It may be only a 50th of the actual size but this is the best planning tool I’ve used yet!
Having two solo shows booked for 2014, I thought I really needed to make myself a plan to guide my work and preparations. However, the two dimensional methods I’d used before just weren’t up to the job, particularly for the Meffan Gallery show which has a flexible panel system for hanging work. So, it may have been my three-dimensional design training or perhaps my childhood love of doll’s houses that prompted me to find some foamboard offcuts, some dressmaking pins and a calculator to translate a 2D floor plan into a proper 3D model. I can’t lie – it was fun and I did spend longer than strictly necessary viewing it from all angles at eye level. Even made a wee person too.
Once I’d printed images of the potential works to scale it was a doddle to hang and rehang, play one piece off against another and generally visualise the exhibition as a whole. It was also obvious where the gaps might be and where I should focus my efforts with new work – it’s so easy to get carried away with exciting new experiments but I also have to make sure I have work to put on these walls.
There’s no substitute for seeing the actual exhibition space if it’s possible, so I spent an afternoon at Dawyck Botanic Garden, measuring the gallery and meeting the lovely staff. They’d just finished hanging the current show, Remarkable Trees, which is on until the end of March. My show ‘Figured wood’ follows it, opening on the 5th April.
Now I have two little scale models to reassure me when I think I don’t have enough work, don’t know what I’m going to do, think it’ll all go wrong – those creative insecurities don’t ever go away but some practical planning really helps me to ignore them!