With no news from the Galaxy centre after a week we concluded that this was a dead end. As such we started all over again looking for a venue. Nigel our tutor put us in touch with Matthew and Trevor at the Departure Lounge Gallery, George Street, Luton. After brief negotiations we were offered rooms on the top floor, however time would be critical as The University of Hertfordshire would be exhibiting before us. As we also had our Berlin trip looming so scheduling everything to be completed before the deadline for completing the enterprise assignment became a nightmare.
With a guarantee from Trevor we could definitely go ahead, we re set a date for the private view, re designed the poster, printed it and posted it throughout George street. The Facebook page was re written and the invites re sent. Immediately on my return from Berlin, I contacted the sponsors, Leighton Buzzard Brewery and re arranged their donation of beer.
The run up to the exhibition was like an episode of Countdown, we had just a few hours to put up the work on Monday then just over an hour to assemble the video show and tidy the place on Wednesday. People were already queuing outside but we managed to be open by our official opening time of 6.00pm.
Three rooms offering a selection of prints and 4 videos were on offer.
From a technical point the video was a challenge. We wanted to avoid using an expensive laptop to play the video show reel as the projector was sited in the middle of the room and thus the risk of damage by someone accidentally kicking it. We didn’t have a box for the projector so the laptop would also have been visible.
The projector was borrowed from a school but we couldn’t get it until Tuesday which left the technical test late in the day to seek out alternatives should anything not work properly.
Assuming the projector was a fairly new I decided to make the show reel on a Blue Ray disc to maintain high quality. I already had a Blue Ray player which I could use to play the disc so my attention turned to the audio element.
Computer speakers would be ok but the cable length meant that they would have to be sited close to the projector. I wanted to put the speakers in the corner of the room so started looking at other alternatives. Many years ago I bought a ‘hi fi’ system with two wall mounted speakers. I replaced this with a surround system and an ipod but stored the hi fi and speakers in my loft.
The advantage of using the hi fi system was that it had its own graphic equaliser, thus allowing me to modify the sound from the speakers to achieve the best effect.
When the projector arrived it was obvious that the relevant cable connections needed to play the Blue Ray signal through the projector were missing. The projector was much older than I anticipated. Time for a rethink. It was clear that the cable connections would marry up with a DVD player of older design. Luckily I still had an old DVD player and cables. S Video was very popular a few years ago before HD became the norm. Digging out the old cables and then burning the films to a DVD meant that everything matched up. Quality would be less but moving the projector a little closer to the wall would reduce the image size minimising pixelisation.
Once I’d set up the projector table, hi fi unit, projector and speakers on site I was delighted to say everything worked!
My exhibition images were based around the past present and future. In Whispers in the Dark, the images illustrate the spooky world of ghosts and spirits and the past. The dimmed light necessary for the media projector suited the dark ghostly images perfectly and illuminating one large image from below with desk lamps and the ghost portraits from above with a directed light added to the surreal effect I was trying to create.
My other set in this room was the series called Dead Earth. This was a triptych semi panoramic scene of derelict buildings and a dead landscape representing one possible future. Again the dark moody light suited the scene and illuminating this set from below with another table lamp was sufficient to draw the viewers attention.
The present was represented by my video IF. This Rudyard Kipling poem was brought into the 21st Century using a comic book style far different from the original written tale of Victorian values, but equally appropriate today.
With a facebook page created, (see below) press release written and distributed by Arthur, the exhibition guide sheet written by us all and now bulk printed ready to give out and finally business cards printed and put out for display we were finally ready. The finishing touch was a comments book.
Inglorious Artist Facebook page
Inglorious Artist re designed poster
The launch of the exhibition at the Departure Lounge went very well with over 60 people visiting us on the Wednesday night. The beer, wine and orange juice flowed and lots of positive comments were made. The layout of the area, one corridor giving access to three rooms, meant that not all the space became crowded at once, although several did congregate initially in the video room to watch the 4 videos on offer.
Having watched the videos they then turned to look at the pictures on the walls, the four ‘Whispers in the Dark’ portrait silhouettes, then the large ‘medium and ghosts’ image and finally the three ‘Dead Earth’ images before leaving the room.
Turning to their right they made their way to the second room containing Arthurs work, pausing first to look at this then turning and examining Josh’s work on the opposite wall. Retracing their steps they made their way to the third room which contained 4 images by Yemi. Then pausing to chat to us and to take more refreshments they then made their comments into a visitors book and took some business cards.
The atmosphere was light hearted and positive, a welcome relief from the negativity we’d endured over the last few weeks with all the set backs.
Over the next 4 days we had 25 more guests, most of which were just general members of the public.
The experience was a stressful one but very enjoyable. Every aspect of this assignment challenged us as a team. Truth be told some of the team played a bigger role than others, but in life that’s always the way. The task was to work as a team to achieve a shared goal, we did that.
Many lessons were learned on the journey, from everything from printing methods, different papers, gallery spaces and how to set out your exhibition to best effect, publicity, promotion, accounting…the list is endless.
Overall a very enjoyable experience.