July 15, 2010
The conclusion to the Foundation year was the final show at MMU, for which I achieved a Distinction. Foundation are lucky enough to exhibit as part of the Degree show, and have a reputation of producing a standard of work that often is not far off some of the Degree work. The show took place across the School of Art buildings on the All Saints campus. The show was open to the public from Saturday 19th – Wednesday 23rd June 2010.
I designed and built my space (with the help of a technician) to create an installation rather than purely showing my film, “Beware the Table” on a screen. I wanted to create an atmosphere and also to give the film some context by exhibiting the table. I decided on a small space in a purpose-built structure to create a dark tunnel-like view. The table was positioned lengthways with black walls on either side with the TV screen showing through a hole in another wall at the end of the table. On one of the side walls I hung a UV light to bring out the glowing elements on the table marks, directly opposite this I hung a mirror that I had sandblasted with shapes from the table and treated to glow under the light. The positioning of the mirror meant that the film was reflected in it also, adding another dimension. The mirror represented themes of reflection of creativity dealt with in the film and echoed the mirrored set that I had used in the animation to create a slightly different landscape for the table “world”.
The exhibition itself was a peculiar experience. The whole School of Art was exhibiting so there was a huge amount work on show. The preview show was full of people, it was hot and you could barely move from one place to another, let alone properly view the work. I decided it was best to stand outside in the sunshine instead of hanging around my piece – there was very little space to do this anyway. The days after the preview were less busy so I had the chance to see people going to watch my work. Comments were positive and I particularly enjoyed people’s gasps of delight when they turned the corner to find my glowing table; I hadn’t seen the use of UV light anywhere else in the show so I think it was unexpected amongst more traditional lighting.
I really enjoyed the experience of exhibiting; it’s a great feeling to show people what I’ve been working on for so long. It also felt like an appropriate conclusion to the project and the year.
Overall, what I’ve learnt from this project is to reconnect with themes and interests I have had for many years. It has allowed me the freedom to explore, learn and refine techniques I had always been interested in (film, animation, music with visuals and sandblasting glass). The whole process has served to find a visual aesthetic to match my written work from before and throughout the course; an aim I’d hoped to achieve this year and will explore and continue throughout my further study and future career.