Exhibition idea

I know I have to develop some criteria for selecting the correct approach to the final exhibition but I do like day dreaming up ideas.

The avenue I explored here is similar to my submission to the pop up show and the idea came from the production values used for my little picture – see here

Title: Documented, signified, Experienced, Imagined
My contribution would consist of the following:

    • Five 56 cm square images. The actual images will be 18 cm square with a black boarder of 19cm each side, top and bottom.
    • One vase holding three sculptured items that evoke a sense of flowers but that are obviously medical kit
    • Two books – two different sized of Paralysis: Unseen Pictures

The criteria driving this approach
Back in January (27) and then again in April I explored the criteria I needed to use for the exhibition and this idea comes out of a coalescing of various projects and thoughts and reflections.

Firstly my work on creating the books made me acutely aware of the importance for supporting imagery. This along with the much other research and exploration put context and the viewing experience uppermost in my mind. The images by themselves do not have anywhere near the same evocation as they do when curated and contextualised. Therefore just as much thinking and work has gone into those aspects of the exhibition as of the selection of images themselves. Indeed I think the two aspects are – have to be – inextricably linked.

Explanation of approach
This is my approach to framing – the idea is to give weight and gravitas without going very large scale.image

However such custom built frames will cost over £150 each plus mounting and printing and so I could have the images mounted on black 19cm width mounts and let them serve as frames. (I did experiment with printing the images large with black borders but they lacked texture and the compressing evocation I was after was not as great as with my selected method, as the images are clearly located within the frame mounts rather than part of the same item.

This approach would cost around £20 for the prints and £100 for the mounting and so could address the criteria I have previously used when considering how I should proceed.

The viewer would see quite small images (easy to transport) in large flat frames (to compress the images and provide a sense of weight and gravitas) to engage the viewer with issues around representation and so link directly to the books. This approach would present the following images along with their titles which will be white letters on black backgrounds

Titles and images
Series title: Paralysis


Documented simply offers the viewer both an insight into some of the items I use and so purports at face value to offer valuable information while in reality telling the viewer little.


Signified is a personalised wheelchair symbol that is unconventional (because it’s a personal design adapted from a photo of me moving) and disputed through the positioning of the symbol within the frame (just off centre) colour palette and tiny (because the image is small) colour disruption at the bottom left of the frame. Some of this disruption can only be seen close up and so plays with the idea of the seeing experience being different depending on distance.


Experience is a digitised version of an early sculpture that was created in response to my bleeding see here and so I have selected it because of that


I have adapted the version of images used in last year’s pop up show quite considerably. Instead of presenting it at 80cm size, its 18cm. Instead of using a blue and orange colour palate its now predominantly magenta – with a sort of sickly feel to it. But on closer inspection the image has lots of vertical and horizontal lines making the viewer think about how and why this has come about. (It’s because it was appropriated and adapted from a film) The subject matter is a mass of wheelchair users moving

One not usedimage

I did consider thus image, entitled Usurped but when reviewing all the components together it doesn’t really work.

The viewing experience planed
Imagine a large high ceilinged room with white walls and lots of imagery. You see one area bounded by open space with 5 thick black squares crushing 5 small blobs of colour and – as yet unclear – subject matter. Beneath the last image sits a table with a vase, a black tablecloth and something on it and three books on that. As you get nearer you begin to see the images and read the small black and white sign by each and relate it to the subject matter that can now been seen up close. The images are Paralysis: Documented, Signified, Experienced, and Imagined. Under the last picture you see the books next to vase at one side on the black tablecloth wearing some strange flower like sculptures. You open the books and read.

Positioning, Space and Clutter
The images would be presented in one low horizontal line. This allows the viewer so see that at a distance as well as inspect them up close. The line would end with a table upon which the vase and books would sit. The table will be covered with the black table cloth to link by the black accent to the five images.

In a major change from the work on the pop up show, I would create these images so that positioning and colour all clash and do not harmonize. For example, the symbol is slightly off centre, and each images’ colour palette is very different from the other.

Framing, Eye lines and detail
The framing compresses the images and gives depth and gravitas while drawing the eye in just as the line of images pull the viewer toward the table with the books

Textures Scale and distance
The approach allows the viewer to see the exhibition material as a whole set of parts as well as inspect each element close up. The sculpture add texture, as do the mounts, the book offers the full artistic statement and the images on the wall provide a commentary on the way we see and interpret images about paralysis and disability more generally whole also offers the viewer a sense of my experience and response to the situation.

The fundamental weakness of this approach is that I’ve done it before in the pop up show. 


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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2 Responses to Exhibition idea

  1. Trying to get my mind around the relative connotative meanings of a wide wooden frame and a wide black border….both compress the image but perhaps suggest different things. The large wooden frame says ‘precious’ to me and the black border has ‘darker’ resonances. Just as a point of reference you can get moulded 9 cm frames from http://www.ezeframe.co.uk for around £25 – not as wide as you originally envisaged but still quite imposing.

    Liked by 1 person

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