So, the final project of the year, an Exhibition of our work no less, enough to get the nerves twitching.
The Exhibition will be a group effort and so accordingly, our tutor Nigel Grimmer, divided our class into two groups.
Now, if an Exhibition is not sufficient to get the nerve edges fraying a little, then throw into the mix, fellow group member’s opinions and sensibilities, and the fact the group would not only be exhibiting but would organise the Exhibition itself.
Firstly, introduce my fellow exhibitors, I give you Stavros Vasileiou, Connor Warrender and last but certainly not least, Simon Harutyunyan.
Secondly, from all the various workshops and projects what to choose to exhibit, so decisions, decisions! After long deliberation my final selection of the work I intend to dazzle and bewilder the wider world came down to my work from the Performative Portrait Project and the Cut Up Project, which in my own humble opinion, is among my strongest, striking work. Both Simon and Connor would also choose work from the Cut up Project and Performative Portrait Project to exhibit, which I think is useful, if for nothing more useful than a compassion measure for the audience, always considering there is enough to warrant using the description of an ‘audience’.
At this point, I actually thought, in my ignorance, progress was being made, which work to show.
But. I and the others came to discover, what’s the most difficult thing about 4 second year students putting on an Exhibition of their world shattering work? Wardrobe ..what to wear? What approach to the multitudes of the Great British public should I, as an exhibiting artist adopt, cool aloofness perhaps, feigned indifference or eagerness personified ?? So many decisions, what about lighting, mounting our work? All the afore-mentioned were more than enough, but the biggest problem of putting on this exhibition? was actually finding a suitable venue, location, space for it to merely happen at all.
Delegation of responsibilities was required, Simon and Stavros were dispatched to scour Luton high and low for such a place, but it would take all 4 of us, all our combined organisational skills to get the exhibition off the ground. Circumstances seemed to conspire against us, brave quartet of fearless artists. Vacant properties that looked ideal for a short rental for our Exhibition would be sold the next day. Or, a suitable venue would be found, but huge monetary deposits, and astronomical rent would have our fearless group up against the wall. After much searching and much disappointment, huge amounts of energy, foot leather and telephoning, it was good fortune that came to the rescue.
Creating our Exhibition poster was a big Fun:
Over the past 2 years, of my course, all students have had the opportunities to meet many useful contacts in the local artistic community, one such contact I met as a result of one of the Artist Talks my course features, Mrs Caroline Wallace, the Engagement & Projects Co-Coordinator for a Luton venue called the Hat Factory. We’d already made inquiries about booking the Hat Factory but no suitable dates were available. Following a follow-up visit to the Hat Factory and chatting with Mrs Wallace and Aleksandra Warchol, the suggestion of using a part of the venue called the Gallery might be a possibility. Salvation! The Gallery space was certainly large enough, clean white walls on which to mount our work, and centrally located for the hordes that were bound to descend. Then disaster struck, the Gallery it seemed was already booked for the dates we needed, a familiar story in our quest. Mrs Warchol did offer us a storage area that was, while quite large, was covered in graffiti, the offer was if we, the artists, were to paint the walls and clean the area up, then we could use the space rent-free, at least a definite offer, eve if did mean a considerable amount of work to make it ready.
There was one other possibility, a place called Flamingo Arts, our brave troop carried out an inspection but hopes were not high, it was a small space made even smaller by being full of filing cabinets, tables and chairs, but it was available, a decision had to be made, the Hat Factory, rent free but in reality a weeks hard manual labour plus buying the paint for its walls. But the Hat Factory did have its good points, it was known locally, it was central. Flamingo Arts was smaller, and would also need work, although not on the scale of what was required at the Hat Factory, if we cleared out the clutter of boxes,desks,cabinets, tables & chairs ???
It would be Flamingo Arts !! cheap, without having the financial cost of having to buy and paint the area we wanted to use. Send the word!