Notes for a Tutorial

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5


Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 12.20.42

Figure 1

I was able to book an online face to face with Wendy McMurdo on 3rd April to reflect and frame my way forward in terms of exhibition production and refinement.

The Gallery Context

I conveyed the latest gallerist response to my draft work; I need to listen to views but also find ways to frame my own inputs and effectively synthesise the conversations and expectations.  Print sales are down globally so fretting about those is not to be focused upon – worrying about sales is short-sighted.

I need to regard the show as a ‘calling card’ for my work, for example creating site-specific projection can be propelled as a principle to other cities, places and communities.  I should think about how the show can leverage future commissions, i.e. the next project.  Thus, I need to list out who should be invited and also do an artist’s talk.

Documenting at the show will be a critical part of how to use it in the future even if key people cannot attend.  It is a step to building a reputation.  Think of the strategy through this means and beyond.  It is a spring-board.

The experience of designing a solution to the installation is a series of experimental moves and needs to be learned from and recorded.


Develop a very clear strategy of using the chosen media;

Projection is impactful, about large-scale urban space and a contact to my professional background.  It is thus constrained by the gallery (its demands, expectations and dimensional limitations) so keep thinking beyond that space.

Think about using the archival material.

Fragments on the wall can be a method of display for the concrete tablets.

Do not over complicate the presentation.

Look at the circa 1870 book on the surface of the moon that was modelled in plaster, fig 1.  (The moon : considered as a planet, a world, and a satellite by Nasmyth, James Hall 1808-1890 Carpenter, James, 1840-1899)  Think of the aerial view of the city and the grid of maps/city planning.

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 12.36.27

Figure 2

On Editing to date;

Think selectively what should be transferred to concrete. Can the series of circa 57 images (fig 2 shows 6 by way of example) be made into a zine and a small number selected for the concrete printing process?  Think about a web-based streaming of these images as well as the projection stream.

The concrete is a permanent embodying of the observation, a residue, a memoriam.

There is an anonymous blandness to the images.

Think about the concrete/zine/print/projection as a series of ‘carriers’ – for the images to be conveyed.

Look at etching one day.

All of this is the beginning of an artistic practice.  It is about art and architecture.

The fluency of the work will articulate more deeply and translate into solid and coherent practice.


Image from accessed 3. 4. 2018


New Arrival

Installation Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5


Figure 1

It was a delight to finally collect and then unwrap the carefully specified concrete tablets from a local craft-based art maker, Space Play in Birmingham.  Figure 1 shows just how finely the moulding and casting process has been executed.

Figures 2, 3, 4

What is equally delightful is that the ‘back of the tablets have a random pattern of small air bubbles (fig 4) that have found their way to the surface during the curing period.  This rougher surface acts as a tactile counterpoint to the smoothness of the front surfaces.

IMG_2069 2

Figure 5

As can be seen in figure 5, the sizes vary from A3 to A4 and 297 x 297mm square and 210x210mm.  The smallest size is deliberately designed to be portable as a demonstrable example of the work.  I was pleased that Space Play had themselves learned from the process as they had not cast at A3 previously.


Space Play website

Gallery ‘Plinths’

Installation Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

Making progress with locution of the concrete tablets begins to provoke ideas for display of this series.  The display strategy will be to position the pieces so that they can be viewed but also touched.  The tactile invitation is to encourage the viewer to engage with the material properties, as if the surface of the building.  This removal of the preciousness that is usually evoked of the gallery can, perhaps, be encouraged by the manner and style of the display format.

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 15.13.43

Figure 1

Canto has his concrete work traditionally affixed to gallery walls, fig 1; my plan is to experiment with possibly one wall hanging, to interplay with any glazed, framed prints I may blend into the multi-media installation.  However, the criteria for the main tablet display will be a ‘table’ that is portable, noting that all exhibition components need to be taken down a spiral staircase into the lower gallery.  This portability has led me to link the construct of the display table to the design and building industry – the very source of all my visual practice.  I have thus considered a scaffold framed table to reflect the transient yet critical component of construction as one option, a search for imagery provides for one example, fig 2.  The second option is the use of a pair of builder’s trestles and a series of scaffold boards, for the same reason as option one, but notably is likely to be simpler to erect, fig 3.  Scaffold boards have a ‘hairy softwood’ material nature especially when new and this may provide an appealing contrast to the concrete tablets.

My next task is to check the dimensions of the spiral stair void to ensure the option chosen can be descended into the display space.  I also need to devise a method of securing the tablets to the ‘table top’ to avoid theft.

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 15.02.21

figure 2

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 14.56.25

figure 3

Image sources – all accessed 5.3.2018