Tag Archives: Exhibition

Whitechapel Gallery – Activity

Whitechapel Gallery on a monthly basis organise an tour of exhibitions in South East London and my exhibition was selected as 1 of the top 5 exhibitions. They arranged with the gallery that the tour would visit the gallery as one of the last stops on the tour and therefore I arranged to keep the gallery open until 9pm for the tour.

Author, 2018, Spectators in the gallery

Being featured on the Whitechapel Gallery website resulted in a steady stream of visitors to the gallery through out the evening with people asking questions about the exhibition and my motivation for creating the work. Some of the people had very personal stories about the impact Brexit would have on them. I was a asked by one group if any pro Brexit people had visited the exhibition? My view is that I have tried to put on a show that does not show bias for leaving or staying part of the European Union instead I am asking the question ‘What do you want from the future relationship with the European Union?’

The main group from the Whitechapel Gallery arrived at just after 9pm and I provided the group with a short talk about the work and answered questions from the audience. A gentlemen from Austria asked me why I referred to the United Kingdom in a way that suggested it was not part of Europe. Though I felt I had not displayed any form of bias when creating the work my use of language could lead someone to infer that I felt the United Kingdom was somehow separate from Europe. Whereas the gentlemen felt that the United Kingdom was indeed part of Europe. This has made me consider my use of language and how that might infer unintentional bias in the way I communicate my projects. Another person commented on the melancholy colours from the blue hour landscapes and the haunting effect it created within the space.

The Whitechapel Gallery tour provided an opportunity for additional exposure, it provided me with additional feedback that I can take into my practice for development of this project in other locations and future projects. The visitors had the chance to hear directly from the artist behind the work instead of having the intent translated or replayed by an intermediary which can result in additional meaning being inferred on the work that does not exist.

Private Viewing Evening – Activity

The evening of the 1st August was ‘Private Viewing’ for the exhibition and a group of friends and family were invited to attend the exhibition. This evening was the one where I expected to get most feedback on the work in the exhibition.

The private viewing was attended by about a 1/3rd of the people I invited to the event, however the feedback was very detailed with questions being asked about different elements of the exhibition.

The public outcome for this project is an exhibition which provided an opportunity to hear directly from the people engaging with the work. Overall the people who visited the gallery were positive about the work and the narrative presented within the gallery they could associate the images with the current stage of the Brexit negotiations.

In Zone 1 people were unsure if they should or interact with the work some did press the morse key to hear the message which achieved resulted in curiosity to understand more about the work look beyond the obvious, recognising the other icons of departure which changed they way they read the images in zone two.

The photographs in zone 2 invoked different meaning for people there was a general interest in the portrait images and the structures below the piers. One person felt said the images reminded her of the pier on Coney Island. She was interested orientation of the pier to the waters edge.

A number of  people expressed preferences for certain images in the show. The most popular of the portrait orientated images was the image from underneath Clacton pier which I think is particularly strong due to the orientation of the pillars and the 3 dimensional nature of the work.

Author, 2017, Institutional Provisions

There were 3 landscape images that viewers liked the most and these where two images of boats and the last image was the landscape image that I had selected for exhibition invitations. I felt that these images worked particularly well due to the blue tones and the point of focus within the image.

Author, 2018, Marooned Citizen

           

The images within the hang contained a number of diptychs which readers recognised as such. Though the pairing that was less obvious of Walton and Clacton piers arranged to represent arms that meet together was recognised a message of coming together to reach an agreement.

Author, 2018, Reaching Agreement Part 1
Author, 2018, Reaching Agreement Part 2
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The triptych of Southend-on-Pier framed on deckchairs achieved the desired effect of acting as a focal point to draw people into the space and generated surprise when they realised the objects framing the images. One spectator said the colours reminded her of Tokyo, though she found other elements such as the bare tree disturbing and the lights along the pier created a sense of uncertainty for the future.

Author, 2018, Waiting to Depart

Exhibition Text – Activity

Having created an draft layout for the exhibition creating the wall text was the final element that remained outstanding. I decided to use elements from the invitation and a graphic to complement the text. The vision was for these two elements to be viewed as graphical elements that would partially frame the text.

