Territory Collective Exhibition ant The Bridewell Studios

After talking to the director of the Bridewell Studios - Fiona Filby at a number of exhibitions including the Indy Biennial in October 2018 and attending a few exhibitions there, I'd realised that I would be very interested in exhibiting work there, at least show my wings sculpture there after Fiona had shown an interest in them and I thought thought the roof would be a perfect spot for my Change sculpture exhibited at the university and St Georges last year. However, I wasn’t doing great over the Christmas period and personally I felt I’d come to a grinding halt in my practice due to my mental health and relationships with others. I felt detached from everything and lost in myself and especially in my practice even though many of my peers had said I was doing well. It took a friend and fellow student to drum up a bit of enthusiasm and get organised again as they could see that I was not myself. I'd already had a few really good talks with Rory McBeth who always knows how to make me feel better about my work but I just couldn't pull myself out of this mire of self-pity and loathing until Phoebe O'Connor got me moving again, at least in the form of organising an exhibition just by starting with a call to Fiona from the Bridewell Studios. 

We organised a meeting to arrange dates, but I was still feeling low a detached up to this point so, Phoebe took the reins to gather up other students to take part. We realised we could not fit everyone into the building so would firstly ask the artists that were situated around us in our own studio space then spread out from there.

We then organised a meeting for a tour of the Bridewell for all of the students taking part to assess the spaces and to discuss what and how they would like to exhibit. This helps with the curation and is also a great way of settling any arguments that would arise in the future when it could become a problem. In this moment I had decided to show my sound sculpture I had been working on instead of the change 'X Gallery's - Change and Development' sculpture because I wanted to see how people would react to it. Also, the rooftop settings are similar to the roof at the university where it’s been waiting to be used (I think that's part of the torture going on in my mind; the fact that I can’t seem to find anywhere to exhibit my larger sized installations, made worse by the fact I'm at this very low point mentally, like a vicious cycle). The rooftop area at the Bridewell studios was really exposed and should react well with the bell of the sculpture.

By this time, I was starting to feel a bit more inspired as I felt that there would be a need for my practical knowledge and ability. It made me feel as though I could be made useful again and then realised that maybe, this was all I needed to feel inspired again, maybe I just needed to start something for others if I’d lost my own way again...?!

The group established a name for the show by writing names on little pieces of paper and put the paper in a bowl and read them out and decided which one we liked the most, 'simples!'. The chosen name turned out to be 'Territory the Collective' as everyone agreed that this name loosely fitted around most of the exhibited work.

Due to our understanding of everyone else's work we decided as a group that Parice Bowyer would be the one to design the poster for the exhibition as she was the one who made a great design for the St Georges Hall show last year. I think her contribution really stands out. Her basic design allows the eye to take in every detail and enables the information to be easily read. I personally like the architects drawings. They give the illusion of an image that is 3 dimensional and also implies the presence of structure, purpose and a professional feel to the organisation of the exhibition. We also asked Joe Goff to create the flyers for the group

Throughout the installation I was called upon to assist most of the other artist. This is were I feel most comfortable when I know my skills are being used to help artists and their imagination. It also fuels my thoughts for physical outcomes and concepts within those outcomes. Its also great to see someone smile after receipt of your help.

I did however, realise how much strain on time this could put on my own installations and by the end of the install I was feeling the pressure. In future need to maybe have to disappoint sometimes just to make sure my own work is complete with as little stress as possible. This in hindsight was part of the reason I had to hire a van to move my material around but through this ended up not only moving fellow 'Territorian's' material and work but also other students who were also showing in other venues. I did this because I know how stressful installing to deadlines can become, never mind being someone who has never shown work in the form of a public art exhibition.

This is the courtyard where I was able installed my wings sculpture after lifting moving and positioning this wooden dome made by Nicole Siff. She was my neighbour for the duration of the exhibition and also in the studio too. Myself and Nicole came to a disagreement the after after the private show had taken place. I was wondering why we had to end the exhibition after a such a short period but Nicole and a few others had already decided this because of the time they had left with the use  their equipment. they felt it would look unprofessional on their part as to just have half of their work on show. This was a good point so I decided to just accept requested viewings instead. 

This is an image of the angle set to give a look of lifting off.
as you can see it looks as though you aren't able to see
much of the detail...

