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Category : Section 4 – Publication Draft

Draft Publication – The Marketing

While the final portfolio is being fine-tuned I’m looking at the marketing that I need to do before the exhibition. As I mentioned in Section 2, I’m looking at fliers, business cards and adverts. All of this is a bit intimidating, not in the sense of getting them done since that’s the easy part, it’s the idea of publicising my work, something that I’m still not comfortable with despite some excellent comments from reviewers. I still have trouble believing that anybody would want to see a body of work created by me so to ask people to come and visit seems a bit hypocritical. Anyway, hopefully I’ll be over this before the exhibition!

As far as the fliers were concerned I had no idea what I wanted to begin with so, neither in terms of the artwork nor the size or materials. In the end I remembered that I’d used Vistaprint some years ago and went to have a look at their site. There was some excellent advice on their website as well as on other sites on the web. l also went along to our local Tourist Information Office and looked at some of the fliers that were there to advertise other events. Then I did what I should have done at the beginning and went to The Old Court where my exhibition will be held to look at fliers advertising other events to be held there.

After pulling together a number of thoughts or ideas it was time to try my hand at design using Vistaprint’s online tool. After a few aborted attempts I came up with this design in A6.

I was quite pleased with it though I’m sure that a professional marketeer will b able to pick holes in it. I deliberately didn’t put any contact details on it, not even my website, as I wanted that information to come out at the exhibition. Also, I didn’t want to use the exhibition images, at least not all of them since I didn’t want people to see them before arriving at the venue. I did however want to give a feel for the theme so people would understand the aims of the portfolio before arriving.

So far I’ve left these fliers in dentist and doctor’s surgeries, local coffee shops who have a notice board, the venue itself and the Tourist Information office. I’ll be adding other sites if and when I think of them but, in the meantime, it feels strange going past a notice board so see my exhibition being advertised.

I want some business cards as well, both to hand out or leave at the exhibition and to hand out to people when I talk about the event. Following a near-identical process to the fliers I came out with these.

Again, I didn’t want to use the exhibition images but wanted to demonstrate a wide range of genres on the cards.

Finally the advertising. I wanted to advertise in the local paper and on the local borough’s website, both of which allow free advertising for such events.

The above advert is from the local paper but the borough website has a similar one in place. I’m curious how effective these will be, and the fliers for that matter, but I’m not sure how I’ll be able to quantify their effectiveness beyond anecdotal comments from visitors …. assuming that I get any of course!

Anyway, that’s the marketing that I’m doing at the moment. As and when other ideas come to me I’ll be adding those in as well.

Modifying the Portfolio

My portfolio is continually changing as I make trips into Windsor Great Park to find new images or, more accurately, tweak the existing images until I get the best composition, lighting, depth of field etc. This isn’t just for the individual images but to make sure that they all work together as a coherent portfolio.

The original portfolio was basically that which I submitted for Body of Work with a few modifications as I detailed in Section 1 – Networking and Feedback but, partly as a result of that feedback, I’ve been enhancing it through the past few weeks and months.

My tutor, David, introduced me to the PhD thesis of Peter Davies whose work was entitled “An Investigation of the Photographic Interpretation of Woodland and Forests“. Although his theme was very different to mine his subject material was very similar in that he was looking to examine the representation of forests and woodland via a major body of photographic work. My theme of examining the woodland in the Park to portray or to demonstrate how it can create virtual boundaries has led to similar images.

In particular it has led to a very similar way of working as we both revisited the same areas on numerous occasions to modify our portfolios. I’ve narrowed the scope of my visits to the Park to around fifteen locations that, to me, offered the best representation of a Virtual Boundary. As I revisit these locations at different times of the day, in different weathers, I’ll sometimes come away with upwards of a hundred images, all of which I immediately discard on my return as they offer nothing new when compared to the existing images. On occasion they’ve led me to reflect on the images or on my composition and led me to revise my thoughts on what it was I was trying to achieve at that location.

Frequently I’ve been creating a rough sketch so that next time I go I’ll remember my thoughts.

Sketch for Location 1

I, very definitely, make no claims as to the artistic merit of such images but it was useful when going back to the location to try alternative compositions as seen below.

I’m pretty close to the final version which can be seen in my modified portfolio document that I used in Assignment 1. I think that I should possibly have kept the original portfolio to make comparisons but it was easier to just update it with the current images so that I could send it out again for review as and when I needed rather than keep creating a new version each time.

I’m finding it to be an interesting exercise as I fine tune the portfolio and I’m almost developing a personal attachment to these locations so that if I do chance to see somebody approaching one of “my” boundary locations I’m hoping that they don’t trespass and go through into “my” space !! I definitely need to step back at times !

Local Art Scene in Windsor

Given that my exhibition will be in Windsor and I’ve been doing a fair bit of research into venues and so forth I thought that it would be interesting to summarise the arts scene in the town. It would be simple to go back in history and recount details of some of the great authors and poets that have lived or stayed in Windsor such as Shakespeare himself who stayed here while writing The Merry Wives of Windsor. Thomas Hardy lived and worked in the town. Poets such as Tennyson, Marlow, Longfellow etc. all stayed in or around Windsor. Some of the early Victorian photographers such as Fenton and Frith were regular visitors and guests. More relevant is the thriving arts scene which facilitates the hosting of my exhibition.

I’ve already mention The Old Court in Windsor, the local arts centre. Here it’s possible to view photography or painting exhibitions, listen to concerts, attend a play, laugh at comedy acts or be educated by lectures, all in the same week.

The local Arts Society, strapline “Enriching Lives Through the Arts”, hosts lectures and arranges visits to local arts sites of interest. SOTA, The School of Arts, holds classes for dance, singing and drama for children throughout the year. The Contemporary Arts Fair, held every year, brings together over 160 artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists and selected galleries from the UK and Europe.

Windsor Theatre is a beautiful building in the shadow of Windsor Castle and hosts a wide repertoire with many productions transferring directly to the West End. The Castle itself is host to much of the Royal Collection with works ranging from van Dyck to Wedgewood and a whole room devoted to Reubens.

There are a number of art galleries catering to the tourist industry which I could have utilised for my exhibition but chose The Old Court because of its local nature.

Every year the Windsor Festival hosts music, tours, events and exhibitions as well as organising, with the Fringe (see below), a number of open houses where local artists open their houses and workshops to visitors. Associated with the festival is the International String Competition which is one of the foremost competitions of its kind in the world.

And, of course, Windsor has its very own Fringe, perhaps not as well known as Edinburgh but it is the second oldest in the UK after Edinburgh. The Festival can claim to have started under the aegis of Yehudi Menuhin whilst the Fringe can claim the active support as judges of Hilary Mantel, Fay Weldon, Kenneth Branagh, Nina Bawden and numerous others.

In summary, it’s clear that Windsor has a thriving Arts scene which has made it comparatively easy to organise my exhibition but, at the same time, it’s slightly disconcerting to be dipping a toe into an environment populated by so many prestigious names.