MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 3, Surfaces and Strategies, Week 6
My strategy for seeking a venue that would reflect the context of my work was proving less than fertile. Often the buildings I make images of are set inside fencing and hoardings that are privately owned and managed and in less well trodden venues. The body of work reflects six different places and to show at one demolition site seemed a little perverse. For two weeks all opportunities were revolving in my mind. One venue that seemed most appropriate was the large, open plan show space at the street level of a 4 storey building owned by an architect in Birmingham. Having waited sometime for a response I was told that the exhibitions and shows they had hosted for others had been such poor quality (a point on which I would concur) that they were holding a determined moratorium on any shows, for a period, to allow them to rethink their strategy. This felt like and indeed was another set-back.
Networks and Serendipity
Found – the venue
A week ago a friend and colleague at the place at which I work part time was leaving and I printed a set of post card size prints from my portfolio as my goodbye gift. He shared these with his mother who asked to see me, she owns a bar and restaurant (Bar Opus and Opus Restaurant) in Birmingham city centre. I met her last week with her co-owner (both of whom I know moderately well) and talked through my portfolio. They were impressed with the images and invited me to hang work in the bar (currently showing Sophie Hedderwick’s work which I have reviewed in a previous blog entry) in September 2017, meanwhile I requested that some work was shown in August. St that point they agreed that the work would be shown in the restaurant in August then be rehung along with others from my portfolio in September onwards.
I was delighted with this opportunity and invitation. I have now visited the restaurant and agreed the 4 locations for 4 prints, two at circa A2 and two at circa A3. A number of other prints will be relocated to allow breathing space for the principal pair and the remaining two will be placed near tables. I have been able to consider the light, backgrounds, location, proximity to diners and adjacent hung work. The printing, framing and textual work is now in hand. It is planned to have boxes of post card size prints for sale at a point in the restaurant and the sale details have yet to be worked through. I am becoming used to keeping a tape measure near to my portfolio box and notepad on my visits.
These are iphone images made during the site visit.
fig 1 The restuarant context
fig 2 the location of the two principal prints (currently there are two Vanley Burke prints in place which will be relocated)
fig 3 – detail of wall location number one
fig 4 – detail of wall location number two