Looking back over the pictures I have taken over the last few days during the set up and start of the exhibition it is obvious that I need to take some more because my phone/camera is having some difficulty adjusting to the whiteness and the light in the space. I am however, just going to post a few here today to give you a little idea of what I have been up to and share what the atmosphere is now like in the room.
Each of the 6 artists exhibiting in Grennan Craft Mill were allocated their space approx 2 years ago (there is now a 4 year waiting list to exhibit here for the festival!) and for me the room I am in is the perfect size for my felt, not too big and not too small, it serves as the students dining room during the teaching year. All the levels of the mill were painted prior to the students show in June at the end of their two year course which meant that the paint on the walls was fresh. I did need to remove nails and screws etc. from where paintings had been hung and as well as filling and painting the resultant holes etc. I decided to paint the radiator as it definitely looked grubby and took away from the freshness of the white walls. Usually I mix up my own filler when doing any repair jobs but for ease of convienience and in an effort to get everything done in time for the weekend I bought a ready made tube of a propriatory brand only to discover once I was using it the paste was grey and not white. Hmmm, it did dry in 5 minutes as it promised but unfortunately needed several coats of paint in order to hide the underlying colour therefore meaning more time after all, you live and learn but it definitely didn’t say on the outside that the paste was not white, I checked!
Once I was happy with the walls and the radiator I painted another couple of coats onto Eileen’s plinths and then was ready for Alan’s help setting up the spotlights. Really he did a great job, SO many people have been asking about the lighting, we used little spotlights on a simple industrial looking silver track, the lights can be positioned anywhere on the track but our difficulty was that we were restricted to the length that actually came in the box! A lot of thought later, positioning the black transformer and wiring in the kitchen, running new white flex around the roof etc. we got everything sorted to our satisfication, it was 11.40 at night before we left that night but definitely this work has made a big difference to the overall feel of the room and how the felt may be viewed.
To complete the set up I added a lightweight white and blue curtain to cover the kitchen door and Kilkenny Arts Festival provided very nice posters for us to use as part of our publicity materials. I added one to the door of my room beside where I have my name, interestingly the door is painted orange and the colours in the poster are mainly turquoise, two of the highlight colours from my felt vessels! A simple jug of miscanthus and teasels on the radiator, business cards, festival brochures, book for comments, price list and my artist statement finished the room.
Reflections on the opening weekend and more pictures to follow next post.