Arrow in the Blue: The Koestler Exhibition for the West Midlands

Today me and Nikki went to see the Arrow in the Blue exhibition that is new to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It was extremely awkward to find as it was in the Community Gallery of BMAG. This did involve us getting lost on the way and me calling a member of staff a lady when it was actually a man, oops, my bad. Don’t even ask. Just don’t.

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Here is a sign that was outside the Community Gallery advertising what was on:

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Pretty damn obvious that this got me thinking about the advertisement of our show. When walking around BMAG there were booklets for this show everywhere advertising it too. This is what I personally want for ours, I want it to be advertised well, with handing out leaflets, putting up posters around the university as well as a sign outside each entrance so people know that they are at the exhibition and are in the right place.

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This sign was there as soon as you entered into the room, telling the viewers a bit about the show:

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I felt the show had a sort of lead to it, I feel this being because of the railing going around in a rectangular sort of shaping, making the exhibition feel like there is a certain way to go (left or right), giving the viewer the decision.

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I really enjoyed this way of having to follow into a certain way, it almost stops you from missing something, like if you crossed straight across to the other side of the room you might have missed a piece of work; but the prevention of the audience doing this shows that each piece of work is equally as important part of the show I feel.

Something else that me and Nikki had picked up on were the use of quotes or words used throughout:

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I felt like by adding quotes or words to the exhibition gave it a real touch, wanting to communicate with the viewer. I feel like each of the sentences are rather sad in their own rights, making the viewer feel sorry for the person who wrote it almost. All of the words also fit in with the theme of the show, they aren’t just random. By doing this I feel the show is more powerful.

Here is something that Nikki and I both picked up on we realized at the end when we both spoken about the show. The name plates:

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What a mess. I felt as though having name/title plates not next to the work is silly, as even though it is a simple enough layout for some people to understand, some people may not. I feel you almost have to treat the viewers like they don’t know. Not only this but it just looks messy. It’s not a good way of curating from my point of view. Not that I’m a pro or anything! ;)
No I definitely think we should have name plates, but have them more organised and simplified.

This is something else that I personally had noticed, the frames:

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All of the works around the room (apart from canvases and work on plinths) had exactly the same frame. I got close to each frame and noticed they weren’t  ‘expensive’ but were handmade wooden frames that were just painted white. You wouldn’t be able to tell this from a distance. I suppose this adds to the exhibition and the people it were curated by, they are just average everyday unknown people so the frames are nothing ‘special’.

The space wasn’t completely ‘white cubed’ either, opposite walls across the room from each other were painted different colours:

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Almost gives off the feels of feature walls (the main walls) – I realize the colour goes with the main image that represents the Arrow in the Blue show, which also shows organisation and making things relevant, which is really important to do in a show.

All in all, I felt it was a good show and it shows that everybody has potential to be someone no matter who they are and what their background be, which adds emotion and feeling to the show knowing that, helping us to understand it more.

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