Following my email to Judith Robinson from the group re the proposal and risk assessment, we received a reply on 14 April 2014 as follows:
There was quite a lot of aspects in Judith’s email – some of which could be easily answered. However, as she was on leave until 22 April, we would not be able to discuss these queries until after she had returned. This was particularly of concern to the group because her email mentioned that the install would be on 24 April and this would only leave us less than 2 days to rectify any issues. Fortunately our tutor Edith Doove contacted Judith to arrange a change of installation date to 28 April 2014 to give the group more time due to the studio being closed over the Easter break and our other assignment deadlines. Furthermore Edith also arranged for Judith and Neil Wressell, Senior Conservator & Exhibitions Registrar at Plymouth City Council to visit Studio 11 on 22 April to discuss Judith’s email. During the meeting we covered the following points as per email:
1. Please can you send us a diagram of the proposed sculpture, a list of materials, a wiring diagram and a weight estimate? :
Judith given plan (she couldnt open original attachment.
2. Please ensure that the electrics are PAT tested and that the work is sited adjacent to an electrical source. An electrical cover on a flex will not be sufficient in this space as the lighting is quite low and it is a mixed use space.
No electrics involved and measurements had already been taken (as per plan) to ensure the sculpture would not interfere with the lighting.
3. In terms of protecting the building, if you can provide a weight, we will then need to ascertain the load bearing capacity go the floor. A simple floor protection is probably advisable.
Adhesive carpet tiles were used on base of sculpture.
4. In terms of access for the sculpture, please ensure that you have walked the route with a tape measure and provide us with a plan of this. You will need to take account of width of doorways and height of light fittings etc as it is not a purpose built gallery space.
Measurements had already been taken of all the space including doorways and the sculpture would be delivered in sections to allow it to be easily transported through the building.
5. Barriers are mentioned on the risk assessment. Will you be supplying this or would you like us to supply, if we have enough available? Please note that the standard distance for barriers is 80cms, so please can you check that there is enough space to accommodate this requirement.
We decided on Lee McDonald’s suggestion that we would create 4 plinths with smaller viewfinding devices on each. These would be placed around the sculpture with stretch rope/wire attached between each plinth (Museum to provide this).
6. If the work is to be constructed on site, we will need the risk assessment to cover tools, methods etc.
Sculpture to be constructed on site: tools and materials include – drill, hammer, screwdriver, paint brushes, dust sheet, filler, palette knife.
7. Is the work kinetic? How will it be maintained? Are there elements that can be removed? Does it need to be turned on and off?
The work is of a kinetic nature but is manually moved as opposed to electronically motored and therefore does not need to be switched on and off.
It was also decided that the exhibition would be open to the public from 1.30pm-4pm every Friday and two group members would invigilate.
Judith and Neil seemed particularly intrigued by our sculpture which was still in pieces – so to speak but our plan seemed to give a better vision of how the piece would look once installed. They also expressed their interest and pleasure in the wall pieces and could see that we had thought about the Council House space and the concept Th Future of Plymouth extremely well and were looking forward to seeing something different in the space.
As mentioned in an earlier post (date) I had drafted up a proposal for the exhibition as a starting point. Following input from fellow exhibition members during group meetings in March 2014 the proposal was updated as follows:
COUNCIL HOUSE EXHIBITION
An artist as curator exhibition between the students of Plymouth College of Art’s third year BA (Hon) Fine Art, Critical & Curatorial Practices including Jess Bent, Maddy Crossley, William Danby, Sarah Hughes, Kath Howard, Helanie Moore and Tiffany Smith, in collaboration with local artist Lee McDonald.
The Future of Plymouth
The theme of this proposal has been inspired by the enthusiasm and ambition of recent years in developing the city of Plymouth into a cultural centre of exciting and innovative activity for residents and visitors alike.
This exhibition will focus on transition, change and looking forward toward the future. However, Plymouth is also a city rich in history and heritage, something of which the community is proud of and gives the city an enhanced and multi-faceted prominence.
“Study the past if you would define the future” – Confucius
With this in mind, the artwork to be placed within the Council House foyer will work toward demonstrating a futuristic, avant-garde quality while highlighting the traditional internal features of the 1950s building.
