Naively, I thought that the hard work lay in making pieces for an exhibition. Little did I know how arduous the actual installation is!
Luckily, my friend Magdalen – my best customer who also happens to be a set and costume designer – came along to help. She turned up on my doorstep with two wicker shopping baskets on wheels, which were rather striking objects in themselves. Into these we piled three bags of stones, two slabs of slate, a couple of hessian coffee sacks, a bamboo pole, a pile of newspapers, a bag of balloons, two pairs of scissors, a length of silk and bamboo fabric, a large foam-covered twist grip, and a jar of shells. Oh – and my felt pieces. The partridge in the pear tree we left for another day. 😉
After struggling onto the bus (managing to snap off part of the bamboo pole), we decided to ask the driver whether he would let down the wheelchair ramp when we disembarked, as the baskets were so heavy. He very sweetly obliged, so that made it easier. And did I mention it was raining?
I had planned to show both my indigo felt pots and the nautilus shells. I still haven’t heard anything from the V&A, and I figured that if I was rejected I might not get a chance to exhibit the pots. But I thought it would be better to put them on separate plinths, as I wasn’t sure how well they would work together.
Morley Gallery was already full of people standing on ladders, stapling things to walls, and stitching last-minute alterations when we arrived. I found that I’d been allocated a large window space, which was very exciting, but also caused a dilemma, as I didn’t think that either the pots or the shells would be enough to fill the space on their own.
So we decided to put them all in the window, and spent the day running outside to see how it looked, running back inside, rearranging things, running back outside…you get the idea! In fact, trying to make it look good from both the outside and inside was one of the biggest challenges. I’m not sure how well we succeeded in this.
This was how it looked at the end of yesterday:
We decided that some more bamboo canes would be helpful at the back and sides to prevent too much white against white, so I cut a few canes from the garden this morning and went back to add them:
The other challenge of having a window space, as you can see, is trying to take photos without reflections from the windows. In this I have completely failed! 🙂