Exhibition: Closing Day

Today was the last day of our Level 5 Exhibition – Timeless Perspectives at the Eagle Works, Wolverhampton.

We had opened on Thursday with a private view and then yesterday saw a couple of people come and view the exhibition. Would today bring more visitors?

I had a slower start to the day as it had been a busy week and there were others there to open up so I sat in the back garden with a glass of orange juice and soaked a bit of the sun in, recharging like Superman.

Eagle Works

After I’d fully been rejuvenated I hopped into the car and headed off. Arriving in the Mander Centre car park and heading to the Eagle Works, I could see that Michelle was in as her car was parked outside. Inside, was Bethany and Michelle from my course, along with Sarah, Laura and their respective partners who were very kindly sitting in to allow us to be there. There has to be an Eagle Works person there at all times to allow for the Fire Marshal role to be filled, and as none of us students hadn’t had the training we were unable to do this on our own. Fully understand the reasons for this, I work in a place where roles are very specifically assigned to individuals and appropriate training provided to ensure that all people are the safest they can be.

It was still sunny outside but still a bit cold within the Eagle Works Project Space as the sun doesn’t really come around enough to flood in through the windows to provide some warmth. The internal heating is not used as the cost to heat such an old building would be very prohibitive and make the whole studio space subscriptions untenable.

We had a few of the resident artists come in for a look around over the last couple of days and one of them, Stephen, came back with his wife for a scout around the works in the exhibition before asking a few questions and then heading off. They were quite complementary about the exhibition and it was nice to see someone come in off their own bat to take a look.

After this, we had a bit of a wait where the three of us had a chat and chewed the fat over how it had gone, the temperature, some snacks and positives and negatives of the course and the exhibition. We agreed that there were some great lessons that we’d learned about how to prepare our work and what to expect. We were all a little disappointed, but not overly surprised, that we had as few visitors outside the Private Viewing/Opening as we did. I expected this as we are level 5 students, there are only seven of us, and the location, although brilliant, was a little out of the way. Stephen, one of the artists in residence at the studios, told us that they had put on an exhibition in an empty unit in the Mander Centre beneath, amongst the rest of the shops, and had only two people come into the shop all day. I guess it’s all part of the life of being an artist/photographer, and it might be a busy day or completely free of visitors.

Aerial View

I took my drone (DJI Mini 3 Pro) out into the car park and launched it to go and take some photographs of the Beatties Department store in Wolverhampton City Centre, as well as fly it around the Cathedral and back over the Eagle Works. The bells were ringing on the cathedral for a lot of the day and it was lovely to hear this across the city. Only when I got home did I realise that I’d somehow knocked the setting to jpg only, I usually like to use the RAW images as you have more leeway to make edits.

More Visitors

Later on, my wife and daughter came to the exhibition to check it out and I really appreciated them driving from Shrewsbury, eventually finding the Mander Centre car park entrance and making their way up to the exhibition. I had spent ten minutes this morning on the iPad showing my wife that once you pop out onto the roof level there is still a way to go to get to the Eagle Works.

They had a look around the art on display and talked with bethany and Michelle about their work too, they also took the time to pet Sarah’s dog, Kerry Berry the Corgi which might have been my daughter’s highlight of the show. They filled in the visitor comment book and logged an entry on the QR code form before heading back to Shrewsbury.

Later in the afternoon, not long before the closing ceremony (basically we said goodbye to each other), there was a group of Bethany’s family who came to look at her work and the others also. There were a few tears owing to the personal nature of the work and the Eating Disorder related content which seemed to upset her sisters a little. After they had a look around and had a good laugh, in the same sort of way that I and my brothers do, they left and we prepared to leave the exhibition too.

We’ll be back in on Tuesday to break it all down and take it back home, the prints I’ve had produced will be entered into the Shrewsbury Arts Trail exhibition for the summer, if they accept my entry.

Journey Home

On the way home I had to divert through Shifnal as the M54 was closed and a farmer was busy in his field with a tractor and what looked like a plough to this townie. I turned around, pulled up in a layby and put the drone up in the air to capture some videos and photos as it was throwing up some dust.

Later on when I’d got back on the A5 I could see in the distance that the sun’s rays were shooting through the cloud and hitting the landscape so pulled into a layby again and sent the drone up again. Again, I’e started looking at these on the computer and I’ve only got jpg images, argh. That sky is asking to be pulled up a little but there’s nowhere near enough detail in the jpg file. Doh! I’ve just been in and altered the setting back to JPG+RAW so I don’t have the issue again.

Once home I decanted all of my tools from the numerous different bags and containers that I’d used to carry them around in. We sat down and had a chat about the day’s events and how they all thought about the exhibition etc.

Once my wife and daughter had gone off to bed, I jumped on the computer and started writing this blog post and putting the images through Adobe Lightroom to see what I could rescue.

The next post will be my reflection on the exhibition and practice module, ahead of the hand in date for the work in May.

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