• Sarah Jane

BA3b - Degree Show Curation Meeting....

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

This was the first meeting for the curation process of the degree show. We all sat down in a seminar room with the floor plans laid out and we went through all of the proposals sent in. We only had around 45 proposals out of a possible 62 which was disappointing and made it difficult for us to accurately place people in the right space for their work. We worked with the proposals we had first and went from there.


There were a range of works, from paintings, to installations, and it was difficult to not put the same themed pieces in the same room but we decided on having no more than 2 of a similar themed piece in the same room as to not have themed rooms and have them not link well. Those who said they would prefer natural light were placed in St Georges and those who wanted dim light or low light were placed in Guntons with some exceptions to those who were placed in PS5 where lighting in there is naturally low. We didn't anticipate as many paintings as we received, and we had already decided to get rid of a few walls which in hindsight was a bad call, but we were able to successfully work with the space we had and curate a promising show. We wanted this years show to be more open, and given the amount of sculptural works we had seen previous, we were anticipating a lot more sculptural works than we received.

The works in St Georges will mostly consist of paintings, some installations which require natural lighting, as well as some sculptural works. We tried to keep the bigger, more powerful pieces upstairs where there was enough room to display them and not have them block out any other works in the spaces. We placed Beth's room sculpture in SG62 to coincide with Chloe Hawes' large scale wall painting based on architecture around us. We did have to compromise with The Stray Dogs as they were planning on building a large scale room with blocked walls, in the centre of one of the project spaces. My initial concerns were would there be any room around it to view the other pieces, as well as having another large scale sculpture being Beths, would there be too much upstairs? We decided on having the boys downstairs in Guntons were they could build from a wall, and it allowed people to easily walk around it and view the other pieces. They also were happy with people being able to display their work on the walls outside of the room, so we didn't lose out on wall space.


We also had lots of installations proposed, as well as projections and sensory works. These were mainly placed in Guntons as well as SG63 in St Georges due to the lack of natural light. We also felt that the industrial look of Guntons would work with the projections as well as installations such as Kinga's electronic piece. We also decided to use the dark room in Guntons which would have been used for projections as a room for a sensory piece by Colleen. She wanted to create a sensory room involving the use of sound, smell and visual imagery. We felt that this room would be perfect as it would be dark enough to create this effect as well as draws people towards that end of the space. Another piece we have in Guntons was a terracotta piece by Laura, we did struggle with this piece as we were concerned that people wouldn't walk over for fear it is a delicate piece, thus potentially blocking other pieces around it. We decided to place it in its own space where it could be appreciated and not take away from the other pieces.

In St Georges, we tried arrange works depending on scale, with large pieces upstairs where there's more space, and more confined pieces in the first floor spaces. We did struggle to find pieces powerful enough to be shown in PS1, and we had to work around pieces that required smell to add to the imagery. We did want an entire wall of cupcakes but this is still in discussion. We placed a few textile pieces in SG44a as well as a few paintings, all of which link nicely in theme and materiality. In SG44b we have natural themed pieces, as well as pieces which depict religious themes, and in SG44 we have a range of pieces ranging from paintings, sculptural pieces and natural themed installations. These work really well in these spaces as they are open spaces, with lots of natural light which doesn't detract from the works. We also made sure to have 2D works in PS2 which again worked well with the natural light, as well as working with the narrow space of the corridor.

For PS1 we wanted a big piece as it would be the first piece you see as you go up the stairs, but we struggled to find something that would look strong enough to go in that space. We have a few paintings displayed, but I feel like they don't demonstrate the fine art group fully and I feel that Charlotte Hayden's banquet table would look really good in that space but this is something that is still being discussed. Hopefully those who didn't send in a proposal might be doing something large scale that would fit perfectly in that space.


For those who didn't send in a proposal we had to curate them based on our own knowledge of their practice which was not the best way to curate but we tried to be as accurate as possible. There are a few we need to work on such as a possible boat being made but we don't have dimensions for it. These kind of issues are what makes curating the entire year group a challenge, but we've made once successful show in the Interim Show, we can hopefully create a successful show in the degree show. The challenges we face now will help to make us stronger curators.

I do think we should have made sure that everyone had sent a proposal so we at least new size and material of the piece, so we could better curate people as I felt that curating based on assumption was the best idea as people in the year group tend to be unreliable and unpredictable, but hopefully over the next few group curation meetings we can get a deeper understanding of everyone's piece and make sure that they are moved to a more appropriate space. Overall, I'm happy with what we have so far, but a lot of work is needed to finalise the show and make sure that everyone is in a place most suitable for their work.

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