Hanging my work is something that I’ve never been to precious about. I’m more than happy to bang a couple of nails in the wall or drill some screws into a painting and that be it. Funnily enough, for someone who is so protective over her work when it comes to exhibiting it I take little to know care when displaying it. I’ve even sued masking tape just to tape my work up before. Some people are so particular about how their work is exhibited but I guess it’s just something I’ve never been worried about. I worry about layout and what paintings are put up but how they’re put up there doesn’t interest me.
So it only seemed fitting for the degree show that I applied the same non-nonchalance(ness) that I’ve had all year. For some of the work I put screws in the wall and used to D-rings to hang the canvas on these. This worked really well for the canvases and was quite easy to do (practicality and cost wise). For the other works I decided to do something which I have discussed in my sketchbooks; I wanted to use bull-dog clips to suspend the smaller paintings that were on MDF board and I also wanted to use it to suspend the center canvas.
For the canvas in the center I had a few ideas of how to suspend it. I initially wanted to keep it on the stretcher but when I tried this and tried hanging it it came too far away from the wall and looked very “off”. When put with the other paintings it looked quite out of place. So I decided to take it off the stretcher and suspend it that way. I wanted the fabric to kind of drape over the wall and have a un-done and unfinished element to it. My work always has an unfinished element to it and I shouldn’t lose that quality for the sake of an exhibition.
I tried this and it worked really well and I thought that I was finished with the hang.
On further inspection of the hanging the bull dog clips just looked of place. When I used this method in my 2nd year it worked really well and I think it was because the space where I was hanging my work last year was much smaller. I think because this space is bigger and because of the formality of the degree show it doesn’t work well in conjuncture with the bull dog clips. The clips are very shiny and pristine and as I have mentioned before my work is not. It is raw and unfinished. The white walls, finished floor, uniformity of the layout works very well with the work. The formality of the space works well with the informality of the my work; they compliment and contrast each other perfectly. But to hang my work in a pristine way would do it an injustice I think, it would also provide too much formal. Although, in theory the bull dog clips are a very lay way of hanging the work and in theory this should echo the unfinished/studio element to my exhibted work, because they are silver and look very shiny it distracts attention from the work and it also confuses the viewer. There is no real reason for them to be there other than I thought they would look good; this confuses the viewer as well because there is no evident reason that they can see for them to be there.
I decided to get rid of the bull dog clips and the big nails and I decided to just use little pin nails to hang up the MDF board and to hang the center canvas material. I thought pin nails would be much more understated. They suspend the work on the wall without distracting attention away form the work. You end up looking at the work rather than the way it is hung or the layout of it. I want as much attention to be on the work as possible; I want the viewer to see the work and to not be distracted by the wall or by the method of hanging. This benefits the work greatly and makes it more simpler for the viewer to look at. whereas before the bull dog clips looked quite clunky and were very obvious, having the pin nails in there is so much more subtle. It just goes to show that jsut because something has worked for you in the past it isn’t going to necessarily going to work again. It also shows me how different each space is and each piece of work. I really have to think much more carefully about how each individual piece is going to be hung in relation to that space. I think it was good and definitely beneficial to try this idea out but it just didnt work. It was beneficial because it allowed me to see how much I have to think about hanging work and that sometimes I can’t be slap-dash about it and rush it.