Lockdown Art Exhibition 2020

23rd October 2020

Introduction

Hall Place and Gardens hallplace.org.uk

When I lived in Kent, before my move to Lowestoft, I was the assistant co-ordinator for Centrepieces Mental health Arts Project which I helped to gain charity status.

We encouraged people suffering with their mental health illnesses to come to our studios at The Lodge, Hall Place and Gardens to participate in workshops which I also tutored within. It is while working at Centrepieces that I rekindled my love for photography and all things art.

Although I left Kent and moved many miles away, I was lucky enough to be asked to become a permanent artist with them who would still take part in their exhibitions and Zoom workshops.

The theme for this years exhibition was lockdown and the work we produced within it. ‘Lockdown Art Exhibition 2020’ saw me show work that I had created during Assignment 5 for this course and sculptures that I made to accompany the photographic images.

The following images show the team that I was working with setting up the exhibition and some of the work that was for show.

Concepts in Lockdown

I called my series of work ‘Concepts in Lockdown LIFE’S A GLITCH’ and my artists blurb to accompany the series can be seen below.

For the exhibition I thought about different ways to present my images rather than just the usual, print and frame. Although I have a number of ways in which I want the Assignment 5 images to be presented next year for my solo exhibition, for this one I took the acrylic and instant photograph route.

Acrylic Blocks

For the acrylic images I had them produced at one of my online printing companies, this time I used ‘My Picture UK’ my-picture.co.uk and I chose their 20×15 cm size.

Acrylic Photo Block – Memories You Can Touch

Acrylic Photo Block with Three-Dimensional Effect

The acrylic block comes in a generous depth of 25mm, as a borderless design with transparent edges. The thick acrylic glass will enhance your photo with a striking depth effect, creating shimmering reflections that subtly change with the angle of vision – so your image takes on an almost 3D quality. Watch in wonder as your photo seems to come to life. The acrylic block photo really does bring a whole new dimension to home decor!

Acrylic Block with Crystal-Clear Photo Display

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​Premium Decor Item at a Modest Price

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Free-Standing Decor Piece

The acrylic photo block is designed as a free-standing item – it won’t need any installation or additional support. Just stand it on any flat surface and watch it become the centre of attention right away! Produced using resilient acrylic glass and coated with a special laminate, it can withstand everyday knocks and scratches with no problem. As robust as it is elegant, the photo acrylic block is sure to look beautiful in your home – or make a touching personalised gift.

My Picture UK my-picture.co.uk

The reason I had chosen the acrylic block format was because the exhibition this year was low on sculpture due to the lockdown and Covid-19 keeping everyone away from the studios. Due to this I decided that I would produce all of my work so that it would be able to be displayed on plinths, the acrylic blocks are free standing and suited my needs well, as I always like to try different ways of presenting my work.

Examples of my acrylic blocks in situ

To accompany the acrylic blocks I printed out some of my images on my FujiFilm Square Printer which produces Polaroid style prints.

Fujifilm Instax Square Prints

Fujifilm Square Printer image from Amazo.co.uk

Once the images were printed I had to think of a different way to show them so that they stood up. I decided to buy some acrylic block place holders cheap from China. On their arrival the acrylic was quite stained with bits floating inside it so I painted the blocks black. Each tiny block has a peg on them to holder the images and they stood up well. To emphasise the images I bought some glass on which to stand the blocks so that they were reflected to play on the concept of glitch.

I also produced two pieces of sculpture to accompany the photographs both of which were also glitches of myself. The first sculpture ‘Life’s A Glitch’, is based on the sliding glitch and shows the mask that I wear slipping off to the left twice. This is accompanied by lines and cuts to represent other types of glitching. Since the sculpture is three-dimensional we get to see the glitches in layers. By adding a textured spray to the completed paper-maché piece I was able to obtain the stippled effect that the interference on video produces.

Life’s A Glitch (1)
Life’s A Glitch (1) showing the layers

The second sculpture was constructed from Modroc which is a plaster bandage which once wet can be shaped and layered according to ones needs. For my sculpture I cast my face with the Modroc by building up rough layers until I gained the desired effect that I was wanting. The effect that I wanted to achieve was rough edges and texture. The reason for the different textures was to produce a glitching effect where the fibres of the bandage looked as though they were broken lines amongst the smoothness of the correct form.

Once my face had dried and had been given a couple of coats of acrylic paint I added twisted coloured wire to it. The wires were bright colours as to match those seen in my anxiety photograph and they travel across the face from right to left and formed a cage around the face. Rather than having the wires attached to the surface of the face I left them gliding over the negative space so that yet again the three-dimensional aspect of these glitches were emphasised.

Life’s A Glitch (2)
Life’s A Glitch (2)

To break the glitch theme up on the plinths I also created a few pattern acrylic blocks both in black and white and in colour. These patterns were designed by myself in an iPad app. I decided on patterns that weren’t random lines like the glitches were, they were mathematical in shape and pleasing to the eye. By breaking up the series and placing them in two separate areas it gave the viewer time to take in the images, pause and move onto the next piece of work. I feel if I had presented just the glitch work it would be quite monotonous and quite a lot to take in on the spot.

The below image shows the pattern blocks together before being arranges on two separate plinths with the acrylic glitch self-portraits.

The pattern blocks

Conclusion

The images that I had used for the acrylic blocks for this exhibition were not ‘the best’ that I had produced for Assignment 5 but they still came together as a series in exhibition well. I believe this is because they were not just prints that were framed but a combination of different ways of presenting photographic images which creates an extra interest.

Using contrasting patterns blocks also worked well. Perhaps I could try making acrylic blocks that would contain actual glitch patterns with out any actual image. I have already designed some when I was experimenting with glitch making so this is definitely something I can trial before exhibition next year.

Another area that I could think about is the sizing of the acrylic blocks. they come in various dimensions. For this exhibition I just used the 20x15cm format but now I know that images work well presented in these blocks I would like to experiment with purchasing different sizes to exhibit together which would provide variety to gain the viewers interest.

Over all I have to say that the verbal feedback has been very positive for my work. I have had interest in that people want to purchase my work but unfortunately due to the fact that 45% of my pricing goes to Centrepieces and Hall Place between them my prices have risen accordingly. If I were to have my solo exhibition as planned with Centrepieces then the commission is a very low 20% which means my prices will drop accordingly and they will be more affordable for the general public to purchase.


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