Wednesday, 29 May 2013

'Never Stop Exploring' - an exhibition goes up and comes down again

Regular readers of this blog - all three of you :) - might remember I wrote about the first phase of 'Never Stop Exploring' HERE on 17 February. 
photo: Elly Langlois
In that first phase, forty-two of my works, relics, and by-products, were selected at random, numbered 1-42, and exhibited together in a random sequence (generated on Visitors were invited to write on sheets of paper pinned between each work, recording their thoughts about how each work related to the next in the sequence. About forty people participated. The resulting 41 sheets of descriptive comments were transcribed and became the genotypes to generate the work for this exhibition

photo: Elly Langlois
Forty-two volunteer artists were then recruited at the WSA  Book Day, on 16 March 2013.  The artists each chose a numbered envelope (1-42), enclosing a set of insructions and unique pair of the descriptive texts from Phase 1. The envelopes also contained a small piece of my artwork as a ‘thank you’ for participating.  There was no selection process, it was simply a matter of who came through the door first and agreed to sign-up. (All slots were filled in 50 minutes). Pleasingly this resulted in contributions from across the whole of Winchester School of Art (and one esteemed alumnus). 

Nick Stewart, Head of Fine Art at Winchester interviewed me at the private view for the Fine Art blog. Here's a link to the interview

After a tense few weeks, with work being made and nowhere to show it, I finally found a space to show the works in one continuous sequence - the foyer of Westside at Winchester School of Art. Unfortunately I could only have the space for four days. The pieces were all delivered to me in time to install on 21 May. 
photo: Elly Langlois
The work displayed comprised the work created by the 42 artists, together with the descriptive texts their work was responding to. The artists did not see the original work to which their texts related but some of those works were included in the show. 

I placed the texts on the wall first, spaced to accommodate each piece of work precisely between the two texts to which it related. Because of the sequential nature of the display I had to do most of the installation single-handedly. My friend Elly took some photos of the install process and then helped with putting the works up (Huge gratitude and several pints of cider are due to Elly). Thanks also to Lesley and Tori for their help with the set-up.

Each sheet of text was placed precisely 150cm from the floor. I discussed with one of the tutors after the show whether it was a good idea to have a single hanging-line and whether it might have been possible to vary the line and group the works in a more visually engaging way.
photo: Elly Langlois

On reflection, the whole point of the exhibition was that this was one continuous sequence of texts and works responding to the two texts on either side of it so I am happy with my decision to display it this way.

The project investigates how personal responses to visual data are reduced to text, and how people translate and interpret texts, applying personal choices, selectivity, and imagination. 
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In a way this exercise also had something to do with hermeneutics - an important area of study at a time when various types of fundamentalism threaten civilised discourse and peaceful human co-existence.

The show took almost a day and a halfto install but it looked great! It was a privilege to include work by such a diverse and talented group of artists. 

There was some space left over having installed the whole sequence so I was able to include some of my pieces from the original installation - the genotypes that had provoked the descriptive texts.

The private view/drinks-reception was timed to coincide with the end of second-years' assessment 'vivas' and the 'Fashion Show' on 23 May - ensuring lots of footfall.
Drinks reception 23 May

Drinks reception 23 May

Drinks reception 23 May

Some of the photographs didn't come out very well - I need to spend longer learning how the settings work in artificial light - but this is more or less the whole sequence of work:

Anna Glover
Bronwen Rees
Mike Thebridge (left)
Anna Stachtiari
Kimvi Nguyen

Annabel Collins

Michael Colegate
Helen Brake

Sylvester Siani

Elz Vince

Musfirah Zainurin

Rachel Tasker (photo: Kristina Shchetinina)
Lauren Maslen (l), Rachel Tasker (c), Musfirah Zainurin (r)

Kalisto Bancroft

Krissie Cossey

Jessica Taylor

Tessa Atton

Frieda Peppercorn
Tori McLean (l)

Roseanna Jones (l), Ellie Maltby (r)

Roseanna Jones

Olly Allen (l), Lauren Goldie (c), Olivia Rowe (r)

Amelia Marsh (l), Bekki Ambrose-Moore (c), Emily Evans (r)

Grace Murphy (l), Hanna-rose Ames (r)

Grace Murphy

Amy J. Wilson

Hope Talbot

Libby Woodland

Molly Lemon
Crizzie Salazar (l), Molly Lemon (r)

Emma Robins
Lesley Thomas (l), Peter Driver (r)

Leanne Renshaw

Ella-Louise Baldwin (l), Laura Parker (r)

Suki Liu (l), Ella-Louise Baldwin (r)

Thanks to Hannah-rose Ames and Anna Stachtiari for helping with the Bar
Thanks to Grace Murphy and Rebecca Mhairi Judah for being
the poster-girls for the exhibition and for helping on the bar!

1 comment:

  1. Great idea, exhibition and blog, Peter :) I was very happy to participate and the result, as shown, is wonderful! Amazing job to every artist and to the set up :) I really hope something like this can be done again!