After making various plans to work whenever possible through the easter break, we all decided to give ourselves the entire thing off. Where working through it to make the most have of time would have worked well, removing ourselves from work and allowing ourselves to refresh worked better. We each came back on April 24th fresh faced and with new eyes to look at our plan; allowing us to think logistically about how we would best display our story for it to tell the viewer what they needed to know, and yet to withhold enough for them to be intrigued. It became necessary to slim down our ideas to ensure that the small exhibition wasn’t too complex and confusing; an integral part of which was to leave the viewer lingering on the thought of not fully having closure from the story we were presenting.
Once we received our space, our focus shifted to how this would be utilised for maximum impact. Our space was relatively open and was not divided by walls, bookshelves, or glass partitions like other spaces, but our ideas were activated by visions of transparency and lucidity and so it very quickly became apparent that to achieve this, we would have to construct the entire thing. The easiest way to to achieve this was to hang everything from the ceiling and, (luckily) thanks to some pipes attached to the ceiling, we had our anchors. We decided that the best way to maximise modularity was to have a grid system hung closely to the ceiling from which our exhibition could hang. Garden trellises are the ideal shape for this and four strapped together just so happened to be the perfect size.
We pretty much new from the outset that a film was something that we were keen to produce. Our footage was easily sourced from royalty free video sites online and compiling several of these from the 90s into a 2 minute loop gave the film a professional and artistic feel. The style of videos was a striding influence into the overall mood of the exhibition. It was agreed the depth would be achieved via full length sheer material and this soon became a platform on which which would display images; eventually falling in love with the idea of ironing on distorted imagery of the faces of those missing. These materials became something that would catch the projected film before hit hit the wall, and this became the atmosphere; distorted, disjointed, insidious.
The remainder of the preparation came from fabricating news articles, photographs, and police reports. This was where I felt most comfortable. Photoshop and graphic editing is something that I feel confidently in my ability to do and so creating realistic looking newspaper front pages and articles for me was exciting. These documents, printed onto a mixture of tracing paper and acetate, were also devised to catch and disperse the light and film from the projector. some of which displayed an enlarged shadow of a headline on the rear wall; not planned but a wonderful accident.
Arguably one of the most intriguing sights in our exhibition was the model. Completely devised by Jodie to be a physical description of a space, given by someone who only saw that space on drugs, the model was both disjointed and beautifully intricate. The entire thing was made from white foam board and pale wood, again to catch the light and film from the projection, again adding the element of drama and atmosphere.
The most significant part of the project when we all needed to work together in unison was the installation on the morning of May 10th. Using string and a good aim (mainly luck, I’m usually a terrible throw), we managed to create a pulley system that would winch the while thing into place. Once up, all that was left to do was hang the ‘artefacts’ and sheets and turn on the projector. This, for me, was the most nerve-racking element as this was the fist time we had seen the piece set up. Up until this point we were purely relying on our good planning.
The feedback from the viewers that evening was very positive. I felt proud to stand next to our piece and tell people that we created it. I feel it looked completely professional. As well as this, it was entirely portable, which I believe is a valuable asset to exhibition design.