For this project we had to do an off site exhibition, the site being Kingsway campus. This gave us the freedom to exhibit our work anywhere in Chester. I decided to team up with Ed, Jack and Melissa as I did the last exhibition with them and I’m still not confident working with other people yet. Jack and Ed already had a starting idea about mental health, which I was happy with as it’s something I’m very familiar with.
Original plans and ideas –
When we started to discuss the ideas for what we would photograph and where we would display our work, we all agreed to do men’s mental health, even though it is now a trending topic of sorts it’s still not talked about or dealt with enough. We also discussed the idea of the size of the portraits we wanted to expose to the public, we wanted to go big, and do four portraits the size of a wall to gain the most reaction from the public. There was also an idea of a black poster or a space where you could write your thoughts, comments and reactions to the exhibition work, I thought that this would be a great idea as we could see what the public’s reaction was, even if someone vandalised it with graffiti then that would still be their reaction to it in a way. We even discussed the idea of recording the publics reaction to the work. As a group we agreed on taking a direct approach to create a no drama and factual presentation of men’s mental health.
Group Jobs –
We all decided to dish out jobs to make the process of the exhibition a little easier for everyone. I decided to choose location scout and model recruitment as I knew people to contact. Are main idea for a location was the underground beneath the main roundabout in Chester, this is a goldmine for commuters and students on their way to work. So that would be my first stop. In the end, we all met up and decided to have a look round as a group. I took the photos of places that we thought would work and give our exhibit an edge. These are the following photos from our little tour around town to find the best suitable place to exhibit our work.
In the end we decided to just go with the underground as it gives our work the fighting chance to express our feeling on men’s mental health along with more time for our work being up before the council or anyone else ripped it down.
As I was on the recruitment team, I had to find male models who would be the face’s of our men’s mental health exhibition. I had a few contacts but one who I knew would help get the word out. I contacted Jane Bellis, She is runs Alternative fashion fest which is a modelling organization that model alternative clothes and discuss and raise money/awareness for the things that most avoid, such as bullying, suicide, the homeless ect. Jane was happy to spread the word, creating a casting call and sharing it round Facebook –
Exhibition and Final Thoughts –
On the day of the exhibition, my heart sank as it completely escaped my mind, I thought I had let the group down but when arriving on the exhibition site, I saw that they pulled it off. I believe it was Jack or Ed who was also on recruitment so it was good that they found two other people to model as well as them in the four final photos. I was a little surprised by the size, I was expecting them to be a little bigger but still a good job for getting it done in time. They also set up an Instagram for people to connect to get more information on the project. This is another way to monitor who has noticed the work and reacted with it to follow the rabbit to an Instagram link.
I spent the exhibition day feeling a little guilty and disappointed in myself for forgetting however after a long think, I’ve decided that I did all that I could. I wasn’t on the actual studio group I was location scout and recruitment and despite only getting nibbles from my casting call and no bite, I still did what I could and what I assigned to do with the group. However I think that if I was to do this again then I would take on more responsibilities with the group, along with not forgetting about them. I think that if there was more going on then I would be less forgetful. I’m fairly happy with my personal growth and progression in the group, I mean this from an anxiety point of view, I’m not usually a big fan of group work however I feel some what comfortable working with this group.