Exhibition construction

Now that we’re within the last week of our course deadline, it is time to set up the show! After having spent the previous week constructing the space, putting up the walls, painting them white and sanding them when needed, it is now ready for the work to go into them.

As I have already decided in a previous post, I will be using a desk and therefore do not need to worry about constructing specialist plinths or shelves, so it is simply a matter of bringing them into my space.

Sticking with the manner of display which aims to capture and recreate a personal environment that is true to life, I have decided to bring my own desk from my bedroom in order to display my work. This desk, while not being a particularly impressive looking desk (a reasonably cheap, shabby, student desk), is ideal for many reasons. While it is true that the desk itself is not particularly impressive, in the same way as perhaps if I had bought a vintage oak desk to display my work upon, a visually appealing item in itself, it is true to life and reflective of my circumstances. It is a practical desk, for somebody who does not have a large budget, and I feel the act of going out and buying a desk specifically for the display would detract from the notion of it being a slice out of my own life and living environment, it would be artificial. Not only this, but I think the fact that the desk is not too impressive or grandiose means that there is no confusion as to whether or not the desk is a piece of the work itself. Again, if I had displayed the work upon a beautiful oak desk there may be confusion as to whether or not I had in fact constructed that desk, especially as it would be in an exhibition next to people who had constructed their own furniture as part of their work. Despite not being an especially appealing desk, I equally do not think that it is so poorly constructed that it detracts from the work. In fact, after having dressed the desk with the various pieces of work and tools, essentially making it a combination of my desk setting at home and my working desk in the university, I do no think the desk itself will take much of the focus, it is simply a setting for the environment I am constructing. Another positive point about this desk is that it is constructed with both drawers and shelves, which I intend to fill with various sketchbooks and objects, a combination of both process work from my project work and collections of items which decorate my room that have not been memorialised in the books. For example the shelves underneath the desk may have a combination of molds made during the project in construction of the medals, and decorative items (figurines, photographs, objects of personal interest) from my room at home as they would be found, in a slightly ramshackle manner. The drawers equally would contain sketchbooks, but also items simply found in my desk drawers in my day to day life, pens, batteries, stray notes and pieces of paper etc. Through investigation, the viewer will be able to examine not only the work and it’s process, but as with Tracy Emin’s “My Bed”, have a view into my own personal life and environment.


With this is mind I began constructing my space, assembling my home desk, and effectively moving the majority of items on my working desk in uni, onto it, recreating my work environment.




Overall I would say I feel positive about this layout, and it certainly gives the impression of being my personal space. While this is very much at odds with the rest of the show which is constructed of largely white shelves and plinths, I think it is a positive contrast and makes my display clearly defined and demonstrates that this is a deliberate curatorial strategy. Both the medals and  the books are easily accessed, but are arranged in a way that is not too precise and suggests that somebody before them has just been in the process of handling them. The objects are not so precious as to be intimidating. The drawers contain a mixture of sketchbooks, and process work, slightly ajar so as to encourage the viewer to open and investigate them, and the shelves holding various molds. The chair, taken from the studio, has splatters of paint on it which is again fitting with the idea of the working desk of an art student.

With the desk built and in place, I can now start bringing other small items from home to dress it with such as my teapot, figures, and bags of clay




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