and/or re-use prints that I made for the Daisy Lane Books installation). It’s going to cost me a few hundred pounds but I keep saying that I want to ‘make a bit of a splash’! I think that is what will work for this project.

I will need to make some choices about what to include & what to leave out. Gallery One is a decent size space but I can’t include everything. The ‘alcove’ on the left of the image, by the window, will house a screen on which my video of the book that I submitted for BoW Assessment will run. I’ll also have the new video available so that I can use it in the Saturday event if I wish. In the middle of the gallery space, I plan to place a borrowed glass-top desk into which (under the glass) I can display the book itself and various ‘artefacts’ from the project, such as burned pages and the printed fabrics. I’ll probably also have at least one table on which other items from the project will be displayed. The glass-topped display should evoke a sense of the ‘museum’, the book as a kind of relic, and I’d like to make a display on the table that feels more ‘installation’ and less ‘pictures on a wall’. I thought about recreating the look of this image, for example.

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OCA has agreed to help with ‘invites’ for the social event and with the organisation of the Saturday student event. The latter will certainly be publicised on the OCA blog WeAreOCA and will run in similar fashion to a study visit. That gives me a good basis for promoting the exhibition and for presenting the work to others (and gaining the all important feedback, of course). I need to liaise & prepare material for these purposes shortly, too. Assignment Four of SYP is to present a ‘draft’ of how the final publication is to be presented. There isn’t a great deal of time to do that, and get tutor feedback, in time to make amendments before the event. But I’m expecting to have the basis for an Assignment Four submission early next week; all being well.

(Perhaps worth noting here, that I have also been in discussion with my tutor about a project for Assignment Three. The details aren’t yet fully agreed/finalised but it will simply run in parallel – more on here later.)