The draft layout incorporates elements from the Exhibition invitation plus the graphic that was created at the inception of the project in 2016. The intention is to position the exhibition text on the right hand side by the entrance to the gallery. To keep things simple the intention is to print in black and white.

The exhibition title will be in a large font so that it can be seen from a distance within the gallery. My name as the creator behind the exhibition is above the title of the show using “Simon Fremont presents……” that suggests a level of performance or theatre about the exhibition.

The graphic of the coastline with the two ports Tilbury and Harwich being the only other reference points helps to orientate the visitor to the location of the work.

The text that describes the exhibition uses diary style headings to help position the different elements in the exhibition. This initial layout places the dates in bold drawing attention to the importance of the date.

On reflection the dates are less important than the text and therefore it might be better to make the diary entry dates a light grey to remove emphasis putting the focus on to the text that has been designed to help contextualise the work.

PhotoLondon – Exhibition

My third visit to PhotoLondon having only missed the first edition in 2015. Events such as PhotoLondon are useful to get an idea of what artist represented by major galleries have produced though that has be tempered with the fact that for galleries their many focus is to sell work to prospective buyers as have space at one of these shows comes with a significant commercial outlay.

My objectives for PhotoLondon this year were to network with a few gallerists I know plus look at work being exhibited to gain some additional ideas for my installation to add to the melting pot of existing ideas. This journal entry as a result is not a review of PhotoLondon rather it focuses on installation ideas that I found interesting.

The first one of note were two piece by Gregory Scott who is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery. These pieces were interesting because they incorporated moving images. The works consisted of a painting of an installation space that had photo realistic qualities The frames in the gallery had been cut out to expose a UHD monitor within those frames Scott played short view clips on a 5:00 loop. I found the piece interesting because from a distance it looks like a gallery installation image however on closer inspection you see that the images are changing. It reminds me of cinemagrams that combine still and moving images. I could use this concept for the moving image pieces I am considering for the my exhibition.

Rothko Chapel, 2018 Gregory Scott, PhotoLondon 2018

The second visual display concept that caught my interest was an Augmented Reality (AR) piece being shown by Edward Burtynsky that uses an image as an still image as a target that triggers a moving image or 3D representation on the iPad the reader is able to move the iPad and around the space and look at the subject from different angles. Moving the iPad closer to the target images allows the reader to look at the image in greater detail. For the experience to be meaningful the tablet has to either story all of the detail of the image or have a good connection to the server that hosts the image. The still image has to have sufficient detail or either recognise the change in position of the tablet or maybe they use the motion sensors to provide additional information on motion of the device. In my original proposal for my Final Major Project I made reference to creating a virtual reality installation space at the time feedback suggested scepticism about the quality of the resulting work. This demonstration shows how this surface with the art space has evolved in less than two years. For me it is an interesting space to explore as it creates new possibilities that allow an artist to express ideas that might not work on any of the current surfaces available for representation. This is an area that I will look to experiment around to identify strategies that I could use within practice.

Augmented Reality with Avaya App, Edward Burtynsky. 2018 PhotoLondon

PhotoLondon included more traditional hangs such as a grid of instant images arranged in frames with large borders that gives each frame space to breath so that the reader can view the images as a collection while the small size of the instant images encourages the viewer to approach closer and examine the detail contained within the image.

I spent time speaking to Chris Littlewood of Flowers Gallery that represents a number of photographers that I consider as contemporary counterparts for my practice such as Simon Roberts and Nadav Kander. Flowers Gallery represent an aspirational target in terms of gallery representation.

Hannah Watson of T J Boutling is another gallery owner who I have meet on a number of occasions however her gallery represents arts that sit in a different segment of the contemporary art space compared to my work.

Overall PhotoLondon provided a similar set of works to prior years and acts as a useful reference point in terms of is being sold at the higher end of the photographic art market.

PhotoLondon – Preview Evening – Home: Magnum

Magnum sent an invite to the Preview Evening for the Home Exhibition at the Vinyl Factory. The exhibition was created in conjunction with FujiFilm. The project behind the exhibition had multiple Magnum photographers shoot images on the theme of home during the month of September 2017. The images were all captured using FujiFilm’s medium format camera GFX-50s or the X-T2.

