Tagged: Reviews

The first L4 show (OL)






Photographs taken by myself, Amy Huggett

On first entry, you can instantly see that the exhibition has been thoughtfully placed together. There is a feel of beauty and of elegance as well as destruction and ageing. Particular elements inserted into the room by the group, such as the leaves, bricks, branches etc have brought the show to life, combining each of the works and giving the space atmosphere. The lights have been dimmed in certain areas depending on the work, for example there is greater empathises on the 2 projections in the room, as the space they are placed been modified to be dull in terms of lighter. The dimmed room worked well with the overall vibe of the show, giving off a almost sinister atmosphere which was supported by the airy music of the videos playing over and over.

The floor space is quite filled, the works are placed all around the room, however they do not follow around when viewing for work due to the projector placed in the centre of the room. When entering the room, there feels to more space initially which is inviting, then the room feels to become closer together. I think its fair to say that the projector has been incorporated as much as possible, however they doesn’t feel to be a order in which the work is seen and therefore becomes naturally, slightly uncomfortable when viewing it- in this case, it doesn’t been a problem as there seems to be some kind of push for the feeling of being uncomfortable. The information desk is placed against the wall at the ‘back’ of the space. This area of the room is not particularly interesting and hasn’t been made a focus of the room in the same way the dominant corners of the room have been, however the space relates to the other artwork.

Ole’s tutor group decided not to have a preview evening, which considering the time scale the show is displayed for is understandable. Our group however, have choose to have a preview evening to showcase the work and hopefully encourage more people to see the work.

-What sort of overall vibe do we want the show to give?

-How much floor space will there be? and will this effect the work. (judged with floor plans)

-Will we create atmosphere and impact on certain works or areas of the room through the lighting?


DAY TRIP TO LONDON 29th February 2013

Some members of our group took a trip to London for the day to get some inspiration for our upcoming show, Perception.

As we all had our own personal views and experience from the day, we decided to collate our thoughts and put them all in one post. Myself (Nikki) thought the easiest way to do this would be to create a list of things for each of us to talk about and then I would put it all into one post from all of us as ARTlife.

Group shot(Click on above image to see photos of the Group from throughout the day)

We planned the route of where we wanted to go before arriving in London (planned route)This made it a lot easier on the day and gave us the chance to see everything we wanted to.

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery(click on above image to view National Portrait Gallery Website)

We started at this gallery and went to see the Taylor Wessing Photography exhibition.
We all had mixed feeling about this show in terms of the work and the presentation. Myself and Becky thought it was well presented, all the frames were the same thickness and were black with mounts around the work. We thought the space between the photographs were the same and had enough distance from one another.

Karina however felt that the presentation was poor and that there was too much work in a small space. Nadine agreed with this by saying; “it’s as though when putting up the display they didn’t plan it correctly, they ran out of room and just plonked it anywhere”.

Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibition, so we took notes on what we thought of the room:
white walls – high ceiling – marble floor – very neutral colours – modern plug sockets on show – lighting slightly dimmed pointed at the work – work displayed on eye level

Karina described the lighting for this exhibition perfectly; “Lighting was a bit dim, which worked really good as the photographs were glossy and covered with glass so there wasn’t much interruption by the reflections”.
We all agreed that the lighting was perfect, it was bright enough to see the work perfectly but it didn’t glare in your face and the work became the focal point as it should.

Portrait Gallery(click above image to View Photographs of Taylor Wessing exhibition)

The rest of the gallery had more of a traditional salon style to it, with rich coloured walls, baroque wallpaper, guilt framed oil painting and dark wood benches. Each floor in the gallery is a contrast to one another, which split the groups views.
Myself and Rebecca really liked the more traditional side of the gallery. Nadine, Karina and Jackie preferred the more contemporary side.

I do think our show is going to be more white wall then traditional. We got more inspiration from the exhibition then the galleries permanent spaces.
Except for one part which myself and Becky saw. In one section there were frames coming off the wall in a triangle shape which I thought was interesting and for that particular room I think were acting as a space saver.

Hayward Gallery

Hayward Gallery(click on above image to view Hayward Gallery Website)

We all had different expectations from this gallery and different reactions inside.
It’s a shame we couldn’t take photographs though because it was the most interesting in terms of our show.
The room itself was;
small – low ceiling – neutral – spotlights on work – large platform in the middle – well organised

Hayward Nadine(Nadine’s quick sketch of the exhibition at Hayward Gallery)

What we all agreed with though is that if you happened to be standing under the spotlight it was very bright, which hurt your eyes. This could be because the ceiling was so low but its something we will take into consideration for our show.

