Practice Thinking – Where to Show?

Week 8  (Part Four) – Practice Thinking.  Falmouth University MA.

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This is a short review of the potential opportunities and challenges of displaying my work to the world.  The week 8 work on the MA has led me to consider these options more sharply.

1 The Private Gallery Space

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I have attended the 3 initial shows at Argentea Gallery and my interview with Sophie Hedderwick has provided me with an insight into the process of relationship/portfolio/printing/display/marketing and private views that contribute to the partnership between artists and gallery director.  This is a enormous effort as with many creative endeavour that is made for public consumption and requires substantial personal investment in time and materials.  The upside being the supportive, collaborative approach to selection, display and promotion which would be largely absent from a publicly ‘owned’ space such as the Library of Birmingham’ which is an alternative venue I have been assessing.  I am looking at other gallery spaces in Birmingham including the Birmingham Midland Institute, 321 Bradford Street (the Nest) and related spaces.

2 Street display

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This can take three forms, projection, one-off light-cube type installations (temporary) and harnessing existing street screens (permanent).

I am advising on a potential screen installation in a public square in Birmingham, using as inspiration the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain campaign in the summer of 2016 which was shown as a partnership with street advertising firms.

3 Gallery or other space – Project not Print

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I was struck and inputted by Viviane Sassen’s show at the Photographer’s Gallery in London in 2014 which displayed her fashion series using vertically reviling projected imagery which would take several minutes of dwell time to view the whole series.  Clearly not unique but a powerful way of allowing a large number of images to be viewed at the scale of a whole gallery wall.  Providing the technical equipment (for example a robust projector) is available this would be a lesser cost option.

4 Virtual Reality

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I have been following the crowdfunding success of Thresholds, the virtual reality exhibition by Mat Collishaw which will use current headset technology to visualise a 1839 exhibition of very early photography taken in Birmingham.  A simple space is to be modelled in Birmingham’s Museum and Art Gallery and the decorative layer, together with images of the original prints, are provided in the virtual world.  It has thus inspired me to consider placing my work (for example the large scale William Mitchell 1968 underpass series) into a VR headset to allow the whole work to be viewed anywhere.


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