I decided to attend the exhibition as part of my research for the preview evening that I need to arrange for my own exhibition and to get some ideas for framing and hanging options.

When I arrived security were checking names on the guest list and on going into the gallery space it was full of people.

The work was arranged on the exterior was of the gallery plus internal partition walls. The space included a space made to look like the living room of a home. (Reflection: an example of transforming the white cube into a space the resonates with the work being exhibited in the space. This is something I plan to do with my own exhibition by introducing objects that speak to the subject of departure and furniture that we might consider as familiar to the seaside.)

Member of Magnum and FujiFilm gave a short talk to the guests about the project each talk lasted about 5 minutes. Mark Power was the last person to speak and he explained the concept behind his images on the subject of Home that related to the period just before his daughter Chilli left for university recording images of her in the days before Mark took her and her possessions to university. (Reflection: This is a remind that for a house to become a home it is about the relationship between place and people and the emotions that we attach to that place and time. This is similar to the emotional attachment I have for my home in Essex but also for place in other European countries such as the Netherlands where I worked for 5 years.)

Reflection: I need to consider providing a short talk on my work on the preview evening. Based on Mark’s talk it is appropriate to give the audience additional insight into the work on display plus a chance to thank people who contributed to the project.

Reviewing the work of the different Magnum photographers each it was clear that when curating the work there was not attempt made to apply a common layout or framing to the images. Though with the work of each photographer framing was consistent even though some photographers decided to combine different size frames into their specific space. (Reflection: I have decided to apply a single mounting approach to my work with the exception of the pieces that will be present as moving images or art installations. I did not identify any specific hangs that would prompt me to deviate from my current hanging strategy of a linear hanging interjected by portrait images.)

I was a surprise to discover that Magnum and FujiFilm presented each of the preview evening visitors with a copy of a book created from the work being exhibited. The book an enduring artefact that we can use to reflect on the exhibition.

The installation of the living room within the gallery space provided the reader with a clear visual clue that the subject of the exhibition was home as the living room is at the heart of many homes. The photographic work reminds us of the fact that home can have many different interpretations though for me home is a place that I identify with in my case I feel I am returning home whenever I see the signs that show I have crossed the county border into Essex.

Press Release – Exhibition

During my portfolio review with Sarah Thomson she asked if I had produced a press release for the exhibition to which my response was no it is not something that I had planned to do until closer to the show. She suggested I should give it a higher priority so I can send it to newspapers to help generate increased interest in the show especially as work related to Brexit has a currency at the current time. This probably why the title for the Brighton Biennial is the ‘The New Europe’ (Photoworks, 2018).

I decide to advance this piece of work in my overall schedule. This is the first time I have created a press release so I decided to look for examples of press releases for contemporary photographers. I found two press releases that I felt were relevant. The first from Merrie Albion exhibition for Simon Roberts at Flowers Gallery (Simon Roberts, 2018) and the second a press release for an Edward Burtynsky’s exhibition at UNB Art Centre (Fred-E-Scene, 2018).

Analysing both press releases it was clear there is common information to include in a press release.

  • Title of the Exhibition
  • Dates of the show plus any private viewing
  • The location of the venue
  • Images for the exhibition to give potential viewers and idea of what they are likely to see.
  • Text provides details about the following:
    • Text explaining the period over which the work was created
    • Description that contextualise the work outside of the an art context. In my case the drivers behind my selection and creation of work being driven by how I feel about the changing boundary with Europe
    • A summary of the types of works included in the exhibition in my case it is landscapes, piers and abstract images. I have kept the description a little bit loose as I still have decisions on the exact formats that will be used to present the work.
    • A short biography of shows and awards. I included my group show from 2017 and other awards.

The above provided me with a basic structure for my press release. I created the Press Release using a basic word template and converted the final out into a pdf to ensure the layout and format would not get altered when it is sent via email to the picture editors at the target press organisations: Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Evening Standard and Essex Chronicle (the later was included as my local weekly publication as Essex does not have a daily newspaper.)

