An expensive experiment.
Despite all the planning that came before the actual set-up of my exhibition there was still a lot that didn’t go right.
I had a small layout plan to work from which pretty much remained true to the final version…although some images were eventually dropped while others moved position within the final collage. I timed myself in the studio putting a quarter of the collage together, but still in the gallery itself it took two whole days to create rather than the single day I initially planned for.
I chose to print on gloss paper as I needed the richness of colour to compliment the images (one person did comment upon how beautifully rich the colour palette was & how it initially distracted from the subject of each image)…when trialled in the studio under bright indirect & diffuse spotlights this did not cause any problems. Unfortunately the small bright spotlights which were the only light source within the gallery space caused a great deal of glare from the prints. Viewed close-up when taking an intimate look at each part of the collage this wasn’t apparent; but when you stood back to see the whole there was a lot of glare that rather spoiled the effect.
I was a little disappointed with the number of attendees for the Private View. I knew this would be my best chance to capture opinions as the position of the Gallery means there is very little passing trade. I used posters and shout-outs on social media…as well as contacting everyone I knew. The reaction was promising, but most who showed an interest did not appear in person. I possibly got 20% of the people at the event out of those that expressed an interest. One unexpected route of exposure arose however…the venue hosts many different arts and they happened to be running a week of alternative music events during the evenings. So the collage itself became a backdrop to an acoustic night, live bands and a vinyl evening. Part of my intent for the project was for it to reach a different audience – most of the people who came to the Private View knew the project or knew the subject matter (bisexual identity) so it was pleasing that these music evenings gave a broader audience exposure to the work.
I have some feedback forms to collate, but the verbal responses were all very positive. One person noted that the textual quotes from the interviews that accompanied the images really resonated with his feelings before he took the plunge in accepting his sexuality.