The main piece eight (2014) will be a sculptural viewing device [dimensions: 2.5m(L) x 1.5m(W) x 2m(H) approx.] to be placed within the centre of the foyer space. This will be a fully functioning sculpture that can rotate 360° allowing visitors to interact with the artwork. Through observing the space, we recognised that the foyer is a central hub that connects the surrounding rooms that affords a transitional quality. The sculpture will act as an intervention within the space – changing how one navigates through the foyer without causing obstruction.
We feel the audience participatory element is an important factor, giving the spectator an active rather than passive role, as well as a sense of empowerment and engagement. As artists as curators, we have also taken into account that the building is a formal space of serious nature and individuals visiting the building may have feelings of anxiety and trepidation. By placing an interactive piece within the space we hope to ease visitor concerns and give them back a sense of control and belonging, creating a positive impact on the audience.
The piece will be directed toward the engraved tablet commemorating the history of the reconstruction of the Plymouth. This will allow the viewer to consider the city’s historical nature, but also abstract what they are viewing. The sculpture will focus on certain parts of the tablet, mirroring and patterning the selected text by use of internal reflectors. This kaleidoscopic effect will act as a metaphor for Plymouth’s multi-faceted historical and contemporary magnitude and emphasise the importance of the city’s heritage in directing its progress.
The sculpture will be accompanied by 8 wall pieces [dimensions: 60cm x 60cm] comprised of digitally manipulated images of several of the listed features within the Council House Building. In line with the nature of the sculpture, these images have been abstracted using an 8-sided kaleidoscopic filter. The pieces evoke a sense of curiosity by obscuring some of the original characteristics of the space, including a section of the engraved commemorative tablet.
The works included in this exhibition are intended to represent Plymouth’s history as a platform in developing its future.
On March 25 2014 Jess drafted up a Risk Assessment for the exhibition:
Jess Bent had also suggested asking the Council as to whether there would be a possibility of advertising the exhibition on the Big Screen in the Piazza.
Now that we had the final proposal and risk assessment drafted up, I sent an email to Judith Robinson with these documents attached on 2 April 2014 along with a jpeg file of the floor and wall plan I had drafted up for their information:
As mentioned in the email we also made inquiries regarding:
Date of installation
Dates exhibition open to the public
Transport of artwork
Advertising exhibition on Plymouth’s Piazza Big Screen
On Thursday 6 March 2014 myself, Kath Howard and Jess Bent visited the Council House to measure the central space to see how the viewfinder would fit in the space.
I later created some draft plans of how and where the sculpture could be placed:
We had to consider how people would be able to move around the sculpture and therefore did not think that the viewfinder should be completely central – allowing movement between the sculpture and pillars (black rectangles on image above). There are also chairs and tables in the space and we deduced that the size of the viewfinder and foyer space would still allow for this.
We also discussed what we could place on the walls to compliment the sculpture. Jess suggested displaying our sketches of the viewfinder i.e. our rough and more perfected sketches could be collaged together in frames on the walls surrounding the viewfinder. I also suggested that we could take some close-up photos of the Council House features and put them through a photographic kaleidoscopic effect editor to create new abstract images of the features. Kath took some photos and later posted the images she had edited on our facebook group page:
Kath Howard’s edited photographs of Council House features through 8-sided kaleidscope editing effect:
The group all agreed that these images worked really well in abstracting the features and also added some visual curiousity for the viewer.
From these calculations. I worked out that the entire wall space we would be using would be nearly 85 square metres. Unfortunately, we have no funding for the project although our tutor Edith Doove said if we did a budget for materials she may be able to see if we can get £50. However, the standard size for mdf is 2.44m x 1.22m and if we needed to buy all new, it would work out that we would approximately need 30 sheets for entire area. After looking into pricing with Totem Timber, we would be looking at approximately £6 upwards for each sheet at trade price. Therefore, this idea would be far too costly and ambitious for the exhibition.
I asked Martin, the Studio 11 technician if there were any old pieces of mdf/plywood available to use. I was advised that there was some sheets which we could use but they would be at varying degrees of condition.
Lee also suggested that we could try using cardboard, however we, as a group felt that this may not create an aesthetically pleasing looking unless it was perfectly accurate.