Looking In, Looking Through


During my time with neo: on the artist in residence, I proposed the idea of attempting to organise and execute an exhibition.
My personal aims for the execution of ‘Looking In, Looking Through’ was to create an opportunity for up and coming or newly emerging artists – An opportunity to exhibit some newly created work in a highly regarded gallery, neo:gallery23. I also wanted to create an opportunity for the current printmaking students studying at the University of Brighton. I wanted to give those that had not yet learnt the process of applying to artist opportunities the chance to do so in the comfort of education. I remember slightly running through it in my final year of University but I wish I had got stuck in much earlier on – I feel that this is key to any artistic career so should be something that is taught to students in the first year. They could then begin cultivating an artistic career outside of the university walls nice and early.
Anyways, so I asked if I could learn to organise an exhibition. Fortunately for me, neo: had space in the gallery! It was then to planning a theme and writing up the first emails which would offer the opportunity to the students at Brighton. I may add here that I also invited fellow students from my BA and MA and also friends outside of education and artists that I follow on Instagram. This unexpectedly turned the exhibition from a national show to international pretty quick.

So, the theme was to ask the artists to work with the paper size of 60 x 60cm, I wanted to see how the artist would work within these set parameters. In my own work, I look at space as one of the key factors – due to its power to define objects within the overall composition.  I feel there is an absolute beauty in the presence of nothing, completely malleable to one’s creative perception. Space can make the most abstract of images seem satisfyingly stable when used correctly. It is with this that I thought it would be interesting to see how other artists would react to the Space within a square. How would they negotiate the space?
After running through endless emails – back and forth between artists from all over the world, organising the deliveries of artwork, shipping costs, import tax and unfortunate damages. I finally began receiving the artworks, both physically and digitally (for the catalogue). Some arrived in tubes – not that it was much of a problem, I just needed to flatten a lot. It was pretty scary because I REALLY didn’t want to damage any of them! In the end, I made a tower block of MDF sheets with tissues paper and the prints between, which worked perfectly! No damage and safe on the travels!

I wanted to create a catalogue for the exhibition. Something that I could give back to the participating artists, to look back on, to remember and to see all the other artists artwork if they were unable to physically make the show. I also wanted to create posters and flyers which could be given to the participating artists, these were created by Jason to the neo; format. Now, In order to have a catalogue, I had to contact a designer. I asked Derin Fadina to create the catalogue due to his beautiful catalogue he created for our final degree show in 2016.  We began discussing general ideas about layout and composition of the catalogue, looking at the positioning of texts, sizes of artworks on the page etc, etc. As the theme was essentially about space, I wanted to continue this concept into the booklet. I wanted the images and text to play within the space of the page and create something a little different to the usual catalogue. I feel that Derin really captured what I was trying to express and he made my first experience of conducting a creation of a catalogue truly pleasant – cheers for that, will be good working with you again! Get in contact with him if you have designing needed: http://derinfadina.co/index.html

After all the artworks had arrived, I drove up to Bolton. Both Jason and I began curating the artworks. This was probably one of the most interesting experiences that I’ve had when looking at a range of artworks – it really tested me in looking at relationships within the works that may have usually gone unseen. I also really enjoyed looking at the placements of the artworks and the curation of artworks on the wall. I feel that I achieved what I set out to do and the level of artwork was completely and utterly astounding, every piece was beautifully crafted. There was a massive range of artworks covering many of the disciplines; printmaking, painting, drawing, photography, illustration, graphics, moving image, textiles/printmaking and art using electronics. I feel the exhibition was a true celebration of art. Thank you to all participating artists and also neo: for all the support you gave me in aiding me to achieve my goals. Thank you so much!

Here is a couple of flicks of the curating and installation of the show, ‘Looking In, Looking Through’. (more photos to be added)

This was the size of the space, it also went around the corner where moving image artists projected onto a 60 x 60cm square and also another artwork that used coloured lights – so needed to be dimly lit in that area.

A couple from the install:

Here is the design for the flyers and posters created by Jason – Artwork by Nicola Tingey: https://www.instagram.com/nicolatingey/

So, that was my experience of organising an exhibition. On to the next?…

Ro x