Saturday, June 19, 2010

Studio practice workbook 7.

The Temple Gallery, 29 Moray Place

Locating a gallery to present this exhibition was, typically for me, left until the last minute. There are good reasons not to do this such as the fact that galleries like to book shows months ahead of the opening. Perhaps I was relying on the serendipity factor too much but luckily I was able to find a spot in a prestigious Dunedin gallery, The Temple Gallery.

The corridor where the Moment show will hang

The Temple Gallery's owner, Victoria Timpany, told me she knew my work from my earlier exhibitions and that photography was becoming more sought after by New Zealand art collectors. Normally a new artist would be introduced in the Christmas group show and then perhaps have a solo show some months later, I was told. I made a plea for any chance to show in the next month because the show was part of my Dip Grad FA course at Art School. Luckily, again, there was an open slot due to a cancellation and Victoria needed to cover this so I was able to be in the main gallery on short notice.

The plan at this stage was to pin the prints directly to the wall. The meant there was no need to frame or mount the works which I thought was another task ticked off.

This was not the case however. Because of the flux due to the cancelled show the time and location shifted again. I was now to show in the entrance corridor which did not have gallery lighting and the walls were not suitable to pin works to. I was worried at first by the dim lighting but then decided that it may actually suit the murky, indeterminate nature of my images. However, I did now have to come up with another hanging system.

Jacque Gilbert had previously used aluminium sheet as a backing material for photographs when she lived in Amsterdam and had recommended it to me. She had been working on finding suppliers and coming up with a technique to do this in Dunedin when I had a sudden need to mount the works that were going into the Moment show. After a successful workshop session I got my own materials and set to work at home. This involved getting sheets of .9mm aluminium plate cut to specific sizes.

They are prepared for gluing by sanding the surface with 600 grit wet&dry sandpaper.

A thin layer of modified EVA glue is rolled on and then the plate is placed onto the back of the print which I had marked to facilitate lining up.

The plate is placed in a press and pressure applied.

I used an old cast iron book press and thought a warm press might provide a superior bond so placed it on top a heater.

After about an hour the plate is replaced with the next one to go into the press. Once the glue had cured overnight I trimmed the surplus paper around the edge of the plate.

I marked the back of the plate with guide lines and then used superglue to fix a length of 10mm open box section aluminium. This was to provide an edge to hang the work from as well as to stiffen it.

The prints themselves are made with my own Epson R800 printer using epson inks and paper selected from the Hahnemühle Fine Art A4 sample packs. The variety in the packs allowed me to match particular effects and textures in the image to the surface it was printed on.

The date for the opening was changed to Monday which may have seemed an awkward day for an art exhibition but it was also the eve of winter solstice and so was deserving of celebration in it's own right. When handing out the exhibition flyer I told people to expect mulled wine.

Winter solstice is the time of year when we solargraphers find ourselves busy. It is the peak of the suns cycle and the chance to set cameras out in the wild in order to get a full six months exposure in the can. It also marks the end of my one year Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts course at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art.


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This work by Chris Reid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 New Zealand License.