Last week I thought I had better go down to Plymouth to meet the latest administrator who is in charge of the gallery lettings, so I arranged a meeting.

In preparation for it, I made sure I had some printed material as they had never seen my work, and, although I had sent them a copy of my publicity material, it and any record of the conversations and correspondence I had had with the previous administrator, seem to have been mis-filed.

  • I was pleased to see that the info on the publicity material was correct.
  • Catering: I said what I wanted to serve and where as I had previously been told I could use the ‘meeting room’ = cell 3. We then had a discussion about whether or not I should pay for it. My decision was that if I was asked to pay, I would have the food and drinks opposite the entrance on a table. I should hear next week when the manager returns from her leave whether or not I am expected to pay for the space.
  • Poster distribution: the gallery would put the poster, publicity flyer and invitation on their website and on their Facebook page. This differs from the info I was given before which was that the gallery would do a mail shot to its subscribers. I will do a flyer drop and send out the invitations as well as a press release – I had been previously told they would do the press release. I have just spoken to a colleague of my contact to ask if they have a distribution list of contacts but they don’t. She added that they advertise in Visit Plymouth and in Visual Arts South West.
  • I said I would not be selling anything.
  • Vitrine – they don’t have one so I will make my own.
  • Plinths – on inspection, we discovered that they have 2 plinths, which is perfect = 1 for the made up cell and one for the book of letters.
  • The first cell would have my projector above the doorway which would play my ‘time and place’ looped videos. In this cell I would have the images of the plants used on my quilt – if I make and display it – as well as, maybe, the seasonal blobs images. There was mention of a risk assessment regarding the cable from the projector to the socket. I will cover it with the same tape we used for our OCA SW exhibition and which worked very well.
  • The second cell, the “reflection cell”, I will arrange as a cell with a metal bed and a writing table with the plinth in the far corner holding bathroom artefacts from HMP Dartmoor. I will also provide a soft board notice board as the centre does not have a spare notice board, on which I will pin Ian’s cards (with his permission). On the table will be the alternative to a ‘visitors’ book, a ‘reflections’ book in which visitors will (hopefully) record their thoughts on how, what they have seen, makes them feel about prison and prisoner identity. This cell will also have a recording of Ian’s letters being read and the sound will go around the whole space. A problem with this is that if the 3rd cell = meeting room = is rented out, they might not like the interference of the recordings. As I am in the space stewarding the exhibition over the two weeks, I will deal with that eventuality as and if it occurs.
  • We confirmed that I would be doing an artist’s talk on the fist Saturday.

On reflection, I was glad to have followed my instincts to check on the arrangements since the gallery had had a change in administrators. there are subtle but significant differences in the arrangements.

My project too has evolved: whereas I had previously wanted to use QR codes for each image which would contain recordings of the readings of the pertinent letter for each image, I am now planning to have the letters read on a continuous loop permeating all the space.

I now have a firmer idea of what I am expected to make and do.

3 thoughts on “Meeting with the gallery

    1. Thanks, Catherine. I think it was Carmen’s wedding reception arrangements which have made me a little jittery about arrangements with organisations. The management company change 12 months after she had signed her agreement and they suddenly said that they could not possibly deliver what she wanted for the quote she had been given. Fortunately she had signed a contract & so they had to honour it. Things could have been quite different had they been less ethical about it all.


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