Exhibition: Day 2

Day two worked equally as well, myself and Harry agreed to do the afternoon shift as we didn’t really need to set anything up in the morning like Andrew, Kate and Malin had to. When we arrived in the afternoon we were told we had only had a few visitors. This was a little disheartening as the first day we had quite a few. As the afternoon went on visitors would tend to wonder upstairs and take a quick look but that seemed to be it. We tried our hardest to explain and welcome them into the rooms to show each others installations off. The general response overall was extremely good especially knowing that we had each done different things within the space.

Later on that day Andrew told us about the lady who had been the first to visit the exhibition had wrote about us on her personal blog. Which I found really inspiring. How a group of university photojournalism students had influenced her and her own ideas to create a blog post about our work was really something.

http://marianbonelli.blogspot.co.uk/

Her post started off with the story of her day and how it expanded into something great. Particular quotes I found uplifting of my work she had written
…a wonderful piece of shadow expressionism showed the way small pieces can become brought to life by light…” and then went on to saying “…When I left I felt very uplifted, what a great, and unexpected morning!  I carried my three books back to my car and drove back, through…. sleet and sunshine!…” for someone who I don’t know I found it a little upsetting, in a good way, that someone who doesn’t know me had such great things to say about my work.
Another unexpected thing Andrew told me was when his wife came to visit the morning on the second day, she found my work equally as fascinating as Marian had. And had told Andrew what she thought of it and how the crow and the butterflies symbolised a lot more to what I intended.
She explained to Andrew that my work could be related to the poem “Twa Corbies” something that I had never heard of. But when attempting to read through the poem I can definitely see the connection she personally made with my work.
The cut-out butterflies are fragile and ethereal and yet when light is projected onto them cast the shadow of a flock of birds echoing the motif of the Raven/crow and also referencing the book by Daphne de Maurier – The Birds which was made into the classic Hitchcock horror film…
For someone who I don’t know I was equally as grateful as before to gain more information and outsiders opinions on my work.

During the first day after setting everything up I took a lot of photos mainly to document the process of setting up. As well as a back up image in case when getting there Wednesday it had all fallen down. I decided to put a photo up of my work on Facebook, and I was genuinely so overwhelmed with the response on my photo of my installation. To some it might not mean a lot but overall I received 88 likes on the photo and comments such as “Thats spectacular! Will have to come see it tomorrow!”, ” i LOVE this soooo much! well done luc!” I honestly couldn’t believe that people could like my work so much, when even I wasn’t completely happy with it.
The last day of the exhibition drew closer and as a group we decided that we would buy a thank you gift for the volunteers at the shop as they had been understanding and allowed us to use the upstairs without any issues.
We packed up and said farewell to the Healthy Planet Bookshop.

The 2 days for me was definitely an inspiring yet stressful few days. Working as a group, planning individual needs, what was needed for the installations etc. Our location and setting was perfect and we all worked incredibly hard to get the best out of the site. I am really pleased with the turnout of people and the reaction to not only my own work but the rest of the exhibits.

I personally think that Group B was the best group to be in.

Exhibition: Day 1

We eagerly waited outside the bookshop for it to open on the morning of the exhibition – it started to rain, then sleet, then almost hail. We didn’t set our hopes up too high for a good turn out simply due to the weather. A couple of ladies later joined us whilst waiting outside in the typical Welsh weather. It turned out that Andrew’s wife had told one of the ladies outside to go visit our exhibition; which was I thought was really nice of her. We eventually made it in the shop and I went upstairs to hang up the last part of my installation. Luckily no one had come up to see the pieces at this point so they didn’t see me finishing off my work. Once I had positioned the butterflies into place I stuck ribbon onto either side of the walls to act as a barrier. The black ribbon looked much better and was more fitting to my work than having to use the black and yellow striped tape that other members of my group used.

Overall, I am really pleased with how it looked after I had hung the other butterflies up, it definitely gave it more depth. If it had of been possible the second string of butterflies would have been placed up higher on the wall, but I could barely reached up to where they ended up let alone reaching up higher. We all decided on making a statement plaque which explained our work, including thoughts and ideas. This would help visitors understand the pieces if we were not there to answer their questions.

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The exhibition turn out on the first day was really quite good and unexpected from us all. After a few visitors we decided that a visitor book would be a good idea for them to sign and what they thought of everyone’s work. I am unsure of how many people signed in this but over the two days we managed to receive over 100 guests. This again was definitely a shock to us all as we had heard that other group had not even had one visitor turn up. We are all thankful for our chosen location being in the centre of town that the majority of people walk past on a daily basis.

Even though we worked as individuals I decided to photograph my groups work.

1. Andrews work I found quite creepy and eerie especially with the mannequin sat in the corner reading a book. I hadn’t seen his film piece that he projected onto the wall till the day before the exhibition. I found it interesting as the film although it went on for 20 minutes, I only caught slight glimpses of different films such as The Wizard of Oz, To Kill a Mockingbird etc, I liked how that with the ticking and chiming of the clock in the background worked well alongside each film within the projection. It really made me think, but I don’t know why, maybe because the lack of sound but the constant of the clock.

