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A Chance to Curate

This February sees the Annual Exhibition at the Edinburgh Palette of Drawing and Painting by the final year Painting students from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. The exhibition gives the public the opportunity to see our work before the final year Degree Show in Aberdeen in June. The exhibition is not only an important event for us individual students participating, but for the Art School as a whole, showcasing as it does, the diverse and exciting work currently being undertaken in the Painting department at Gray’s.

Being a chance for our class to showcase work in another city, the opportunity also gave 5 of us the time to learn how to curate a group exhibition. We arrived at the space 4 days prior to the opening night, with a lot of unwrapping of bubble wrap to do. We were warned that the first few hours of trialling pieces in the space was going to be difficult, and too right it was. Working together we explored different options with the artwork against the walls, discussing balance between colour, size, material, impact and style. Once we reached what we thought was a conclusion, the next day it completely changed.

Over the next two days with our tutors, we reshuffled the whole space, reducing the amount of work on display and starting to hang them. Once the first piece was up, it seemed to flow very well, one piece to the next. The hanging of the work brought difficulties of its own, particularly with numerous large scale drawings, series of paintings and 3 dimensional work. However, it was a really good new challenge for me and I will now appreciate the effort that goes into the curation of any exhibition. Heavily involved in the organisation and then the curation of the show, I have learnt a lot of new skills along the way, which I know I will be able to apply to any future roles I undertake.

We worked very hard up until the last minute, with price lists, purcahsing food and drink for the opening and mounting statements being the final but important touches. The opening night was a great success and very busy! I am very appreciative of my family for the delicious contributions they made to the canapes selection. I was, as ever, overwhelmed but so grateful for the support from my family and friends and it was great to have conversations about my work in a new setting. Overall, the show was very well received, with a few sales also taking place.

Please check out our our Pre Degree Show which runs until the 29th of February at Edinburgh Palette, London Road.

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