BA3b - Degree Show Install....
This week was the main install of the work. We had 4 days to make sure everything looked right, which gave us plenty of time to think about composition and time to sort out the little bits such as touch ups on the wall or actual pieces.
For me, the first half of the week was figuring out which of my 3 posters I would display. I was already decided on whether to show my jackets and placed them where I wanted them. For the Jackets, I decided to have them the first thing you see as you walk into my space, one after the other, as it looked as if they were just hung up after a long day of work, which kept in line with the theme of the workplace. For hanging I already knew exactly how I was going to hang them, and bought a pack of two singular coat hooks which were white, so they didn't stand out against the wall. Once I was happy with their placement, I then made sure they were level and hung each up.
Another aspect of the Jackets was that I had to fold them over slightly to get the text on the lapels ot be visible from the front. I liked how they hung, with the natural folds in the fabric, and also how they were hung slightly differently, with one having a stitched on hook and the other one having to be draped over the hook. It added to the idea of them being hung up after a long day of work, and added slight character to the way they were hung. For the lighting, I do hope to have individual spotlights highlighting each one individually, as I liked the shadows of the folded fabric as well as the text highlighted.
The posters were a lot more difficult to place. Because they were not all the same size, it made it difficult to have them all together. I did initially put them up temporarily with blu ta just see the scale of them against the wall, and to see them all together in person. I really did like the text of the smaller ones, and I liked the scale and impact of the larger poster, but all together I think they clashed too much. Overall, I came to the conclusion that all three wouldn't work together no matter how you arranged them. I also think the difference in scale was also a factor as the bigger one would always demand the attention due to its larger scale and larger scale text.
Because of this, I decided on either having the two smaller ones or the single larger poster along with my jackets. Once I had hung my jackets, I then played around with composition with the two ideas. I documented each lay out, but I ended up feeling a lot more conflicted as I liked both layouts. The layout with the two posters seemed to even them out, with having two fleeces on one side and two posters on the other, but I then felt that it would be too symmetrical and they would start to look a lot more like prints rather than a poster from a shop. I then looked at the layout with the one bigger poster and the two fleeces and this seemed to have more context relating to the shop/retail which is one of the concepts of my work. This larger scale poster is also impactful not only because of its scale but also because of the larger scale text and bold colours. I think this simplistic approach worked so much better and allowed for each part of the piece to have its own space.
A concern I did have was that the context of the work may have been lost as the larger scale poster didn't have text relating to the effects of the workplace/ workplace bullying, but after much thought and consideration I realised the jackets would bring that context back with the clear text upon them with the words 'Unappreciated' and 'overworked'. They also look like work jackets you would see in a place of employment such as retail or other service work. Furthermore, I was also concerned with the slight crinkling of the poster, but again after much thought and looking back, I think it works with the context of the piece being negative and me being angry with my experiences. This is also supposed to resemble a shop poster and they are not 100% perfect art pieces, so I appreciated the slight imperfections.
For the hanging of the posters, I originally planned to use hooks similar to what we use at work which are suction cup hooks with smaller metal hooks that attach to the poster through small holes in each corner. I thought that having them hung like that would further add to the context and link the hanging method to the context of the overall piece. But I started to get concerned that over a long period of time that the poster would get damaged and that placing holes on the piece wouldn't look right, even though I didn't want to treat it like an art piece. I then decided to try out small magnets. I bought quite a few from Thorns, which were small, discreet, professional looking but most importantly strong, and I had nails that I could hammer in which would then allow the magnets to sit and hold my work up.
Once I had my piece up, I noticed that the top and bottom were still slightly curving over, the sides also but not as much. I decided to get one more set of magnets for the top and bottom, and more for the sides as I thought they needed it. After placing the rest of the magnets, I felt the top and bottom looked better, but the magnets at the side were too distracting. The sides weren't as bad as the top and bottom, and i kind of liked how the sides had a ever so slightly curl in, but it gave a slight frame to the piece, and to me made it look more like a shop poster than a wall poster. I also had to adjust it sightly as it was slightly off, and so I had to take out the nails and relocate them to that the piece was level. I managed to get it as even as I could, but I think the gradient of colours made it seem more wonky than it actually is, but I double checked with a spirit level and everything seems to be perfect in terms of level.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with how my degree show piece looked. i think this composition worked best and I think the simplicity is so much more powerful then trying to get everything up. I think that if I was to display them again I would like to have them documented in a shop window for added context, as well as taking them out of the gallery. I would also get more than one large scale poster as I think more of the A0 posters would really look impactful and a lot more like a shop window. However I still think this has a lot of connotations of being a shop display, I think it could be taken even further if I had more. This is definitely something to consider if I ever display these again. But overall I'm extremely happy with how it looks, and I hope the public enjoy it once the show officially opens.