I think Nadine described the gallery well in my opinion “As a whole I thought this gallery was absolute shite, this being in terms of it being very small, not much on and not much to see. The Gallery wasn’t THAT easy to find but as a group we got there in the end with the help of mother goose (Nikki).”
The only person to disagree with this was Karina “I was really impressed by the Bauhaus look of this gallery. It’s huge and very nice looking.”

Saatchi Gallery

saatchi gallery(click above image to view Saatchi Gallery website)

Everyone was looking forward to coming to this gallery and it defiantly did not disappoint.
For me I didn’t realise how big the gallery was it has so many floors and each floor has interesting work. In most places you go to they have amazing work in one gallery space but then poor work in others. This space was outstanding throughout and very well organised.

Becky described the galleries unique qualities in the best way; “there was a vary of types of work and also along with this came different ways to how they were presented. Some of the work were on plinth’s, free-standing, placed on the floor, hung to make it seem like an illusion and even one presented with D.I.Y equipment!”

All these things are what makes the Saatchi gallery stand out from any other gallery. It gives the viewer an experience, an interaction quality that keeps people intrigued to see more. This is a factor we need in our show!

There wasn’t necessarily spotlights on the work, rather the ceiling was a huge cube of light which I thought was very impressive and perfect for the space. There was one room that had dimmed lights that we thought made the room very beautiful and very atmospheric.

Dimmed Lighting(click above image to view photographs from throughout the gallery)

They had an exhibition guide that described what was in each gallery space and a map to hep you navigate! This leaflet was very useful and has given us inspiration for our show.

The best aspect of this gallery for me is that I could have spent a whole day there! Its one of the most welcoming galleries I’ve ever been to. Which is very important! And i think the others would agree.

Tate Britain

Tate Britain(click above image to view Tate Britain Website)

As Becky said; “The Tate Britain was such a grand gallery and had a vary of exhibitions therefore a vary of styles/layouts”.

The group again was split in there views of this gallery. Myself and Becky liked this gallery, with the mix of contemporary and traditional. For me though it reminded me of the National Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Galley and Walker Gallery in Liverpool.
Karina however was a little disappointed as there wasnt much there that she was interested in, which Nadine also agreed with.

Tate(click above image to view photographs throughout Tate Britain)

The layout was very similar to the National Portrait Gallery;
very high ceiling – work on plinths/hanging – low lighting – minimal.


From seeing all these different types of galleries in one day it make it easier to compare. Therefore, it helps more when thinking of things for our own show.

For our own show we have been inspired by different aspects from all the galleries;

white wall space – having the work spaced out – lighting dimmed slightly – having a variety of different works – hiding fixtures i.e plug sockets/wires – keep work at reasonable height – neutral colours – well organised – low ceiling – use of leaflets – little information on plaque – use of plinths – keep it professional

Overall, going to London was very successful for us and we enjoyed the day.
It gave us a great opportunity to be inspired into making our show the best it can be.

At the end of the day our feet were hurting, we were tired and very hungry!
So we went and relaxed in Camden Town before going home!

Camden Town(click on above image to view photographs from Camden Town)


All Photography done by Nadine, Karina and Becky (Below)


(Written by Nikki on behalf of the group with input from all members who went on the day)

Review on uploaded posters.

I have just looked at the posters that have been uploaded by Amy, Ilona, Karina, Nadine, Nikki and myself and decided to depict the certain parts of the posters that I particularly like…


I can certainly see how the poster has developed succesfully from my experiment to hers and how she used the same visual technique that I used to create the outline of the face on my poster. Also I adore the hand rendered qualities to the poster design rather than being graphically produced.


With a high standard of drawing skills show through the ‘eye’ of the artist which she wanted to portray, for yet again another hand rendered poster which I think works rather well with the overall theme of our show. I also like the layout, with the art life logo at the bottom of the poster and crucial details included the the visitors would ned to know.


Yet again another hand rendered piece I love the use of the art life colours and how it makes the poster even more striking that she has and also the lines that surround the eye make it a quirky design.


I especially love the design ses made with the white background and how she has used the artists work as a template to the ‘perception’ letters. This idea is one of my favourites for the title out of the majority of the posters we have created. Also it looks very professional and familiar to a style of poster I hve saw before.