2. Kate’s work I had seen prior to the exhibition so I knew what to expect. The continuous projection of images of her mother on top of the Pravada poster that was already there worked really well. And in some photos, her mothers eyes are closed making the image become two separate people. The image on the poster was not far of alike the photos Kate used of her mother, which again I thought worked really.

2. Harry’s book was a great way of promoting the shop. Even though in group crits, he explained his work ideas, I was a little confused to what he was making and planning to do with them. The use of hand made books that he printed out and used scanned images from a book he found from the bookshop itself as well as using photos he had taken himself in the style of those within the found book. He placed them within the crime section of the bookshop downstairs which were free for the public to take when or if they came across them when looking at this section. Bringing a plinth from uni he placed a singular book upstairs to bring the attention to people who had not seen it down stairs.

3. Malin decided to create a Sherlock Holmes style piece, creating a body shape on the floor, blood marks and particular evidence pieces. As the visitor you had to find out who had done it. Her laptop showed a continuous loop of photos of the evidence and clues to what had killed the person and who. A box full of gathered evidence pieces, such as bags of ‘drugs’, a smashed mug, chicken wings, money, a phone and a torch (with added blood). I really liked the interactive element to her work even if I couldn’t work out who had killed the person.

The first day had been a complete success. We worked well as a group to accommodate each others needs; such as going for diner/ toilet breaks. We explained others work if they had gone for a break to visitors – however we agreed to do the second in allotted time sections as we felt that perhaps for the visitors 5 people just stood there was a little daunting for them as they came upstairs.

 

Setting up the Exhibition

Monday 18th November we met as a group in uni to walk over to the shop to set up our individual installations. This looked more professional rather than people just turning up randomly at the shop at any time of the day.
Personally I felt quite nervous as I had never done anything like this before and wasn’t sure if my work would look right or work within the space, even after all my testings.

We went in and started to clear up the space before doing anything, Kate and Harry printed off signs such as arrows, caution signs as well as one stating where the exhibition was in the shop.
I set up my installation in the ‘room with no windows’ this was a much better room than the original one I planned to use. However, the sloped ceiling I hoped to use as part of my installation and use it as an advantage, but when I went to put the butterflies up the ceiling was in a difficult place so I felt that the butterflies looked a lot better hung up in the corner of the room rather than the place I intended.

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With there being no lighting in my room, I resorted to using the desk lamp I bought especially for my installation. Although this was inconvenient it was also helpful to know where to place the lamp in ratio to the shadow pieces.

I set the main centre piece up first as this would then enable me to know where to place the butterflies in correlation to this.
When moving my work from my bedroom – where I had been making the origami butterflies, I used a plastic box to transport them down to the shop from my house. I decided that this was a perfect stand to place the centre piece, it was initially a little too low and the shadows were casting on the wall along the skirting board. I’d like to think that I used my initiative by gathering books and placing them on top to create more of a stand. I borrowed a black pillow case to cover the plastic box, this gave a more sophisticated look.

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I hung up the string of 80 hand made origami butterflies across the left hand corner of the room. After re-positioning each end about 4 different times, I was finally happy with how it looked in relation to the centre piece.


I hung a long line of fishing wire from the entrance of the room to the back wall which I then placed two cut outs of flying crows along here to show the fading out of the landing crow into the butterflies above. I felt that this connected the two separate pieces together and made it into one; they are not as noticeable on the photos here as they were in person.

I had finally set up my exhibition piece, but again I wasn’t happy with how it looked. I felt that there was something missing, if I had changed my idea a little sooner I would have been able to get my act together and done a lot more however, that Monday night I went home and wanted to do more. This resulted in making as many origami butterflies as possible. I set myself an unreachable target of 200. Even when making the original set of 80 took me two days. I knew I wouldn’t be able to achieve this but I shut myself off from everything and got on with it. Around 6 or so hours later I had managed to make 77 more butterflies all folded, glued together and sewn onto the fishing line and hung up ready to be installed on the morning of the exhibition. I knew I was pushing for time but I was happy with the fact I had managed to make another line of butterflies. If I hadn’t got too tired I wanted to create cut out words in the style of Rob Ryan and hung them in a similar way to the butterflies, this would have given more interest on the right hand side of the wall. I would have hung them above the shadow of Dylan Thomas; it would have been a stronger connection to him as person and his work with my own.

 

Final Idea Testers

The weekend prior to setting up the exhibition, I tested out what I hoped to create for my final installation. However, I didn’t really know where to start with this as I seemed to be just making images and scenarios up in my head hoping that they would work although I had done quite a bit of research into this style of work.

I started by printing out a stock image of Dylan Thomas. I wanted a side on profile view of him as this would look better when casted onto the wall. As well as this I looked for crow images – I could see how I wanted it to look in my head it was just a matter of making that into reality.

