Within These Walls / Opening Night, Feedback and Evaluation

Yesterday we had our opening night; Thursday 28th April, 6:00-8:30. We provided free drink and refreshments, to accommodate our guests, as well as playing music in the courtyard of the venue, so it became a social event outside, but remained professional inside the gallery. Unfortunately the weather was against us; very cold with heavy rain and to add to this we were not allowed to put temporary shelter up, as the incoming wind would have caused it to be hazardous.

Yet, to our amazement we had an astonishing 50+ guests, through the doors to view our exhibition. We were all very surprised at this amount of views and on top of the horrendous weather, this was extremely heart-warming and it showed how much our hard work and all our advertising had payed off. Each one of us in the group had a fantastic night and we are all so proud of ourselves.
Images from the Opening Night below:

For the remaining days the exhibition is open, we are taking it in turns to watch over the space, we don’e expect many guests,but it is our duty as the event organisers to invigilate the space.
*Update – we received 15 more guests on the rest of the days until it closed on 2nd May*

 

Feedback

For the Exhibition overall, Feedback was all positive, we were praised on the curation of the show; how we placed works in each room, so families didn’t swarm to just your works. We were praised on how cohesive it all was and how each artwork complimented each others. Our choice of venue was also commended; how it related to our works and also how we utilised the space really well.
Our advertising was applauded; the amount we advertised and also how it reflected on the opening night, as we had a fantastic turnout, and also how we presented ourselves online as friendly and accommodating, which I’m pleased was noticed – We felt as a group that Art events can sometimes come across as pretentious, and become exclusive from this, so it was important to us to be ourselves; friendly and grounded.

Feedback about my two Artworks was also all positive. ‘So close no matter how far‘ attracted a lot of interest; it was great to see so many people interact with my work; recognising the songs and trying to guess the lyrics, and then to hear people singing the songs coming away from work was great. They were described as being quite emotional and poetic, which shows how they have improved from VIE where I showed similar works but they were not read like this.
Although I am pleased with this piece, I don’t feel they are perceived fully in the way I would like them to be, I feel as though the viewer just sees the text and the visual goes unnoticed and they are not seen as a piece reflective of each other, I will either be dissecting this further or leaving it as a finished and final piece.

In two minds‘ also received a lot of encouraging feedback. People seemed to appreciate the contrast of dark and light; both within the words and also visually. Viewers appeared quite impressed with the piece; this was quite an ambitious piece for me, I had only been making single word neons previous to this, so clearly the risk payed off.
I was concious that the placement of the piece may be criticised, as the stairwell is an odd place to display art, but it was the complete opposite. People apprenticed that I had placed it there as it adds context to the work, Stairs are related to a journey, which my work deals with; journey to death. Also, I placed it on the stairs as they are often associated with death; going upstairs is going to heaven, going downstairs is going to hell, and individuals picked up on this too. So I’m really pleased with my works all-in-all.

 

Overall as a group and individually, we are very proud of our achievements and what we have accomplished as six 20-22 year old Art students. Our teamwork was fantastic throughout the whole process, which meant the process went by quickly and became enjoyable. We helped each other in every aspect of the process, and I can see us working as a team again in the future, as it was so successful this time.

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Within These Walls Group; Victoria Morris, Myself, Charlotte Robinson, Cherelle Khan, Paige Howard and Rebecca Smith

Within These Walls / Documentation

 

Photo’s of the Exhibition:

 

Artworks by the Artist’s involved:

 

Video of the Exhibition:

 

 

ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS, TAKEN BY MYSELF

Within These Walls /Installation and Curation

Above Image – The Map/plan where everyone’s works were eventually situated

 

Today we set up our exhibition; Within These Walls. Again I already had a plan as to how I want my pieces displayed. A few days prior to set up, we made a very rough plan as to where everyone would be placed, but we made all the decisions on the day.

We first prioritised people’s needs/wants; I needed darkness, so I placed my neon work on the stairs, which also added further context to my work. Paige wanted the back room fireplace to display her gnomes, Rebecca needed a desk to display her book on and wall space above it, Myself and Charlotte wanted to replicate the placement we had in VIE, so my darkness and her lightness would be next to each other and contrast well. All the other works were then placed in areas that suited them the most. Because some of us had more than one piece, we placed them apart and in separate rooms, so on the open night our families wouldn’t just swarm to our pieces.

It took around 4-5 hours to set up as we helped each other, and since the walls are only thin we only need to hammer nails so other tools weren’t necessary.

Panoramics of the Exhibition; showing where All the Artworks were placed:

Room 1 – 

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Stairs and Hallway – 

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Room 2 – 

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As a group we are all really pleased with the exhibition. The layout is well thought out, and our pieces look great in the space, the exhibition is really cohesive and we are excited for people to see the show on the opening night in two days time (28-02-2016).

