Weight and Wonder

Initially, the theme of the group was dark, things that were a bit uncertain. We grouped together to do crits so we could better get to know the way each other worked and what ideas we each had for the exhibition. The theme still seemed to fit so we continued to explore it. The more crits we did, the more we saw developing ideas and could see our work fitting together in a positive way, exciting for the run up to an exhibition. While there are many styles within the exhibiting group, we seemed to find common ground and links between one another. The exhibition featured painting, sculpture and film.

We made sure to promote the exhibition on social media, using the poster put together by Mariam, one of my fellow artists in the show. It was just with developments like this where we could see certain similarities between our works. The promotional process was very exciting as it led us closer to the opening night.

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As it got closer to the exhibition and I was considering the presentation of my work, I pondered the idea of scale. As I had been working I was enjoying the scale; an intimate view, which is something of a frequent theme in all my work, however the more I thought about it, I considered how my paintings could be read differently were they on a larger scale: a size that is more lifelike, as though the viewers would feel they could walk into my work and experience the spaces I was experiencing. However, these ideas developed later on and at the time I was happy with the work I already had. I decided this would be something I would definitely bare in mind for development of these paintings.

Of course, as I was working as part of  a group, I didn’t want to be working on such a large scale that the work looked out of place with the other artists, as I knew there was no particularly large works being featured. I felt that this concept would be better for a more finalised version of the project and also in a space where I could showcase them better. Conclusively, even if I had thought earlier on about scale, I would not have changed it, purely for the sake of balance with my fellow artists.

I love to work with oils, and their bold colour was what I wanted in my paintings; I also wanted evidence of the work being a painting, in the form of brushstrokes. This is something that always brings me back to oils, along with the ease of movement they provide: I can change so much, add paint, take it away without the risk of damage, if  anything, this process adds to the final outcome. As we began to bring the pieces together in the final weeks, I did have the concern that my paintings could look rather dull as all the other paintings in the exhibition were made using acrylic paint in bold colours. With oils, I know there is the tendency for colours to muddy and I didn’t want this to seem something that had happened to my work. I used the same colour palettes for every painting, even every colour I mixed so I wanted this kind of quality to the work.

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Colour palettes used for 4 of my paintings. All following similar basic colours

While I was painting in very man made/ hand mixed colours I also wanted to keep in the theme of the nature I was missing and this also had this muddied quality. Thankfully, when the work went up I was pleased to see that my work did not look too dark. I think this was also partly due to my decision over the white elements of the painting which did bring light.

While the curation of our work together was successful it would have been interesting to offer more variety, due to the electronics of the space, all the tech needed to be in a particular place, making the films all sit alongside each other, it so happened that the rest of the work seemed to follow suit, with the paintings (which granted did take up a majority of the exhibition) sitting alongside each other. It would have been interesting to have the films interspersed slightly more between the paintings but this is something that couldn’t really be helped, unless the electronics were thought of further in advance. 

Initially, we did also have the concern when we revisited our space much closer to the time that we would not have enough space for everyone though it turned out that we had more than enough for everyone to exhibit exactly what they planned to.

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An example of how all the paintings seemed to be sat together. However they did follow similar themes so there were benefits.

The exhibition was promoted by my peers and myself regularly, through the use of social media and posters (previously mentioned) and the opening night was a success with the space full of visitors throughout the night. We held our opening night on Sunday, April 22nd, after having 2 days prior to curate and set up, with last minute alterations made on the day, before our 6pm opening that evening.

Following the opening night, we kept the exhibition open for a following 4 days, before taking everything down on Friday 27th. On each of these week days, we split the group into days on which we would each invigilate the space for a two hour opening. We were still getting visitors throughout the week which was really encouraging. We also gained a lot of positive feedback, through conversations and also through the guest book we encouraged people to sign.

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Booklets were also produced, featuring artist statements for each of the exhibiting artists, along with images of everyone’s work for reference.

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Overall, the exhibition worked out a great success, everything worked out on time, there were no fall outs amongst the group, everyone was very supportive of one another and we were all very happy with the outcome.

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