WILD AT ART
“[…] alternative spaces, where a quicker response time, more curatorial autonomy, and less financially onerous stakes allow for a concomitantly greater ability to experiment and take risks. […] – bigger is not necessarily better.”What Makes a Great Exhibition; Introduction: Practice Makes Perfect, Paula Marincola, 2015.
The Southsea Green exhibition has been a great experimentation in curatorial practice. Playing with the outdoor space, adapting to the weather, placing the artwork within restraints of a working garden, and issues with advertising, we have been able to modify accordingly to each issue raised.
Throughout the exhibition we have been very reliant on the weather, thankfully for the first part of the week it was incredibly sunny – not only to draw in the viewers but also to best emphasise our work. However, the past two days have been dramatically sparse, with the rain deterring many people off walking through the park or going to the beach – this being our biggest viewing demographic thus far. On reflection of this we should have prepared for ill weather by having a back up indoor space to exhibit, as our work was solely outside. There is a porta-cabin on the premises, however when we first approached the space we didn’t like the confined rigidity of exhibiting within the dark walls and were more excited by the prospects of the overgrown garden. This being England however, we should have foreseen bad weather and prepared the porta-cabin for use in case of this exact eventuality.
Although we designed a poster for the exhibition we regrettably left it too late. on reflection we should have designed the poster at least a month before the exhibit and placed it on social media as well as in the surrounding area. The garden is surrounded by a park, however there are cafes and pubs as well as shops very close by which would have been a great place to put flyers or hang posters to attract local people. Despite poor advertising the show did have ample visitors on sunny days, mostly people would come in from the park seeing the sign for an exhibition and leave not only having viewed the art but spent quality time exploring the plot and unwinding from the bustling city. Many people commented on the relaxing environment and it gratified our concepts for the show.
Despite the failures we had during the exhibition, most notably the advertisement and lack of adaption to using an outdoor space (both of which will be attended to in greater detail for the next exhibition) I believe something we should have also done is exhibit more work. Although we believed we had displayed enough, the space was rather large and so some of the works got a bit too lost and were not visible to the viewer who spend on average 7-10 minutes within the garden. If we had a greater amount of work, perhaps they would have been easier to spot and people would have spent more time wandering around appreciating the tranquillity of the garden as well as the artwork.