Within These Walls / Advertising the Exhibition

With advertising, we wanted to select a few platforms that are tailored to our exhibition and our group.

We already had the video, that was getting great feedback, but unfortunately no money; I think this is because we didn’t post it in enough time and we didn’t advertise the page much as  a group, but the experience is still there.

Then we made an Instagram account; we all have Instagram and like the idea of informing through imagery. We used the Instagram to post photos of our progress in our practice; we took it in turn to post each day until the exhibition which we would then post photos from the opening night. This was a really successful form of advertising as it got our audience excited for our exhibition.

Within These Walls Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/withinthesewalls2016/

 

Next we made a blog on wordpress. This was mainly for documentation and to use an archive for the exhibition. We also used it in our symposium after all the shows. This was also a good platform as we now have an archive to look back on.

Blog URL – https://withinthesewallssite.wordpress.com/

 

We got our poster professionally printed in The Print Room at Hallam’s Library. We had 100 printed and we decided to get a better quality as we can hand them out as mementos of the exhibition as well as the accompanying leaflet; informing guests of our works. We placed our poster in and around the Uni, in the studios, The new post office building, In quite a few selected spaces.

 

We Finally created a Facebook Event, which most people do as it informs your friends and family of the event and when the opening night is. From this we generated a lot of interest that was reflected on our opening night.

Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1049119358467886/

 

As a group we are really pleased with our advertising campaign, we feel we have generated a lot of interest through them, and hopefully this will refelect on our opening night on the 28th April.

 

Within These Walls / Planning

 

The task to create an exhibition in small groups was set to both creative art practice and Fine art, so there’s a lot of competition. Securing the venue was our number one job, we knew our exhibition would be in Sheffield but it was just where?, we had looked at several spaces before making our decision including;

-Gallery 35 on Chapel Walk,
-APG Works on Sidney Street,
-Theatre Dellicateccan on the Moor
-various cafe’s and shops that surround Hallam University.

We looked at many places, but when we saw APG Works, we knew this is where we wanted to exhibit. APG offers a white cube galley space, but has characteristics of a house; fire place, stairs, two rooms, windowsills. This living space turned gallery suited our theme of life perfectly, so we made the quick decision and put a deposit down on APG works, using the space from 26 April – 2 May. It cost £165 for the week and an additional £15 for an A1 poster outside the space if we wish, we decided to have the poster so 6 of us each payed £30, which I thought was quite reasonable. We also decided our opening night at this time as the gallery gave us a choice of either Wednesday or Thursday of that week, so we decided our open night would be Thursday 28th April, 6:00 – 8:30.
Photo’s inside APG can be seen below:


Next on the list was the exhibition name, by now it is present that the name is Within These Walls, but had a list of other potentials names that didn’t quite make the cut. Other names include;

-VIE,
-The world is a play but the play is badly cast – Oscar Wilde,
-Art should comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable – Cesar Cruise.

Within These Walls was the perfect name for our exhibition and links to all our themes. It suggests the connotation of being contained; meaning both in a gallery space and also suggests psychologically being contained, so thoughts and opinions.
The poster was also made at this time. It was made together as a group in photoshop and we chose the photo of a cracked brick wall to reflect the name, the gallery space and again our collective theme. We are all really pleased with the poster, aesthetically it’s what we want and it includes all the needed information.

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As a group, we have a plan to meet once or twice a week until the exhibition, so we can get everything sorted and made for the exhibition, to make it the best it can be.

Within These Walls / Promotional Video

This video showcases the practice of each artist featuring in Within These Walls. Fimled and Edited by Rebecca Smith:

The video has been created to show what should be expected at our exhibition, the works featured won’t necessarily feature in the exhibition, but it will show how we have developed from these works made in February, to when the exhibition opens in April/May. The video will also be used on our crowd-fund page, as an aim to raise funds. Creating and funding your own exhibition is costly, so making a crowd funding project, may generate some funds for this experience.

 

Within These Walls / Poster and Proposal

 

As part of our University module we were tasked to set up an exhibition in small groups. The groups should be carefully selected and contain individuals you work well with or have a theme with. The exhibition will be self organised, funded and curated, so planning is crucial.
Below is the poster for our exhibition; Within These Walls, designed by the group, wall image courtesy of Charlotte Robinson:

 

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Proposal
:

Within These Walls – 27 April – 2 May at APG Works, Sheffield.

Six artists displaying work around the theme of everyday life, thought and emotion. The exhibition explores how we as humans perceive the world around us and deal with personal existence and identity. Concepts range from in and around the home, to dealing with psychological process and reflection. Each artist uses their artwork to tackle the concept separately, coming together in the creation of this summer exhibition running in line with the Art Sheffield Festival.
The exhibition culminates a year of development and hard work from these local independent artists; Paige Howard, Lydia Jackson, Cherelle Khan, Victoria Morris, Charlotte Robinson and Rebecca Smith.

 

Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1049119358467886/