So last night, I was at the CBC with colleagues Ann, Trish and Pat setting up the office suite and corridor with our artworks.
Four hours went in like a flash and I was in my element. I really enjoyed considering the relationships between the works and how best to place them. Intervention was the theme, with mixing up respective artists' works rather than having them on separate walls. I think this made for a far better exhibition and I was so pleased to have willing colleagues.
The room is great though with its challenges - namely a curved wall though one of Trish's paintings looks great on its own there. We also made use of the space under the windows which makes for a quirky and inventive display. We ended up colour coding to some extent; a green wall, a blue wall and a red wall. On the red wall, Pat's colours are strong and contemporary. They make a bold impression and Trish's painting helps bring a visual conclusion to the display before the doorway.
All in all we have mixed minimalist (Carol) with classical - Ann's Florentine Ladies; table tops with landscape (Trish) and the quizzical - Pat's bird with attitude!
I am really excited for this year's show though unfortunately I will not be present over the first weekend. So - I am missing an event by Greentrax who are based at the CBC in addition to a fundraiser event for Boatie Blest. I hope the sun shines and visitors flock.
It was with some nervousness that I received my award from ECA but chuffed to bits with a 2:1 in a BA with Honours in Painting.
I could not be happier. So, there is a bounce in my step and the smile is even bigger when folk come into the studio to see the exhibition. I love to see the smiles when people look on my wall at the triangular paintings. I have had lots of fantastic comments and enjoy the chats.
Today and tomorrow the opening hours are extended to 8 pm but I cannot be there late today as I am setting up at then 3 Harbours Arts Festival. I am looking forward to the last few days of the Degree Show, enjoying the company of my colleagues amidst such fantastic surroundings.
I have lots I want to explore. I have a rather large and beckoning collection of beach finds which warrant exploration through drawing to see what they could lead to by way of a painting.
This will be my starting point for over the summer as I had intended to give myself some space over the next few weeks to re-engage with people and activities that have fallen by the wayside over the six years that I have been in full time study. However, my mind keeps drifting towards the shed which contains all the necessary equipment needed to put pencil to paper and draw.
Longer term I aim to apply to the various gallery exhibitions that ping up in my email box and to approach local galleries for inclusion. And, basically to keep painting. I have plans, rather ambitious plans to be a self-sustaining person of complete busyness. I am in no hurry as yet, but will see what comes my way. Once summer is over, then I will start in earnest to see if I can realise those big plans!
The arrangements for the Degree continue apace. Tomorrow is the Business Evening and I am looking forward to the buzz of that.
In addition however, preparations are afoot for this years 3HAF. I am exhibiting again at the Cockenzie Business Centre, but with Cockenzie House no longer available as a venue, Trish and I have more company. There is one overlapping weekend with the Degree Show, so I am having to rely on my colleagues to see to business at the CBC whilst I spend time at ECA.
Trish, Pat Turquand, Ann Gilmour and sculptor Enrique Arbiol and I have the use of an office suite this year in addition to the corridor. This allows for more creative and cohesive hanging I think, which is to take place next week. The benefit of having more folk at the Centre will hopefully be the attraction of more visitors. Fingers crossed.
Hard as it is to get my head round it, my participation at ECA is to all extents over and after six years of study, I am to be set loose upon the big wide world again.
I have to say I am happy and content. With some most appreciated advice from the tutors some tweaks were made to the install and I have to say hand on heart I am delighted to end on this note with this particular set of paintings. I know I could not have worked harder, applied myself further and challenged myself more. What is done is now done. The next time I clap eyes on the studio, the assessments will have taken place.
On Tuesday 29/4 we made such inroads with the white paint we were able to start installing work the following day. The part I managed to do was the easiest part of my instal in that the pieces were custom made for the space under the window. I wanted to mirror the proportions of the panes of glass. It seemed fitting in that as the whole work I have made for the Degree Show has stemmed from pieces of glass, some of the work at least is placed under glass in the studio. I also wanted to create a dynamic in the work, building on relationships, pauses and using voids to mirror the shape of the artworks themselves. It was a dull, rainy day yesterday so we had none of the light expected to work its magic. The instal was relatively easy in that I have hung these pieces several places before so I knew how to go about putting in screws in strategic places. I am by no means sure this is the final hanging for this part of the exhibition but there are a few days to allow this configuration to hang and then to tweak it as the rest of the hanging takes place.
