When I put in a proposal for a solo exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall, although I was excited about my idea and had thought it out well, I had no comprehension of what would happen if I was selected. Which I was :).
Putting together my first solo exhibition, of eighteen monochrome street photographs (half of which were not taken when I was was selected) with two wonderful curators, in a prestigious room at The Guildhall has been the steepest of learning curves. Just the pressure of getting the works printed, checked and hung was enough (all within 4 weeks!). Working out a process of how to hang the pictures in the way I wanted took a lot of time and working out. All the associated jobs around marketing, preview evenings and invite lists added the stuff I had to learn. I have probably spent 10-14 working days on this since I was selected (and it’s not over yet!), but of course it has been worth it.
- I have learnt how to write a winning proposal of course, I think the key there was to answer all the questions asked and give it due time and consideration.
- I learnt how to reflect on the ideas I had and how to build them into something that had form.
- I learnt to listen to advice and ideas from others and change my own if necessary
- I have proved the mantra of the 5P’s yet again – Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!
Being an ex-project manager pays off sometimes and I was able to keep all the tasks in hand and didn’t forget anything. Long discussions with my husband around how certain things would work resulted in some truly brilliant solutions – the absolute best one starting with him saying… “I’ve just had a really silly idea….” – and that was the one we went with – because the most creative ideas seem silly to start with. Although I might well think twice before suggesting a ‘random’ hanging plan again – random is a nightmare!
The actual hanging went almost without a hitch, but took over 3 hours – and I was very grateful for having so many people who had come to help and could rush to hold something or pass something as required! Thank you all 🙂
The pictures below detail my planning (mainly on my lounge floor!).
Footnote: The exhibition “Footsteps to the square” ran for five months at Portsmouth Guildhall in 2016/17.