It has been two weeks since we at PANKOW CREATIVES collaborated with London based art company Art.Number23 on the ‘Stimulus Exhibition at the Menier Gallery, London. It is never an easy task when curating an art exhibition, there are many preferences to consider such as what works should be placed together, how those works function individually and also how they look together as a whole among a diverse list of other factors. We had already created an E-Exhibition guide for the art exhibition (see below) and this enabled us a thorough understanding of the conceptual nature of the works being exhibited, however we also knew how the works functioned aesthetically too and this was because we had been exposed to the art works for such a lengthy period of time when creating the guide.
After having a quick look around the exhibition space at the Menier gallery and taking in all the hard work Constantine (the curator and Co-Founder of Art.Number23) had prepared so far, we could see the exhibition would unfold into a visually diverse language that would resonate the sheer beauty of the selected mixed media works. You never can really get a visual perception of the scale from images, the artwork always becomes quite deceptive and different when you see it on paper or on a screen. To actually see these wonderful artefacts of art ready to be hung and awaiting our input and Co-Curation was extremely exciting for us. We always find it very pleasing when making exhibition guides since art work has its own place or its own page to breath, which gives the art in question the upmost integrity and power for the aesthetics and concepts to radiate towards the reader. To be blunt this is what any artist wants however, it can be very difficult to forward the same experience via the means of an art exhibition for those singular pieces of work, for they have to work as a collection but more importantly the scale changes and so does the intimacy and interaction between the viewer and the work itself since you’re no longer looking at a reproduction.
When Co-Curating this was on our minds and very much prevalent within Constantine’s mind also, it was one of the main barriers when we were placing works next to one another, analysing what compliments their tones, concept, overall aesthetics, how a single wall is read differently to another and so on. These decisions sometimes contradict each other at times and often a mental block can occur when organizing the works. We did work these contradictory ideologies and juxtapose the 40 artist’s works within the exhibition in such a way where a short breath can be taken in-between reading one wall to the next, almost alike reading a book when moving from one page to another.
We found that this gave us the scope in order to curate the exhibition to the best standard, our first major decision was to piece together all of the muted works which functioned as aesthetically delicate looking paintings and photography. We created areas where works would complement one-another while using the modes of aesthetics and occasionally conceptual judgments also. In turn we found that this permitted our viewers a thoughtful yet refined exhibition. Photographic works which were fiery, red and aggressive harmonised darker themes within the exhibition and overall these ideas eased the audience to read a transitional nature of one wall to another without it being too bold and almost shocking in terms of the changes between artistic media, concept and aesthetics.
Overall the exhibition had a particularly positive vibe, predominantly during the private view as this is when we had most of our visitors experience the exhibition. We were pleased to see a respectable turnout in terms of our audience and an array of encouraging and pleasant comments towards the overall curation of the show and also the individual artworks. Sales were made during the show with artists such as Darryn Michael, Myfanwy Williams, Ricardo Di Ceglia and Verity Newman selling their beautiful paintings and also some artists which sold on a more private basis.
By Ravinder Surah
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© PANKOW CREATIVES, 2017