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Press-Release-Points-of-Departure.pdf” title=”Press Release – Points of Departure”]

References

  • Fred-E-Scene. (2018). Upcoming Exhibitions at the UNB Art Centre – Fred-E-Scene. [online] Available at: http://fred-e-scene.com/upcoming-exhibitions-unb-art-centre/ [Accessed 13 May 2018].
  • Photoworks. (2018). Brighton Photo Biennial 2018 theme announced | Photoworks. [online] Available at: https://photoworks.org.uk/project-news/brighton-photo-biennial-2018-theme-announced/ [Accessed 13 May 2018].
  • Simon Roberts. (2018). Merrie Albion, Flowers Gallery – Simon Roberts. [online] Available at: https://www.simoncroberts.com/news/merrie-albion-flowers-gallery/ [Accessed 13 May 2018].

London Art Fair – Exhibition

The London Art Fair is an annual Art event at the Islington Business Centre. The event covers a broad range of art forms: paintings, sculpture and photography. There is a special section for photography Photo 50. I view this event as one of the first events on the art calendar. This year I was for fortunate enough to get a free ticket from Photoworks to attend the event.

My primary purpose for attending the even is threefold firstly to see how the London Art scene has evolved in the last 12 month, look for artistic inspiration from the work of others and to network with galleries.

Similar to prior years the galleries present are predominately paint and sculpture based galleries. There was only a couple of galleries exhibiting photographic based art including an Austrian Photographers who work was on display at PhotoLondon.

The sculptures on display in many cases were abstract pieces that for mean raise interesting questions of thought process of the sculpture when creating the work and secondly how as a viewer I might interact with the work.

There were a couple of exhibits that stood out for me the first was work by Ardan Ozmenoglu who’s work I have referenced earlier in my own research in the use of layers within when transforming the 2D nature of photographs into a 3D physical resolved piece. The discussion with the Greek gallery representing her was interesting as they represent other artists using related techniques to create art pieces. They also explained that Ardan also retains drawing of each individual layer of her pieces allowing broken parts to be replaced if one got broken.

Ardan Ozmenoglu, 2018

The gallery also provided a contact in Greece who specialise in production of layered artworks.

Another artist that I found interesting was a painter who created images of a future world in oils. However rather than being constrained by a 2D representation they incorporate sculpted forms attached to the canvas to create a 3D dimensional representation. Another area of interest was the fact that the spaceship present in most of the paintings on display was computer generated and projected on to the canvas to allow the artist to create the outline for the spaceship.

Looking at the pricing of the pieces being sold by the galleries indicates that because these items are unique pieces they command a higher price that a photographic image of similar size though without undertaking a comprehensive study eliminating other factors such as artist reputation, subject material, production costs, etc it is difficult to place a scientific value on that ratio, though as a general rule of thumb indicates a ratio between 5:1 and 10:1 in favour of non-photographic art forms.

An interesting find at the exhibition was a demonstration by Samsung of their Art Series TVs that have been built with a dual purpose to display Art images when not being used as a Television. Typically most homes when not watching TV programmes have a void on the wall that over the years has got ever bigger as the cost of large flat screen televisions has become more affordable. These huge black holes have reduce available wall space that people might have traditionally used to hang other art forms. The 4K resolution of these Televisions resulted in an image that appears as a close representation of a printed image though the screen is not able to achieve the breadth of surfaces provided by different paper types though for me it felt like an interesting display form that is worthy of further exploration. I intend to approach Samsung to hopefully secure loan of 1 or 2 televisions for my final exhibition later in the year.

There were a number of other pieces of work that I considered as useful concepts that I might incorporate into future bodies of work.

In summary my visit to the London Art Fair proved very fruitful achieving positive outcomes across all objectives plus an additional avenue of exploration.

ParisPhoto and OffPrint – Event

Last year we visited ParisPhoto as a field trip with Falmouth University and this year I decided to visit ParisPhoto to specifically look at work of photographers who I view as contemporary photographers such as Nadav Kander and Simon Roberts.

On the Flowers Gallery Stand was a print from Nadav’s recent Thames Estuary body of work. The print was a larger portrait image with subtle colour tones similar to the colour tones found in Jason Orton and my own work from the Essex Coast / Thames Estuary. My own images are currently presented in landscape form, though I like the idea of converting the image into a series of three panels which reminiscent of the panels that were created in the 14th century.

