Two lessons learnt

I can hardly believe that the first year of my M.A. is nearly over. Yesterday was spent hanging my work for the group exhibition. I should have learnt from my degree show to keep things simple but the trials of that had slunk to the back of my mind.

Most people turned up with two or three framed pieces which meant, after discussion as to which space each could have, they simply attached them to the wall with mirror plates and screws. Over and done with within the hour.

I had selected half a dozen of my Marriage pieces and the curator suggested I use a grey background so the white knitted pieces show  better. I mixed some paint – a little black in a tub of white – and set about covering the wall. By mid morning the gallery was almost deserted but I continued working then took a late/early coffee/lunch break. After another coat of paint and willing it to dry it was safe enough to start suspending my artefacts. This took far longer than I anticipated, I was the last person there; I finished just as the gallery was closing so I had no time to check if the labels are on straight or that the tools are hanging correctly.

Lesson learnt:     I will mount my pieces on neutral coloured fabric covered wooden boards so all I have to do is attach them to the walls with mirror plates.

During the morning my tutor asked where my embroidered Mothers piece was as she expected me to show that. I explained I’d abandoned it as I couldn’t cope with the relentless stitching day after day after day. She insisted I put it up in its unfinished state so today I put back all the markings I took out after I’d condemned it. However I discovered a far quicker method of making these lines (which represent the year each mother gave birth) and that is to measure each side of the fabric then simply fold it horizontally and stitch across – before I was measuring from the top of the fabric, pinning on my measurements then marking with thread – very difficult after 50 cms down.

Lesson learnt:   Don’t undo work until I want to use the materials again – just in case.

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