On the 4th June we had our afternoon event to Celebrate Craft and our Mentoring Project, Making Progress. It also saw the opening of our exhibitions, Made It! and Laura West’s Spotlight.
As promised, the sun shone, tasty food, refreshing fizz and good conversation was in order!
As part of the mentoring project makers have to curate their own spotlight exhibition and Laura was our second maker to go through this process.
Our Spotlight makers have very rarely experienced installing an exhibition, so it can be a daunting prospect. However, the pleasure in seeing your work as a whole, having positive comment on it from the public and breathing a sigh of relief as you realise that you really are making progress should make it all worth it!
For the public who view exhibitions, few have any idea of the huge amount of work that goes into getting an exhibition to the Private View stage.
From the initial idea, selecting work (and making it when you are the maker), getting it safely to the gallery, planning the layout, designing plinths and display material, making sure everything is all delivered on time and in the correct condition, labels, invites and posters designed- printed and sent out, lighting, security, Private view refreshments and finally installing it all and you then have to be in a fit condition to speak to your guests when it all opens!
With the short changeover time in galleries, you very rarely have the luxury of days of time and more likely it is 24 frantic hours of painting plinths, unpacking and hanging work. It always gets done in time, thought sometimes floors are being brushed as the visitors arrived!
Our exhibitions last week were no exception and we had the added stress of dealing with work from the Crafts Council Collection that had very stringent installation and handling requirements. Highland Council Exhibitions Unit have worked incredible hard to ensure that this exhibition has been given a professional and classy display that does the work justice. No easy task with limited resources and no access to the work until the last minute!
As the work was unpacked, the excitement mounted as one of the great joys of pulling an exhibition together where the work is of this calibre is seeing it insitu and realising that it is going to look amazing!
The Craft Council Collection work was selected by our makers and their mentors as work that has influenced them and seeing their work displayed alongside it, you can see this journey clearly.
For me, the greatest pleasure is seeing that our makers work sits on a level footing with the top makers work. A true indication of the quality here in the Highlands!
If you have not already been, please go and see for yourself. And as you view the exhibitions, remember the months of preparation that has gone into making it all look so wonderful!