building exhibition spaces

The last two weeks before the deadline (6 May) were specifically dedicated to building the degree show spaces.

After the negative response of last year’s degree show, we were determined on several things – one was to do with the fact that Illustration in general is not technically in the main art building. This time we were adamant that we should have our exhibition with everyone else’s. Thanks to our course mate Maelle’s efforts we got a number of spaces in the main building in which to build our shows – two spaces on the first floor and two of the glass boxes you see when you walk up the main stairs on the second and third floor.

The whole exhibition module for us is called ‘Encounter’ – its main focus being how illustration may be encountered in the world. Since the start we were told again and again that we should not think of it as an exhibition, which was a bit of a contradiction, especially when we got to building the actual spaces.

That meant building and putting up all the walls in order, painting everything white and making plinths. We were all suddenly working together, a huge team of illustrators, building their degree show, helping each other and communicating – somehow it felt like a lot of us connected more than we’d had in the whole last year, or whole three years really.

As it happens, the materials we could use were limited so that resulted in having to wait for people to finish their task so you could borrow whatever you needed and continue the work. That resulted in some people not showing up, thinking their help wasn’t needed.

The start was strong and we’d done quite a lot of work by the end of the first week, with a bit of a slowdown around the second, and a quick intensifying around the last few days. We were meant to start putting our work up around Thursday afternoon and all through Friday.

It was hectic and stressful for the whole of the two weeks, but we managed to get through it with  hard teamwork!