Following on from yesterday’s post regarding the ‘purpose’ of exhibiting, I have been thinking about the best way to present my drawings. One thing that tends to divide people when they look at my work is the framing. I have tried my drawings in just about every frame you can imagine, and the reactions have varied considerably.
In the first exhibition of Madge Gill’s work at the Nunnery, her small postcard drawings were presented in drawers, protruding from underneath the bed in which she used to work. This functioned really well, creating another dimension to the experience. The presentation helped contextualise the pieces whilst also inviting an uncomfortable physical reaction from the viewer. Basically you had to alter your body shape into an uncomfortable position to view them up close, alluding to the physical and mental problems Gill faced.
I wonder whether the presentation of my drawings could reference the curation of the first exhibition, providing continuity without it being too explicit. The layout referenced archives and this is something I want to explore further. I am not saying I will present my drawings in drawers but there is perhaps an approach that amalgamates archival techniques with a strong aesthetic and curatorial judgement.
Initial conversations with curator Rosamond Murdoch have also suggested she plans to exhibit one of Gill’s large scroll drawings alongside my work. We briefly viewed the calico piece at Newham Archives last week and it really is quite incredible. Its vast size will certainly contrast well with my tiny drawings!