I particularly like how she has mixed it up and had the writing at a landscape andglebut the photographs of the artists work at a portrait angle with the images faded out. Also I do love how the black and white contrast with one another.

Mike Nelson M6 – ESP



Photographs taken by Nadine Paige Riley

M6 – Mike Nelson at East Side Projects, Digbeth, Birmingham had a very peculiar impact on me when first entering into the room. The material (tyres) which is a common site on the M6 and other motorways, had been broken down and manipulated to create new forms, all of which varied in size and shape. The new forms of the tyres had, for me, a sense of horror to them- as if they were resembling some kind of inhuman thing. The tyres had lost their repetitive circular shape that is so recognisable when envisioning them. They seemed to be a experimental destruction of a familiar material, making the viewer become aware that such a strong material can be broken down. This then referring to the destruction of the M6 itself.

Another thing that made me think when viewing the work was the way in which the objects were presented and the room itself. I remember hearing one woman say ”now that’s a white cube for you!” when entering the space and I remember completely agreeing. The room was so bright and empty that it almost seemed out of focus, and the large black objects in the centre of this huge white space were bold, powerful and completely in focus. The contrast between the space and work was incredible, each bit of detail and manipulation of the material became obvious. The work itself was placed on a slightly higher slab of concrete in the centre of the room, leaving a small space to walk around it. From each angle, the piece would look different and this was a incentive to walk around the enter piece as if you were being directed.

In terms of our show,  the viewer being directed is something quite important in order to receive a message that is not so obviously made anywhere- the documentation of life through the different stages in life. At East Side Projects, the path was already created for the viewer. The group had spoke about placing objects into the space to create a sort of path in which the viewer has to follow- for example easels and works placed on the fall/near to the floor etc. M6 is a great example of a successful white cube space and without obviously doing so, a order in which the work is viewed.

Another thing which I looked at associated to the M6 exhibition at East Side Projects was the press releasehttp://eastsideprojects.org/exhibitions/mike-nelson-m6.

The Artist, dates and preview evening are placed above the image, therefore it is the first thing that is read.

A lot of the press release is visual due to the large image of one of the manipulated tyres. What’s interesting about the use of image is that its fairly intact in terms of destruction yet highlights the ability of the material to form new shape. As well as this, its completely separate from the environment its been placed in, there is no background, just purely the sculpture. So then, when visiting the show there is so much more to admire about the show, the space, the layout, the extent of manipulation, the scale, the composition etc. The image itself is of a high quality and it becomes noticeable immediately what the material is, the rest however is pretty much left to the viewers thoughts. The text isn’t too informative in relation to the show, there is mention of Mike Nelson and his current reputation in the art world followed by a short description of the show –”Within the old industrial heart of Birmingham, discarded, utilitarian objects have been collected as if they were trophies of an ignored parallel world – a dark, abject monument. M6 acts as an invocation of the highways and their concrete islands, memorialising their past production and the shifting economies of spent resources.” The exhibition is outlined yet the show isn’t given away- there is a sense of mystery. The rest of the information on the press release is mentioning’s to representatives of Mike Nelson, where his work has been shown and thanks to people involved- this takes up almost 2/3 of the document.


Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Wolverhampton's Art Gallery

Wolverhampton’s Art Gallery

Today I visited Wolverhampton’s Art Gallery to particularly look at the layout of the different exhibitions. There was a mixture within the gallery of a more contemporary style and also the stereotypically predictable ‘White Wall’ space.

Sad, Siobhan Hapaska

Sad, Siobhan Hapaska

This was one of the two pieces in the whole of the first exhibition space i walked into that was a piece of work you could walk around, therefore seeing the piece from all angles. This has already been said in past posts that we should consider displaying in this way in our own show. Personally I favour this idea for it is not hung up on the wall, which can sometimes be boring and so predictable.


I was loving the idea of a piece of work that you could walk around and also that was suspended from the ceiling. I havent saw this in any of the other posts so I thought Id include it. I don’t reckon this would be possible in our show but I thought it was a very unusual idea.

Rachel Emery, Pink Matter (2013)

Rachel Emery, Pink Matter (2013)



I thought this was a very unusual exhibition space and that it had a lot of distractions which were taking my focus of the work. This was because of the windows in the room which enabled you to see and hear cars and buses driving by outside. Even though the space was white-walled it did not work for me, it had features such as heaters and a fire-place structure in the room… Whether this was the intention or not it did not work well if it was intended, it felt as though they just placed the work in a social space. However this space was a hire space for artists so guess the artist did not really mind that the room looked like this they just wanted the work to be exhibited to the public.


