As part of my assignment 2 tutor’s feedback it was suggested that I begin to think about how images could be presented over and beyond the learning blog and some artist photographers were suggested which I have followed up on. I particularly liked how Paul Graham moves away from the standard linear presentation for his exhibition showing the project ‘A Shimmer of Possibility’ so I bookmarked this topic of presentation for my next assignment.
To expand my research on this topic I visited the Framers gallery, a commercial gallery on the side of small a picture framing business close to where I work, where I sometimes pop in during a lunch hour if the current exhibition catches my eye. I had a really interesting and productive conversation with Diyana Yovcheva the Gallery Assistant Manager.
Diyana is herself an artist who studied Fine Art at Middlesex University and now works with natural materials found in the urban environment making art whilst reflecting on her thoughts and feelings towards her rural homeland in Bulgaria which contrasts enormously to London the place where she is now based. Diyana also photographed her artworks as part of their presentation so we also had an interesting debate around the whole idea of what is an image.
I explained my position in terms of my own studies and photographic practice and we showed bits of our work to each other and then Diyana described how she approached the challenge of her own graduation show.
She talked about the available space that she was offered and how this affected her decisions in terms of ordering and spacing of her work. She discussed a number of issues such as; where do you place your best pieces? What will be the expected flow and direction of the viewers and how does this affect your decisions?
As I reflect back over our conversation I was really left thinking about two key areas going forward. Firstly there is the technical and logistical components of presentation including space, lighting, how the work is hung – framed, pinned to the wall, laid on the floor. There are many different formats and combinations of these factors and more, the possibilities really begin to multiply.
Secondly, once we start to begin to understand the technical and logistical possibilities of presentation it then becomes about what the artist is actually seeking to achieve, what are the objectives. With so many different possibilities but also by beginning to appreciate how the dynamics of presentation can completely change the viewing experience I can now see that presentation is actually quite major consideration and part of the artwork itself whereas I probably hadn’t thought about it at all previously. Once we know what the idea is then a successful plan of presentation can be worked up.
Whilst all of this seems very obvious as always you have to start somewhere and standing in an empty gallery space with blank walls being prepared for the next exhibition made the subject and process of presentation very real and relevant and even the process of thinking about presentation has started to affect how I will go about creating images for forthcoming assignments.
At a recent exhibition I spent time observing the different angles of the spotlights in the ceiling and saw that there were in the main at a 45 degree angle pointing down towards the images but set outside the outer edges of the picture frame so pointing inwards; and this was really the first time that I had even thought about presentation so very much a new and interesting area for consideration.
What was also very interesting was by speaking to an individual who is part of the commercial management of the gallery the whole process of financial investment and return were highlighted again a very interesting subject.
On a completely different level it was fantastic and very motivational to speak to an artist who was fairly recently graduated and in the process of developing art and striving to exhibit her work. Diyana was very generous with her time and I was at least able to suggest a few theoretical essays and ideas about photography which she found useful so at least I could give a little back in return.
Diyana Yovcheva has an exhibition at the Framers Gallery which is just off Tottenham Court Road in early 2017 so I will stay in touch and try to learn more and support this event and who knows where these contacts leads to.
Paul Graham (2007) ‘A Shimmer of Possibility’ shown on The Douglas Hyde Gallery website (online) at:
(accessed 21 August 2016)
The Framers Gallery, Windmill Street, London W1T 2JT for more information visit: http://www.theframersgallery.co.uk