I am still uncertain as to how I will use the rest of the space. It is a large wall section, quite high and I am keen to use that height. I know I want to focus on using the new pieces, not necessarily the works that were already on view in the Andrew Grant Corridor. However, if as is the intention, I use the rhythms of the space, the long rectangular columns of the first triptych would flow well around the door which links the two studios.
I am also particularly keen to have the square paintings involved so the focus is not completely triangular. At the moment I am considering using the the section of wall to the right of the window to hang the larger square triptych vertically. The issue there is the covered sink. I am also liking the panel to the left of the adjoining door for the smaller square triptych but fear over-crowding. The larger three triangles convey best in what I had sought to achieve by way of tone and pattern so really want them in. Thankfully there is time to ponder and even trial pieces on the wall now that we have a ladder to use.
Friday 2/5: LESS IS MORE. I know this. I have had this as a mantra for years now although I seem to have a problem practicing what is constantly being preached in my head. Time to stick to a plan.
I came to the conclusion that the squares and rectangles had to be gracefully retired. This was a show all about the triangle. Time to be bold and make a statement.
Harking back to the stimulus for these paintings, the shards of glass; they are found in a random manner on the beach. I decided to try to emulate that randomness with a dash of the theatrical thrown in. I sought an arrangement which would act as counterpoint to the composition under the window. Chaos versus order, explosion versus containment. The paintings under the window followed the rhythms of domestic glass, I wanted the wall to conjure the destructive powers of nature.
I experimented by laying the pieces out on the floor, striving for equal measures of randomness and balance. A tricky thing to do. At one point I worried about not having enough pieces to make it work, but by using the entire height of the wall and strategically placing smaller works on the perimeter of the larger ones which gave it ballast of a kind, the drama unfolded.
Works set on the wall as a trial. As the afternoon progressed and the light journeyed across the wall I saw magic unfold. Subtle patterns were highlighted only to be cast in shadow and the geometry of the upper windows acted as fleeting frames for the pieces.
Monday 5/5: The resolved installation - perhaps? There are a couple more days to allow time to reconsider, however I am happy with the relationships that exist - the voids acting as echoes of the triangular shapes - the drama of pieces touching and moving further up the wall.
The sink cover on the right will be painted and made good and I can use it to sit my professional practice documentation on.
The flat light on the Monday allowed for a better record of the window arrangement. The triangles on the farthest right and left anchor the rest, functioning as punctuation. Within the series relationships are explored between the spaces, the voids also acting as punctuation.
Wednesday 5/5: The final ensemble - one tweak which entailed switching two of the smaller triangles. The lighter one now sitting at the bottom of the composition reads much better. Thank you Tutor John.
The last task is to to finish painting the covered sink area. The gum tape was not behaving today so I will be back tomorrow to fix it. Part of me thinks that it would be better just to buy some proper white card and cut it to fit the top of the box shape.
Once that is done, I will properly photograph the room. With the adjoining door open there will be an interesting juxtaposition with Sophie's strong and visceral wallpaper collage paintings.
Thursday 6/5: Battle recommenced with the box cover for the sink. Silk purse and sow's ears come to mind.
I had brought in my professional practice documentation so tried it out on the box to ensure it would look ok.
I had further arrangement advice from tutors Charlie and Colin and have acted upon it. The window section was rather heavy going in comparison to the rest of my display and the window spaces in general. The tweaking of that area was easy and I took down four paintings, patched things up and re-hung two as suggested. It does make a heap of difference.
Tomorrow morning I am going in to meet with the tutors and add to the paintings on the wall to maximise presence and flow.
This is what the walls looked like before the tweaking of the space under the window.
This is a side view of the new arrangement. There is much more space around the pairing of the paintings which does look much better. The feeling was that as I had previously hung it, the arrangement was too heavy.
A view towards the window from the door.
Carol E Duff