When given the opportunity of exhibiting in an abandoned house (Welcome House) or a traditional, white walled, gallery space (West Wharf Gallery), I chose the gallery. The primary reason being the accentuation of the minimal aesthetic I am trying to achieve.
On arriving at West Wharf for ‘set up day’ I had a few ideas of possible ways in which I could display my work. Initially the top of my list was to simply hang the knotted loop over the end of one of the separating walls, having it perch on the end, drape down and bundle on the floor. This would eliminate the need for additional fixtures, and minimize contortion of the work. However, this was not possible due to the columns which anchored the end of each wall. Other options were to, staple the loop to a wall (hiding the staples), arrange on the floor (however, I was really not keen on doing this because it made it look small and you lost the physical weight of the work), or hang from a hook or some thing else in the space.
There were a few small hooks already scattered around the space, however most were too small and awkwardly positioned. I temporarily hung the work on a small brass hook positioned, off-centred, above a window. I liked the height and light shining between the loops but, it looked out of place and made that area feel unbalanced.
I determined that this work could be displayed in a number of places. Having ruled out stapling it to a wall, due to the lack of negative space, in which you can peer through the loops. I waiting untill later in the day, when most other works were up, to observe and determine where it would best complement the space and existing works.
I chose to hang it above a different window, which was on the right as you walk into the gallery space.
I chose a window because of the light and negative space; not being on a wall made the outcome feel more like a three dimensional object rather than a flat arrangement. I chose this specific window/space for a few reasons:
- It was the only window positioned perpendicular to the internal walls, creating a more pleasing environment.
- The outside view of the simple grey building, rather than lots of lights, felt like the more ‘minimalist’ option.
- Plus the existing works displayed in that section were all brightly coloured paintings, and I felt my work brought a textural and monochromatic moment to the space.
I hung the knot loop asymmetrically, draping it along the windowsill. This created movement and volume.
I am not one for naming my work, especially with this style where I am not representing a physical thing, but a mental idea/concept/way of thinking. However, since we were asked to label our work, I came up with ‘Knot Art’. It’s an obvious play on words but hints at the idea of how we think about art, whilst also being slightly descriptive.
Viewing Final Exhibitions: Welcome House & West Wharf
Welcome House and West Wharf as exhibition spaces were complete opposites. I found it interesting to observe the style and types of works which were specifically chosen to be displayed in each space. The atmosphere of Welcome House was raw, disjointed, in such a way that when you turned a corner you didn’t know what you might come across. This made for a more explorative experience, full of discovery. West Wharf on the other hand was far more ‘traditional’. I am very pleased to be part of what I believe to be a coherent display of contemporary fine art.
On viewing my work at the final exhibition (after also exploring Welcome House), I have determined that a larger loop/collection of knots and fabric, arranged as to almost cover the entire window, would have created a far more authoritative, engaging display for the viewer.
The whole experience of displaying and observing was a great lesson in how to curate a space, making it coherent and yet dynamic. Due to the vast array of types of works on display I was able to learn how to display works different from my own, gaining skills and insights for future displays.