My newest challenge has been consuming all my time lately, hence the long absence from my blog. I’ve ventured into the realms of curating for the ‘Make yourself @ home’ exhibition which will be part of the St Margaret’s House Open week programme of exhibitions, open studios, workshops and events, launching on Friday 11th October.
The idea has been brewing for quite some time and is largely based on my experience of running my own shows, combined with my years working to develop creative approaches to community engagement, the rationale being:
- The conventional €˜white cube€™ art gallery environment can sometimes be intimidating to those not used to it
- People want to buy art but aren€™t always sure how to go about it or find it hard to imagine in their homes
- Potential buyers often like to know more about the artist as well as the work – we need ways to bring artists/makers and buyers together
- Create an environment which suggests the domestic, which makes visitors feel comfortable and €˜@home€™
- Set the scene with furniture, props, lighting and sound throughout the gallery, evoking different parts of the home €“ e.g. a bed you can lie on to view a digital gallery projected on the wall, a sofa to sit on with a tv to show artists€™ and makers€™ images, a dining table where you can sit on handmade chairs, displaying ceramics, textiles etc., a desk with PC to view artist/makers websites, displaying handmade books, shelves etc.
- It€™s not the intention to create a €˜showhome€™ in the gallery, more to allow participants to show their work in an environment that hints of home but celebrates the original and the handmade
- Be open and clear about selling and buying, make it easy for visitors to buy, easy for artists/makers to connect with potential buyers
- To enable visitors to relate to fine and applied arts as something they would have in their homes
- To showcase the work of some of St Margaret’s House tenants and to hopefully sell some artwork to people who will love it.
So those were the ideals I set out with and I now have a selection of works from over 20 artists and makers to feature in the show. I also have loan of a bed, a sofa and even the toilet, which I’m hoping will create some hilarity as visitors perch on the pan to admire the ‘view from the loo’!