Simon Roberts’ Merrie Albion – Landscapes Studies of a Small Island has been produced in large print and book formats. Similar to Nadav’s work the colour tones are subtle and the landscapes included an image from Flatford Mill famously recorded on canvas by Constable with well known titles such as Lott’s Cottage.

ParisPhoto is towards the pinnacle of the photographic art market with pictures commanding prices at the higher end of the market out of reach with ownership being out of reach for most of the visitors attending on the Saturday this is a consequence of the fact that it is expensive for galleries to hire space in the Grand Palais. The show had gallery representation from the across the globe with multiple Asian galleries having made the trip to Paris.

The scale of the amazing Grand Palais could overwhelm the casual visitor and the following video is a tour of the centre section only.

 

In addition to the prints being exhibited a number of book publishers has stands and arranged book signings. The book signings provided visitors with a chance to speak to photographers and I spent time talking to the photographer Stefan Bladh about is new book Hidden Kingdom published by Kerber.

After spending time at ParisPhoto I went to OffPrint which sits at a very different position within the art market. Exhibitions having a single 6ft trestle table to house books, zines and prints. While Grand Palais atmosphere might be described as refined whereas OffPrint has a grass roots / art student vibe with exhibitors drinking glasses of wine and pints of beer. I had a chance to catch-up with Arron Morel from Morel Books who I had meets earlier in the year at a Magnum Photobook event. Arron was selling a number of books including a new limited edition surrealist photobook what was interesting about this specific book was the pricing strategy that Arron had adopted where as he sold each copy of the book he increased the book price by 1 unit of the local currency. No 1 of the edition sells for £1, €1 or $1 yet No 68 sells for £68/€68/$68 directly linking rarity to value. An interesting strategy encouraging collectors to buy close to release date.

Looking back on ParisPhoto 2016 to ParisPhoto 2017 I feel I have a better appreciation of the art market and how artists and galleries operate within the market. At ParisPhoto most galleries were showing work from multiple artists rather than UnSeen where the same galleries were showing single artists and less well recognised artists. The presence of Asian galleries reinforcing interest in vintage photographs especially by Japanese Photographers

London Photo Show Preparation 1 Week to go – Exhibition

The creation of the printed version of the Artist Statement to exhibit on the wall next to the work so that when I am not standing next to the exhibit members of the public would have an opportunity to understanding some of the story behind the work.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Last-person-to-leave-turn-off-the-tap.pdf” title=”Last person to leave turn off the tap”]

When I have viewed exhibitions in galleries such as the barbican exhibits are sometimes have an accompanying title so I decided to create a simple piece of artwork to accompany my prints.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/exhibition-title.pdf” title=”exhibition title”]

The next task was to create labels so that anyone interacting with the individual images would know as a photographer the names of each piece and some information about the medium of production

[pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Labels.pdf”]

The final piece of preparation work allocated for this week was the creation of a hanging guide and the event organisers would be hanging my work for me. I feel than creating a hanging guide ahead of an exhibition is a useful activity as it allows you to experiment with hanging ideas before arriving at the venue saving time and reducing stress.

London Photo Show – Promo Cards

In addition to producing material to hang next to the exhibits I decided to produce some promotional cards to support the exhibition. I decided to retain the same design cues from the book dummy for ‘Last person…’ on the front page of the promo cards. I decided for a double sided layout as the cost was not different. The backside of the promo cards was split into two parts the left side of the page contained details about the art work including price for each image. The right hand side contained details of all my social media channels plus contact details. The postcard format meant that some visitors might take the promo card away and use it as a small piece of art in their home potentially looking on the reverse side in the future and using the social media information to re-engage with my work.

I decided to produce 200 postcards for the show.

  [pdf-embedder url=”http://fineart.photography/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Promo-cards.pdf” title=”Promo cards”]

Note at the end of the show I still had 150 promo cards.The cards did not have any details specific to the event and the unused cards could be used if the work was exhibited again at a future date. Though in hindsight a limited run of 100 cards would have been more than adequate for a show such as London Photo Show be remain tighter on budget.