Exhibition Inspiration and Degree Show Space Allocation

The allocation of my space for the degree show really brought home that there is only 2 months left of uni. Not just this, but in less than 2 months I will be displaying my work to thousands of people for the first time ever. I am desperate to make my space visually enticing to compete with all of the amazing artists and designers who will also be displaying their work at the degree show. However, I will be enticing my audience with the notion of emptiness. My allocated degree show space, shown below, is perfect for my concept. I imagine an all white  space that feels empty so having a contained space with 3 walls is the perfect way to create this. I want the audience to feel the void and on closer inspection, discover that there is so much more there than initially thought.


I have been researching exhibitions that concentrate on the unseen, a classic example being Yves Kleins’ The Void in 1957. People waited for hours to enter an empty gallery in which Klein claimed to hold his artistic sensibility, which cannot be seen or felt but is there all the same. I also came across the multi-artist exhibition Invisible: Art About the Unseen 1957-2012 at Hayward Gallery. The gallery contained all-white canvases including Tom Friedman’s’ 1000 Hours of Staring, a blank piece of paper. Andy Warhol displayed a plinth on which he once stood, showing the presence of the artist and also the absence. I hope to create a space that shows the unseen, the urban voids that are overlooked and the memory of this land that has been forgotten. It is up to the audience to come into the space, to look and to feel.


I recently visited Edinburgh with my uni friends to see the RSA contemporaries exhibition featuring last year graduates from DJCAD and other Scottish universities. I found it funny how I was not only looking at the work itself, but how it was displayed; whether it was framed, the colour of the frames, how they displayed video work etc. I do not normally concentrate on these aspects when visiting a gallery but as I am nearing the end of my degree and close to degree show set up these thoughts were very much on my mind. It was amazing to see the different mediums used and the interesting ways they were displayed. I enjoy how Alison Wright’s photographs above how been displayed in a scattered manner while Lucy Wayman’s mop sculpture interacts with its audience as they walk between it just like Tamara Richardson’s plastic sheets.


As I too will be presenting a film, I found it fascinating looking at the different ways these graduates presented theirs. Below left shows Clara Hastrup’s film shown as two projections with a seating area for its audience. This was an amazing film for the senses and I loved that the audience were given a specific area to watch the film. Natalie Howlett uniquely displayed a video projection on a cut out of the woman who was being projected which added to the clinical and unemotional feeling of her work.

After trying out projections for myself, I decided that a monitor would show my film in a more successful way. I was paying close attention at the RSA for how their monitors were displayed. Elaine Ang presented her film on the floor which changed the relationship between the viewer and the work as they looked down on it. I am planning on building a frame for my monitor as the ones available to me are all black and this might ruin my all white space, so seeing this framed film piece was a handy experience.

Framing was also something I was focusing on when at the RSA, especially Eleanor Elks Herrmannsen’s white frames. After taking part in the framing workshop and making a wood coloured frame, I decided that a white frame would be more successful in my space. I have made one frame white to compare against the wood coloured frame and I have found the white one to work better with my prints.



While in Edinburgh we visited a few more exhibitions that were currently showing. One of my favourites was Mark Wallingers exhibition that is showing in two parts, one in the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and one in the DCA, Dundee. This picture is from the fruitmarket gallery, the artist makes his mark while also writing his own name.


The DCA provided me with lots of inspiration on how to display film. Projections, hung on a wall, multiple monitors in a round, monitors propped on their side. I just have to work out what is best for my film and the space that I am in but it was amazing to see how successful artists like Mark Wallinger show their work.


While visiting a 3rd year illustration student exhibition in Duncan of Jordanstone called Chaos & Order I was intrigued by not just the work, but the presentation of this work. They had a few display tables containing sketchbooks, drawings and other bits and pieces. The display table I have been working with (shown here https://laurendailly12.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/film-as-a-piece-of-art/) is a lot more robust and I feel like these ones would work better in my ’empty’ degree show. I am currently trying to gain access to these tables but I am also in two minds. I do not want to clutter my exhibition as I want it to feel empty so I am not yet sure if I want to have a display table in my space. There is still lots to think about but I have found it very rewarding taking time out to view exhibitions and gain an insight into successful ways to showcase artwork.




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