There were a few conflicting views over installing spare-of-the-moment works but was calmly sorted out through diplomacy brought together by a group of young artists. I felt really proud of that fact. It really did feel like we made a good team and I'd jump at the chance to do this again.

... but from this lower angle the detail is in frame.

We also had to adhere to the rules of the building and had to communicate well with the paying resident artists. This is because it could get difficult for our installation work but also a lot of us could learn by their own experience and gain valuable knowledge through respecting their working environment. I got the chance to communicate to a good few of the residents and gained an insight to how to be able to continue working outside of the university. Firstly I found it essential for the need of a studio/work-space of my own but as my work seems to be on the larger size it would prove to be a bit more difficult. Secondly I found that a 'smile' is also important as it makes connections and opens doors in places you wouldn't dream of. The smile has worked for me a couple of times I might add so I know this information to be of sound quality.

 I didn't want to see people standing in a generic 'insta' pose
as I knew that this would happen eventually, so I though this angle
would make the viewer think about its concept and force them into
a position that I thought was suitable and not some beautifying frame
that makes that person acceptable in the eyes of social media.
 This space also has a really interesting air about it. It was originally a police station complete with holding cells and high walls to ensure against any prisoners escaping. The interior has the original blue doors and down the lower half of the walls, the original brown terracotta tiles cover throughout. Tall ceilings and archways giving you a feeling of nostalgia. Once you ventured outside into the courtyard you felt enclosed and safe in contrast I suppose, to the feelings of an old criminal being held or just brought in and dragged out the back of the police van. It was in the corner of the courtyard I chose to exhibit the my wings, were the steel and other materials are kept. It almost looks like a scrapyard full of unwanted steel and mesh just dying to be used for something. Rusty bits of bar and sheet slowly reacting to its environment but still worthy of use at some point. The wings would look like they're ready to be used again after a long stay in the shed, still yet in motion as if pushing the air down for lift. At the opening I was informed that people had been taking photographs in front the sculpture in a crouching position (which made me smile with pride, I think?).

This industrial backdrop suited
the raw industrial material.
The way in which I use light to dramatise the work is evident here.
 I have mounted stage spotlights onto the stainless steel stands and fixed the stands into the floor after gaining permission to do so by Fiona.

The 'sound' installation seemed to get a lot of attention. I know this because Fiona had told me that she had to warden a big group of people off the roof just before I'd arrived. I had arrived late because of being caught up in the late-comers who needed help, which had affected my schedule which meant I had ended up missing the opening. This was something I had planned to avoid from the start but felt that I didn't want let anyone down, even the late ones. In future I will make my time a priority as everyone has tried to advise me on.

This image was taken by a fellow student who came to see the
show and has caught the all the great visual aspects of the sculpture.
Shadows casting onto the old brick building are amplifying its stance and
highlighting its past and the light reflecting off the galvanised plating like beacon
of what change is coming to its surrounding area as the sun sets in
the distant blue horizon.

I was stood talking to some of the viewers on
top of the roof as they stood around checking
my work. Hesitant to engage and unsure whether
to touch so I started to demonstrate how it moves
and how it generates a healing gong sound. It then
seemed as though everyone wanted to have a go.

Down here are all the people I'd helped by installing their work in some way. I enjoyed every minute of it; even the emotionally charged times.

Nicole Siff' Habitat which was really heavy and needed to be handled with care as tiles would fall off if knocked. It's really large and cumbersome. It was too large to fit in the lift so I was drafted in to lead the lifting and carrying safely up and down the four flights of stairs of the university and onto and off the van. Nicole was adamant to be able to do most things herself so this wasn't easy for Nicole to relent to.

Kirsty Jo Wallace's basement space was perfect
for her for her projection mapping project.

Kirsty Jo Wallace is also a 'Light Artist'. In the exhibition Kirsty chose to use a form of projection mapping on a cube in relation to a musical production she had made with a music producer. I assisted her with installing the projectors by fabricating a strong shelf and running the cables along the ceiling to make as invisible as possible. I feel that we work well together as Kirsty is quite industrious and has some really creative ideas which I sometimes draw inspiration off.

Kirsty has a lot of practical knowledge and shows it in her work. This was a really impressive immersive installation. the tight space and the dark surroundings help you focus on the projection of light and colour. The projection is also morphing with the beat of the music, changing shape in an everlasting sequence that I could watch forever.
Add caption
Part of the sequence of colour

Someone enjoying the show put on by Kirsty's installation.
Phoebe O'Connor is an 'Abstract Painter' and has been largely involved with the organisation of this exhibition. Phoebe is the reason this exhibition happened in my mind. Phoebe is great at bringing people together and building spirit in groups. I take a lot of inspiration from Phoebe as she has been a great help to my practice. She is always smiling and is a joy to be around which shows in this work which I installed for her in the gallery space.

