We started hanging the show today. Overall, it went quite well. We spent a couple of hours moving things around and then the patterns formed and the pieces coalesced into a show. I frankly didn’t expect it to happen that quickly and was rather surprised at how well everything merged, especially since Laurie and I haven’t really compared and contrasted our pieces frequently throughout.
We have another day of scrambling around on ladders and dropping nails before it’ll be done. Then we gawk at it for a day or two and make sure that nothing needs tweaking.
I understand that some artists leave the hanging process entirely to the gallery coordinator. I don’t work that way myself. While I’m making a piece, I often have (even subliminally) an idea of how or where it would look best. This is, in a sense, a part of the construction of the piece and needs to at least be considered when displaying the piece publicly. In some cases, my ideas are sound, in others, they flex. A good gallery coordinator listens (and Sharon, down at the Craft Council Gallery absolutely rocks! Plus she knows how to hang textiles).
When you go to hang a show, pack yourself a little toolkit. The gallery will probably have many things, but you really don’t want to stop the whole process because their Robertson screwdriver went missing (as happened today).
This is what I took. You can tailor the list to your own medium and needs:
- screwdrivers – full set or all sorts and sizes, along with a ratchet set
- thread (various colours)
- really good, fine scissors
- fishing line
- finishing nails
- fabric pens
- safety pins
- extra screw eyes
Revision! Add the following to the list:
- measuring tape
Please note the screwdrivers. And the scissors. We needed both today, despite an inordinately well-equipped gallery toolbox.