NPG P1684; Dylan Thomas by Rollie McKenna

I settled on this particular image, as I felt that although it would be presented in shadow form, it was still noticeable what he was doing within the image.

animals_outline_silhouette_cartoon_birds_bird_crow_flying_animal_crows images (1)

These are the two images I chose to use for the crow shadow.
I then printed them out onto book pages, cut them out and presented them attached to the open book of which I wanted to be as the base. I initially had trouble trying to fix them down onto the base I tried various things such as card tabs on the bottom but found that the tabs were visible on the shadows and took away the aspect of the shadow. I found myself in the end using cotton bud sticks – more of a last resort than resourceful. Having said this, they worked really well. I managed to roughly stick them on just to test and they worked so well, and were not visible at all on the shadow.

Above are the first photos I took for the first test, I was pleased with the outcome but I was not completely satisfied with the look of it. The crow was definitely the wrong shape and I felt that if I had of kept it like this it would let my work down. I looked more into crow silhouettes and found that a crow in flight was a better fitting image to what I wanted, this also followed nicely into the butterflies.

I tested this out and secured it down in the same way as previously. This worked a lot better and gave off a more effective shadow and meant a lot more towards the background meaning of my work. The idea of what the crow actually meant rather than a crow that was just stood there doing nothing.

I am more than pleased with how the testing worked out, especially when I didn’t really know how it would turn out knowing that I changed my idea so late and on the spot.

Promotion

During the week of the 11th we were advised to create invitations and posters to let people know about the exhibition.

Myself and Kate went to the library to discuss potential ideas for what we could do. I had already previously let the others in the group that I didn’t mind making the poster, but I didn’t really know how to start it off. I brainstormed various ideas and thoughts for this during the weekend before. This definitely helped my thought process.
Kate then started to make the invitations to hand out to tutors, we both were a little stuck on what to do for these. As other groups have been really creative with them, I really didn’t know how to incorporate the bookshop into them .
As I started working on the poster, I thought of using an old fashioned type cinema ticket for the invitations – although looking back on them now, even though they look good and how they have been finished off, they don’t suit the theme of the bookshop at all.

After Kate had handed them out I thought of so much more we could have done instead, such as a luggage price tag and hand wrote in the style of a book, or included old stamps into them as the bookshop stamps the insides when you take them.

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The poster that I created looks really well, I wanted to create a clean looking poster with not too much on as this would look distracting maybe. My idea was stemmed from something that I saw online from a Dutch book exhibition a few years ago. I was interested in the layout really as it worked well with the centre of the image.

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I wanted it to look like an open book from a birds eye view with the images of everyone’s work or ideas. For example: Andrew is using the sound of a clock ticking – so I thought that finding a stock image of a clock mechanism for his. And then for Kate’s I have included the image of her mother projected onto the poster that she is aiming to use within the shop. For myself, I have used the photo of the origami butterflies whilst putting them onto the final piece to hang. For Harry’s I placed an image of his own that he felt would show his work, originally we wanted to use the book cover that started the influences of his work – however we were unable to find a good enough image of this. And for Malin’s work I knew she wanted to do something Sherlock Holmes related so alike Andrew’s, I found a stock image of the book cover and used this. I am so pleased with how the poster looks.

Yesterday – November 15th I went and placed posters up and around uni to promote the exhibition. I took photos of each place apart from within the bookshop window simply because I forgot. But I felt that taking photos of the posters up would show that we had used and put posters up in case they got took down or damaged.

I printed 4 sized A4 and A3 – I felt that using A3 in places such as the shop window and the Photography corridor would draw more attention whereas using A4 on notice boards and door looked better. We put one up on the fine art notice board as we felt that this work was more fine art based than photography based and would interest them more than just a standard photography exhibition.

Spontaneous Idea Change

During the tutorial on Monday 11th November other members of the group were discussing their work, I felt that my idea wasn’t going to work even though I hadn’t tested it properly. I knew it wasn’t going to work.
My new idea is very close to my first ideas just slightly different, I have removed the idea of the scroll with the words coming out. I changed this mainly because I didn’t know where to start off with it, and how it would work with the rest of the piece as I am now using the element of shadows alongside the book pages. As this is more relative to the work. I have looked into more artists who use paper cutting and shadows such as Lotte Reiniger, Isabella Baudelaire, and a company called ‘The Paper Cinema’, Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

Lotte Reiginer

Isabella Baudelaire

The Paper Cinema

Tim Noble & Sue Webster

I felt that Tim Noble and Sue Websters work extremely influential towards my own ideas The use of an object to create a shadow. My work wont look half as good as this but the idea will still be there.

I am still yet to test the distance for the lamp and the paper cut out I am going to be placing in the centre of the room, very similarly to Noble & Websters work.

New Room

From previous tutorials, I started to realise that the room that I originally wanted to use for my installation, just wasn’t suitable enough for what I wanted to create. I went back to the shop and took photos of the room that Andrew had suggested to me rather than the one I was going to use.

Overall, this room is a lot much better than my original one. The sloped ceiling I can use to my advantage by hanging elements of my installation there.
As well as being the right size, there are no windows, which is perfect for my new idea.