Sunday, 5 December 2010

Exhibiting experiences

During November I have taken part in two exhibitions in Glasgow under the shared title 'Deux Irritant'. These were group shows with friends from the GSA and North Glasgow college (where I'm studying BA Hons Visual Arts). The work exhibited by all was experimental and outwith our courses, so we could try out things that we may or may not do in future - testing the water with our works.

My work was an installation featuring endangered mammals drawn in wool and pins, alongside text about their existence and pondering the way they are seen by us humans, in the wild and the zoos. I am looking at endangered species in my studio practice, and in particular how they continue to live completely different lives in the wild, and in the zoo. I have focused on the polar bear and the red panda for this current work, and have found that the audiences who saw the work responded with interest, and this has given me much to consider for the work I continue to do in this subject.

In the two exhibitions, the spaces were different so I chose to alter the installation for both. One features floor sculptures, the first one did not. This helped me to gauge how I and the audience felt about the wool drawings on their own, and when alongside the floor sculptures.

I found that in both shows the audience liked the wool drawings, and asked me about the animals, why I'd chosen them etc. I also spoke to one person about the polar bear Knut who lives in a Berlin zoo, where he was born, and the conservation of this animal done by many zoos - including one here in Scotland (Highland Wildlife Park).

I also found that by doing the floor sculptures it gave a zoo-like observing atmosphere to the animals. This worked in an unexpected way for me, it reinforced the observing at a distance 'relationship' that man has with wild animals and especially endangered species (as we look to not interfere with their habitat). From this I am going to be creating more wool drawings, and more floor sculptures.

The exhibiting experiences were extremely useful, and a tool to keep on using to check in with my work. And also to check out what others are doing and what effect the exhibiting has on their work after.

Here are some images from the installations:

North Glasgow college - 25th Nov 2010

GSA Barnes building - 17th Nov 2010

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