Preparing the Gallery

From 21st May to 23rd May, we had access to the Lanchester Gallery where we were to have our degree show exhibition. We were all expected to attend to assist with painting the walls and making sure the space was in a suitable conditition to hang work the following week.

Not long after arriving, the installation walls and plinths were brought over from Ellen Terry. But after this point the group looked a bit lost and I felt that we were just wasting our time stood around so suggested that we started to paint the outside walls while the installation walls were erected and put into position. WhileI felt like I wasn’t doing anything, I picked up a roller and did my fair share of painting too. Meanwhile, I liased with Craig and the model we made to put the installation walls in place. We found that because we were putting more than one wall together we had small gaps between them which we knew would be problematic for hanging work on visually. Craig suggested we had masking tape over the gaps and painted them.

Photo: Melissa Stapleton

I spoke to Craig and he said that it would be a good idea to put the plinths about where they would be positioned in the gallery according to people’s work so that he could think more about wiring the iMacs up. This meant that I went round most of the gallery with masking tape to mark out everyone’s space according to the dimensions they gave me. It soon became clear that people overestimated how much space they needed by a considerable amount which was going to be a problem with the curation team.

The first day we were ahead of schedule with all of the walls having a coat of white paint on, success!

When it came to day two Craig suggested that we needed another layer of paint on some of the walls as there were visible brush lines and a general look of ‘thinness’. By this point in the morning there were few of us at the gallery and so I just kept my wits about me and started to paint; although it was frustrating at times when there were few hands on the job, it still needed doing as we only had a short deadline to make sure that everything as ready. That Thursday afternoon we had a lecture with Caroline Molloy and so we could only spend the morning in the gallery. Joseph had made some final adjustments to the poster which would be ready to print the next day.

Photo: Chris Trafford

-The week before the installation, Melissa and I worked with Gillian and Katy in the upstairs offices to try secure a poster space outside Ellen Terry (and opposite our exhibition); however, the marketing team had decided it was unfair towards the other degree shows if we were to only advertise ours. We kept our wits about us and continued to push on for Gillian to get us access to some of the empty shop fronts around Ellen Terry. This was better than nothing and so we decided to meet Estates on Friday to hang this up-

Photo: Chris Trafford

It was Friday and a strange day in the gallery. Melissa had gotten hold of free MDF and chalk board paint and so we painted it together to make a message board. Following our recent discovery that we had more wall space than we ever thought then this was a good idea to utilise space in a good way. Melissa said that the file size of the posters was too large to print the posters and so I spoke with Gillian to rearrange when we could meet with estates to the following Tuesday. I don’t like missing deadlines and felt like we were acting extremely last minute and inappropriately.

During the afternoon Melissa and I desperately ran to Gillian (again) to pay for a window vinyl so that the university would pay for it and that we would receive it in time for the exhibition (we also had a long bank holiday weekend to consider!). But before this, we shown my design to Becks, the techy, and she was concerned about it being a Photoshop file because the pixels in it are round, rather than square. In this case we opened up the document in illustrator and made it into an Adobe PDF which was more suitable for sending to print. Nevertheless, Gillian helped us pay for the vinyl sticker which we knew we would not have been able to pay for otherwise.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 09.23.24

I felt exhausted from painting, running around ordering designs and trying to figure out how we can make the space work. So when I was asked to look at the website my head wasn’t exactly in gear. I noticed one spelling mistake on the website, but completely missed the errors I had actually made in the press release (having a comma between Melissa Stapleton’s name and leaving out Chris completely). I felt really frustrated with myself for this; it was unacceptable that I pride myself in my ability to write well and I didn’t even notice it.


Regardless, somehow, the gallery was ready for us to return to it the following Tuesday with work to hang.

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