Amanda Akwiwu and Jacob Trup, who both exhibited their A2 photography work at the Interim Show, explain the process of working as a curatorial team for the exhibition and their experience of showcasing their work in a gallery for the first time.
Being part of the Interim Show was a unique experience. As a group of young artists, we had to collectively work together to decide how and where each piece should be displayed. I found it interesting to see how some pieces correlated well, and others not so much. The balance of colour around the room was something we were especially conscious about, so as not to allow one piece to over-shadow another. After trying several combinations, we eventually found a perfect layout that allowed for each piece to stand confidently, while also working well with the works next to it.
I chose a selection of 4 images from my photography. I really enjoyed the task of ensuring the colours and shapes within the images worked well as a series. As my work involved text, the size of my prints was quite important. I had to allow space for the text to engage with the images. I decided to go for a fairly large size as I wanted the viewer to be able to clearly read the text, while also interpret it in relation to the image. My images were displayed in a line rather than a grid as I felt this allowed me to have more control over the order I wanted them to be viewed. Overall, I had an incredible experience putting the show together and I found that it has helped me to develop my ideas in a way that I could have only achieved through doing the exhibition, as it has helped me to envision my work in the context of a gallery space.
Having the opportunity to display my work in a gallery seemed daunting at first. Naturally, when visiting a gallery, you may expect to come across a Wolfgang Tillmans or a Gregory Crewdson like I did on gallery visits to the Tate Modern and The Photographers Gallery. However, it was our work, which was now on display at the 5th Base Gallery in Shoreditch – something I am now so proud of. In my case, for my A-Level Photography, I have been working primarily with moving image. For my film on display, ‘The Character Project’, I had envisaged a dark room with ambient music bouncing around the walls to create an atmosphere and set the tone of the film.
However, when putting together a group show, you have to take into account numerous works and how they can be curated to work harmoniously within a space. The exhibition was curated so that the colourful works complimented the more monotone pieces rather than an organised arrangement between the two. The structure was also set out so that pieces were placed in certain positions such as the centre of the room to guide the viewers around the gallery in a snake-like direction- almost creating a journey. The sound also played a big part in my film; I had to ensure that it was at the right level. This had to be altered on the opening night to make up for the crowd noise. Creating a film about mental health can be a sensitive subject to talk about. The way in which I attempted to edit the film was through minimal narrative to focus on the editing and leave it open to interpretation i.e. people could see the types of footage to mean different things.
Studying photography has been the key determinant in my change in career path from International Business to now studying Film at University in the hopes of becoming a director.