Meeting with the gallery mk2

19th February, 2019

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.

My latest preparation for my Format reviews: