Its up and running!!

by Chantal

Boy I’ve been tired since getting the show up!

Installing the show at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace was a unique experience for me as I hadn’t curated my work on that scale before. It was a challenge thinking not only about the pieces conversing well with each other but also working within the rather unique space. I was lucky enough to have a friend with curating experience, Kate Maple, share her thoughts and give me some valuable advice on what to consider.

The artspace had allowed me a great deal of space to show in – a large lobby area, two octagaonal tower rooms looking onto the street, an upstairs area, as well as adjoining corridors and stair space. I really liked the separation of spaces and enjoyed utilising the different architectural aspects of the interior. I also took the step of installing a site specific piece across two walls upstairs on the day of the opening – a bit of a risk for someone like me who prefers things completed well in advance of a deadline!

Timeline, 2010. Found photographs, documents, pins, thread

Detail from "Timeline"

Detail from "Timeline"

As Westbourne Grove Church building is used by a wide variety of individuals and community groups, I had to consider the multi use nature of certain areas. The advantage of this is that all works displayed at the artspace are experienced by a diverse audience. However I did find it a challenge to try and ensure that artwork held its ground in areas that were “busier” with seating etc. I think it has been a really good lesson for me to spend a lot of time thinking about different spaces and how to work within them, as well as how an environment will affect the way in which my work will be received.

Forever Young, 2010. Resin, found photographs.

The people at Westbourne Grove Church were fantastically supportive within what I later found out was the extreme end of the scale in terms of time and effort for an install! Susan worked hard to help me realise the show as I wanted it, while her husband was a star giving up his time voluntarily to erect scaffolding and help suspend the doily work. I had lovely ladies on hand to serve up my punch at the PV, and Laura had lots of encouragement and wise words to dispense when the last folks had drifted away at the end of the evening and I was feeling a bit wobbly.

View from the staircase looking down into the Lobby

It was interesting to see how things came together. The space that I thought would be the most awkward to look effective (the small tower room) turned out to one of my favourites displaying the large window frame piece, nests, and the bird embroideries. In the lobby the doily piece ended up looking very different than when it was photographed in the atmospheric vaults but I loved the shadows that were cast across the white gallery wall, duplicating the piece and adding a different depth to the work.

Remnant, 2010. Found doilies, gold thread.

Remnant, 2010. Found doilies, gold thread.

The private view was full of friends and family who had travelled to see the show and it was wonderful to be able to share with the people I love something that is so important in my life. The view was also visited by passers by who had been drawn to the work they saw through the windows, as well as a couple of journalists from Idol Magazine who interviewed me for a feature. I have to confess that after so much work promoting the show I was a little disappointed that a number of galleries who said they would come and visit that night didn’t show but hopefully they will stop by during the 6 weeks the show is running. Even the no shows couldn’t take away from the deliciousness ofPaul’s patisserie delights or the joy of seeing two years worth of work displayed in Notting Hill for all to see. 🙂

Someone To Watch Over You, 2009

Detail from Wonderland, 2009

Detail from "Home", 2010. Found nests, polaroid

Detail from "Forever Young", 2010

All the above photographs were taken by the talented Steve Cross creator of Envow.

Traces and Testament is viewable at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace until August 10th 2010. Images of work included in the exhibition can be viewed in the catalogue online.