A quirky floor piece that at first I thought was a carpet at first glance so it’s a good job I didn’t walk on it! But also another way to consider displaying some work n our curated show. The work could be a lower level whether in the centre of the room or against or hung on the wall.


I wasnt so keen on the more contemporary rooms, or they felt too overcrowded so could not focus clearly on just one piece of art… It just caused too much of a distraction for me so I just ended up leaving the room.


Contemporary paintings being hung at levels so you can look up at them and also down at them when your on a different level of the gallery.


involvement towards a more younger generation or even older that enables you to dress up and feel like you’re in the era of the paintings on the gallery wall…

There was one gallery that focused on the time of ‘POP’ art, that involved works such as Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup etc… Therefore in this gallery photographs were not permitted so I thought i’d just describe the room… It was the typical white wall layout and had a huge centre piece of seating for the visitors, that made the daunting feeling of the gallery feel more comfortable and welcoming, but i almost felt too awkward to sit down because of how the gallery was lit… It was very Dim inside the room with hidden spotlights set shining onto various pieces of work. I think this idea would work well in our show if we blocked out some of the natural light and used minimal spotlights onto specific pieces of work.


The Poetry of Reduction


Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Joseph Kosuth, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, they all rejected traditional art genres. What’s minimalism, conceptualism or land art? To be fair,me as a viewer at Mumok exhibiton I had no clue. Walking around the space, wondering what is it, what it’s about, reading about it, did not makes sense. The Poetry of reduction is full of art which attempt to avoid metaphorical associations, symbolism, and suggestions of spiritual transcendence, characterized by unitary, geometric forms and industrial materials. The reduction of forms allows the subjective act of perceiving them to be experienced as a tensile relationship between the work, the room and one’s own physicality.

As Donald Judd himself remarked, the complexity of the work is heightened precisely because of the simplicity of means.

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The Poetry of reduction took place at 2 floors parallel to Dan Flavin’s exhibition  at Mumok. Minimalistic space with minimal artwork. What a combination. Huge white space let speak works individually, the works were evenly put on walls and on the floor. Your eyes were fully entertained ,every corner had something to represent. No work relates to other, but still they worked beautifully together.  The space illuminated with range of styles, materials and artists which are  representation of  neo-avant-garde art movement from the 1960s and 1970s.

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Your attention wasnt gained only by scupltures, but also by videos,paintings,instalations,photographs,performances and many more.


Bruce Nauman

Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square



Tony sinking into the floor made by Bruce Nauman in 1973 is really got example how the title or text can affect your thinking before and after reading a  text. the title is outstanding itself  but not obvious and that’s what we as a group should concentrate on for title of our exhibition.

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Photographs above are negatives projected on wall,black wall in black cube using a slide projector. I had a feeling of cinema, there were chairs like in cinema’s you can sit on. the only thing missing was popcorn. As a group we should think about how to pamper our audience , think about using of chairs,benches, what kind of  refreshments we going to use… and so on.



Arrow In The Blue – BMAG

(click above image to view BMAG website)

In the Community Gallery of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, was the Arrow in the Blue Exhibition.
Myself and Nadine went to see it as it sounded really interesting.
All the work was done by prisoners. Which I thought would be good to see, as you would think inside a prison they would have limited materials.

I was impressed by the quality of the work, some of the pieces were really detailed and creative.

In terms of the layout I wasn’t that thrilled by it;

The room was basically above the Galleries canteen, and was laid out in a corridor style.
So you just walked around and the work was on the walls available.
I don’t think its a very good lay out to show the work to it’s full extent.
You get too distracted by the decor and what’s going on underneath (as you could look over the rail and see the eating area)

Also, all the artist’s names and information was bunched up together, so you couldn’t see clearly who’s work belonged to who.

For our own show I think the names should be separate and clear as to who’s work it who’s.

One thing I did like was the above feature. Where they put quotes on the wall.
If our show was a bit more philosophical, or book related, I would suggest it for ours, but I don’t think this would fit in with ours.

Something to keep in mind for the future though.

(click for link to Arrow In the blue exhibition guide)

I really like this guide, theres not too much information inside.
Just enough to inform the audience of what the show is about.
It has really clear, good quality images.
This one is in colour as well, which for us to do would be quite costly I think.

What I also like, is the fact it has a map of the layout on the back.
Which would be good for our show, so as to point out who’s work is who’s and what each piece is about.