Bank Street Arts Installation

Posted on July 6, 2014

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We spent a full day yesterday in Sheffield installing the [(6)] exhibition. I’ve learned a lot from this experience about setting up an exhibition (methods of fixing photographs and their relative cost and ease of installation), laying out an exhibition space (no substitute for visiting the location, aligning the midpoints of the pictures – 157 cm is standard height apparently), packing and making safe photographs in transit.

It took all day from 9.30 until 16.10 to complete the installation. There were three of us with help from two partners and we installed work in five gallery rooms – around 60 photographs of varying sizes from double A0 to 10 inch square. We also used a range of fixing methods – simple hangers glued to the back of foam core, battens with velcro, conventional picture hooks and battens with subframe on pictures.

My photographs are grouped in a nice room to the right of the entrance to the place, which is an old Georgian building and is a bit of a rabbit warren. The eight A1 prints with the single 40×30 inch glass framed print filled the space nicely – not cramped but not empty either. I changed the layout slightly on site to make use of the full wall space. I had to think carefully about hanging height. In the end I stuck with the recommendation of the Bank Street experts and made the mid-point 157cm from the floor. Whilst I wanted the viewer to be able to look at the portrait subjects eye to eye, of course eye level ranges from 4ft  to 7ft depending on the build of the spectator (possibly even lower for someone in a wheelchair). So compromises have to be made. What was important for me was to keep the centres of the photographs at the same level.

My photographs were mounted on dibond (an aluminium composite material) with an aluminium subframe on the back. They were hung on wooden battens fixed to the wall with three screws. The gallery space had wooden walls so the screws were applied directly into the walls. There were two of us installing, me and my wife – this is to be recommended as measuring and levelling is easier with two pairs of hands.

Here are a couple of iPhone photos of my space:

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition Keith Greenough Gallery

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition
Keith Greenough Gallery

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition Keith Greenough Gallery

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition
Keith Greenough Gallery

 

My wife and I also installed Pete Mansell’s excellent photographs which deal with disability. Pete had more smaller images mounted on foam core. He had installed hangers on the images beforehand. These were plastic hangers which stick to the back of the foam core. It is a relatively inexpensive way of installing but highly effective and because the smaller images needed a single screw to fix them, it is also quite a speedy way of installing. After consultation with Pete we decided to hang his work 20 cm lower than the standard to make it more accessible for anyone in a wheelchair, reflecting the theme of the work. Here are a couple of photographs of Pete’s Gallery:

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition Pete Mansell Gallery

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition
Pete Mansell Gallery

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition Pete Mansell Gallery

[(6)] Bank Street Arts Exhibition
Pete Mansell Gallery

Nigel Haworth and Rob Briscoe handled the remainder of the installation including their own work and that of Dewald Botha (from China) and Tanya Ahmed (from New York). Nigel used conventional black wood frames with glass to show his work and Rob’s, Dewald’s and Tanya’s photographs were on foam core and were mounted onto the wall with velcro and battens. Some more images below:

Part of Tanya's installation

Part of Tanya’s installation

Rob installing Dewald's work

Rob installing Dewald’s work

Nigel at work

Nigel at work

Part of RobTM's installation

Part of RobTM’s installation

By just after 4 pm the work was done….onwards now to the Opening on Wednesday…. A final image of the installation team with their construction tools….

Nigel, Keith and RobTM

Nigel, Keith and RobTM

 

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