Phoebe O'Connor talking with visitors in her usual engaging style whilst
 her 'Abstract Landscape' hangs in the foreground of the 'The Gallery Space'.

This piece is 8' x 4' and it was hung on the wall with a number of mirror brackets and the assistance of two others. Its so vibrant with colour and magic. It almost resembles a violent storm of light and colour that you'd love to be swept up in. The gallery space really complimented the painting and I feel was purpose built for paintings such as this. The large painting spreads right across your peripheral vision making you feel part of the storm.
Abstract Landscape Painting, 8'x4' on MDF board by Phoebe O'Connor

pre-hung work

Parice Bowyer 'Sound and Video Art Installation

Parice Bowyer used the space really well by taking up a whole hallway which encapsulates the viewer.

Betha King needed my help to hang her 'Absrtact Landscapess' by using mirror plates.

Abstract Sculpture, Expanding Foam, Books, Wood,
Table top, Barbed Wire and Black Spray Paint. courtyard of
The Bridewell Studios.
This the work of Daniel Rhymer. who worked with degrading materials, decay relationships between viewer, invisible barriers set by the aesthetics and structure.

The sculpture raised a few health and safety issues that were solved by communicating with Fiona and myself. It was agreed that there was to be a barrier surrounding the sculpture to protect anyone from being caught on the barbed-wire.

We were all in agreement that this would detract from the aesthetic of the piece and it was Fiona who decided to hang the work above the curbs of the pathway creating an invisible barrier on which people would feel reluctant to walk on as there wasn't enough space between the work and the edge of the curb. The viewer would feel more compelled to walk around the profile of the curbs.

I installed the work by using Rapier screws to fasten to the wall.
Abstract Installation, wood, books and barbed wire, by Daniel Rhymer in the Gallery Space

I also installed the work of Millicent Rotchford-Monks. Millicent is a very talented painter who creates realism oil paintings. Millicent works with the female figure so, she uses nude models. In this series she seems to use the gaze of the models as a push into self-reflection. We hung the paintings in a way whereby the eyes of each painting would be looking back at you if you stood right in front directly facing them. The masks seem to give these subjects a certain power, generated by anonymity, over anyone that makes eye contact. They have a questioning gaze as if they know your darkest secrets as all humans do. The of the paintings do hold a sense of reality and detail about them. 
Nude, Oil on Wood by Millicent Rotchford-Monks
I enjoy working with Millicent as she is really easy to communicate with and she also has a good idea of what she needs and wants which makes installing a lot easier. I rested the portraits on two screws and fitted one on top to stop any tipping.

Nude, Oil on Wood by Millicent Rotchford-Monks
Nude, Oil on Wood by Millicent Rotchford-Monks

Abused Acrylic on wood, by Cheryl Blackburn

Cheryl Blackburn works in all types of medium and can put her hands to anything Art. She is also a good friend and has helped through the year. I helped Cheryl at the end of the day to install her abstract, wooden portrait by using wall plugs and screws to attach it to the interior wall.

Interior image of The Bridewell Studios
Abstract portrait painting, oil on paper, by Bethan King
Projection, Video Art by Jenny

At the end of the last 'Installation day' there was a few that came to install heavy cumbersome works and by that time I was ready to go. As you could imagine it was at a highly stressful time and I was beginning to feel a bit tired and I needed to go home to change and return for the opening so when I was asked to assist these artists I felt a bit unsympathetic to their needs. This is because I felt that they had not tried to make an effort to install at the right times when I would of gladly helped but it seemed they were taking my help for granted. I tried to help but started to feel frustrated. This was noticed by the artist and was really apologetic about the situation. At this point I took a deep breath and realised that I was feeling tired which was amplifying my mood. I knew the artist well and know that they work hard and wouldn't dream of upsetting me so, I settled my mood and did what I could to help in the best way possible.

I realise now that there will always someone who cant always make it on time but will have been one of the hardest workers with other personnel commitments which usually makes it nearly impossible to make deadlines. 

The moral of the story is that I should give myself a deadline and then shorten it.


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