Things are getting close and I’m happy with the prints (actually, very happy with the printing and mounting by PrintSpace) and I know where I want to hang which image but there are still some bits that I need to finish or decide upon.
The first thing that I’m having trouble deciding upon the best solution is the feedback method. The traditional method of a feedback or comment book does not work for me – at least I never bother to fill it in if I can avoid it. I could leave a tablet or laptop in place with a custom designed input screen but it’s a public place so I’m not sure that I want to do that, though it would be the most effective if I designed the screen in a fun but useful manner.
The high tech versions such as an iPad Kiosk would be great but ……
More realistically, I’ll definitely have a link to a form on my website so that people can comment or, preferably, discuss aspects of the exhibition but that takes effort on the part of the visitor so I’d prefer to also have something that was fun, quick and easy.
I’ve always liked the simplicity of those brightly coloured buttons that you get in places like airports or big exhibition sites that the visitor just hits on the way out but a) they don’t gather much information and b) I’ve no idea how to do it.
A simple method would be to have pre-printed comment forms that could be placed in a box or similar container but, again, that doesn’t appeal to me. I certainly don’t like doing that at exhibitions.
One method I like was to place small, shaped blackboards on a wall and invite comments with some nearby chalk as seen above but I woudn’t be able to place the boards on the wall in my chosen location – at least I can’t think of a method now.
A Stirling University student, Anne Frank, came up with the great solution seen below.
But again it involves sticking pins in the wall in this format. I could place a large cork board for visitors to place the comments on, it would have to hang from the vertical cords in the same way as the images but it could work. More simply I could use the same method with brightly-coloured post-its. Anyway, it’s something that I need to decide upon.
Almost forgot, the most important thing is that I’ll be there a lot of time and will be soliciting feedback, either just by listening in or by asking directly.
Anyway, another issue is what to do about invites and an opening night or event. I’ve got a list of people that I’d like to attend, probably about 20 people excluding friends and family. These include:
- Tourist Information people
- Hotel guest managers
- Tourist guides
- The managers or heads of other galleries
- Crown Estate marketing
- The local newspapers
I’m very hesitant about inviting these people to a formal event since, if I’m not careful, it becomes a chore for all concerned. My inclination at this stage is to host a drinks and canapes evening to which I’d invite friends, family and (to be honest) any acquaintances that I think that I could get to come along. Since the exhibition is basically in a bar with an anteroom it would be very easy to set up. I’d then email the above people, the “important” ones :-), about the exhibition and suggest that they might like to attend but mention the evening as an occasion when they’d be able to meet myself and other people who were interested in the subject.
Another subject that I’ve been debating is a complementary book to go with the exhibition. I’ve already got the bulk of it designed but, as ever, it’s the fine detail at the end that takes the most time. I had a chat with my tutor about this after Assignment 2 and he was very doubtful as to the benefits of doing this. He felt, and I tend to agree, that producing a quality book would dilute my efforts when I needed to concentrate on the exhibition. We’ll see how it goes over the next week or so, if I have the time and energy I’ll see about progressing the book but, at the moment, I think that it’s something that I’ll leave till later, after the exhibition, for my own enjoyment. I’ve mentioned before that David suggested stab binding and it’s something that I think that I’d like to do in my own time, with no rush or pressure to deliver it to a deadline.
Finally, I need to decide what I want to do with this website. I’ve taken on board and introduced all of the changes that Laura Noble suggested during Assignment 1 but it’s an iterative process. My long term aim is to create a more complete website around the subject much like Ken Harrison’s Land Photography but that’s a long term project, possibly for a Master’s course. In the meantime I need to decide when to stop with the changes and leave it in a static form for the exhibition. I think that I’m already at that stage, I’ve stripped it down so that it’s basically the exhibition images and background together with some other portfolios and this blog so I think that I’ll leave it there but, again, that might change.
Anyway, those are the questions that I’m still debating as the exhibition date hurtles closer.