Exhibition preparation day
I spent almost all of Sunday 5th Oct preparing for the start of the Return of Temptation exhibition at The Strand gallery. The purpose of this post is to list some of the tasks that I have done in order to get ready.
Return of Temptation exhibition, The Strand Gallery, London, October 7-12
The day started with me bringing all the framed artwork downstairs from the storage room. I lined it all up around the walls in the kitchen to get an idea on the size and number of images I had. I stacked them into landscape and portrait orientation piles to get an idea on the mix of formats. Then I looked for the widest and tallest prints as they will be the most difficult to place in a hanging scheme. Next step was to check how much gallery wall space I’d paid for, this was just as well as I had 3 metres in my mind, whereas it was actually 2.75 metres. The only thing I didn’t know was the height of the walls, this information was not available on the booking form or on the website. I guessed at normal ceiling height which is 2.4 metres. I measured out 2.75 metres on our dining room table and then started to lay the prints out to get an idea of what could go where. This is just a rough layout and gives me an idea of how many prints will fit along the run and how to mix them up between landscape and portrait and print size. Often you have an odd split between portrait and landscape orientated images which means you don’t end up with a symmetrical hanging plan. This was the case with mine.
Framed prints lined up in landscape and portrait orientation
A few more prints
The largest prints in another area
Starting some trial layouts against the length of the wall space ordered, in this case 2.75m long
Deciding on the mix
Once I’d decided on the best mix of images I ended up with four rows of prints. This is an iterative process and some prints look better together and look more pleasing. I ended up with a couple of alternative hanging plans by the end of this task.
A rough sketch of the first two rows of the hanging plan
Amber likes to help out on these occasions. I’m very vary in case she decides to play chase and run behind the pictures looking for mice.
Doing the labels and pricing is one of the final jobs.
After a few goes at getting the layouts by a process of trial and error it’s a final check that the chosen images fit along the wall length.
Working out the hanging points and gaps between the prints
After this then there’s the task of working out where the centre of each print will hang and how much gap there will be between each print. As each print is different in width you need to ensure they all have the same gap between them otherwise it looks messy and uneven. This takes a while to calculate and took me about an hour. Although it’s a bit of a ball ache to do, I do find it worth doing as it saves me having to work it out on the day when I arrive at the gallery. All being well, once I’ve unloaded on the day I can set about putting up the work as I know the order of each print and exactly where I need to place my picture hooks to hang the work. Tomorrow, Monday 6th October, is hanging day, so I’m hoping all my planning has gone well – I’ll let you know.
I’ve 2 exhibitions currently in London