Preparing the Exhibition Space

table_02Hanging the work and preparing exhibition space.

Some decisions can’t be finalised until its possible to view the finished venue with the stand in place. In extremis plans may have to be changed and for this reason its a good idea to visit the space as soon as possible in order to ensure any snags can be resolved.

I visited the space on Tuesday 26th and the first thing that was apparent is there doesn’t appear to be any space for a group area we could use to project a slide show which is a pity. I had planned on requiring at least 2 visits to set up as  I knew that pasting the hessian covering to the wall on the MMU board would require 24 hours to dry before I mounted the prints. Attaching the hessian proved to be very straightforward, I pasted the wall with a strong mix of the wallpaper paste but also dampened the edges of the hessian and applied some paste directly to ensure good adhesion and then stuck it to the boards aligning it to guidelines I had previously marked out.

I also put up the name lettering on the boards, “Steve” on one and “Edwards” on the other. From the layout I had designed I had a paper copy with measurements. The letters were 8 inches high and to allow a 2 inch gap at the top I drew a faint pencil line 10″ from the top of the boards using a spirit level. I then marked a vertical line in the middle of the board. Laying the letters on a flat surface I measured the overall width and starting with the middle letter stuck them to the board with Velcro using the horizontal line as a base and a spirit level to check they were vertical.

Another issue became apparent is that the tables that we had planned to use were too large for the space and would obstruct the gangways. Smaller square tables were provided but I felt this gave insufficient space to effectively display a portfolio, business card holders and the vintage cameras I wanted to decorate the stand with. So I decided to make a triangular “table” that would fit the space available. Serendipitously on a visit to the printer on the way home there was a stack of discarded pallets which would make a good base frame for what I had in mind.

Using the pallet and scraps of left over projects from the garage the only actual costs involved were a couple of pounds for screws and £10 for a tablecloth to cover it with and of course a couple of hours of time although it made a nice change to be away from the computer.

01__MG_8268Finished Table

The following day I went to mount the prints, I was pleased to discover the hessian was indeed stuck fast, I had originally intended to frame the hessian by attaching wood around the edges but decide I would leave it plain, I did tidy up the edges of the hessian with a Stanley knife and spirit level. I then marked out the position of the images to be central horizontally and vertically on the hessian and stuck them in place with double sided tape, this is primarily meant to keep them flat, to actually hold them in position I used 19mm brass pins hammered into each corner on the key line. Final step was to attach captions which I had printed at home, I had the captions proof read by each make up artist involved, the font chosen is “Fashion Victim” which seems appropriate to the subject.


Finalised MMU board with prints, captions, table and name lettering

The “Home Grown” board had proved more problematic, primarily due to the delivery of prints which had been delayed in production and then the normally extremely reliable courier failed to deliver when promised. All credit to DPD delivery driver Chris as he got his wife to collect the parcel which had been traced to the Gloucester depot and then drive them over to Cricklade for lunchtime on Wednesday so I could complete the installation.

Although both the producers and couriers failed to meet their service targets I was more annoyed with myself as having sagely warned everyone else to make sure they ordered everything well in advance as “things do go wrong” I failed to do this prior to a weeks holiday as there was plenty of time when I got back: with around a month to go, however I then lost a further 10 days due to illness as I simply wasn’t capable of using the computer to prepare the images as I wanted. So I ended up ordering them  much later than planned although theoretically with enough time but I feel it was fortunate everything arrived in time so will heed my own advice in future 🙂

Hanging the “Alumini” prints was extremely straightforward as they have a robust hanging mount built into the frame and all that was required was a single screw left about 3mm proud of the board. I marked a vertical line using the rule of thirds as per the design layout spaced vertically to leave a 1″ gap between the prints and used a small velcro tab to hold the prints straight.

I also wanted to use captions with these images and was again planning to use home printed cards, however whilst idly waiting at a Waitrose store for my wife to finish shopping I found some slate markers in an outside display of gardening materials which I felt would make ideal captions along with a matching slate board for the title. My original idea was to write the captions with the chalk provided with the slate, but after testing this I decided it wasn’t clear or neat enough. I then decided to order some custom self adhesive lettering from an ebay supplier but that proved difficult to get to stick on due to the natural unevenness of the slate and thus the small contact area for the finer lettering although it worked well for the larger “Home Grown” lettering. So I then purchased a paint pen from an art supplies shop and got my son, who is known for his particularly neat lettering, to hand write the individual images captions.

The result is very pleasing and I think they complement the theme and the images perfectly although as a comparison the cost of the captions alone for this board  i.e. slate, adhesive lettering and the paint pen is more than the total cost of the MMU board display.

Finished captions :

captions_03Finished Display Board :


Once I had finished hanging the boards I put the freshly draped table in place and attached it to the board with a couple of screws which improved the rigidity of the boards and table enormously.


Although the venue had been cleaned, there was still plenty of evidence of its previous life as a nightclub with broken glass and dust everywhere. My wife had delivered the “Home Grown” prints and kindly swept the entire photography area which revealed just how much dirt and and debris was still present. As a result as I was leaving my work for the best part of a week I decided to cover it with a dust sheet.

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This entry was posted in Exhibition Management.

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