I originally had several ideas for Assignment 5, the first of which was a series of cracking plants but on relfecction this was too dodgy, in the sense that I could easily travel to a distance site, only to find that I could not get near enough for what I wanted. The final idea came form the work done in a previous part of the course where I documented the work my sister put into making an art quilt. This was done over a period of three weeks.
So my idea was to create a series of sections, each on a different craft, documenting the process in photos. This then morphed into creating a poster for each craft. If I was to hold a real exhibition, it would matter about layout, uniformity across all posters, e.g. font sizes, background colour, uniform layout. I inquired of the curator of the National Needlework Archive if they ever had photographic exhibitions. When I explained the background to my question, I was taken to the café and told, ‘ have this’. At the time, I was still trying to decide if this was a good idea or not, but I left having agreed to hang the exhibition on June 5th and it would stay up for a month.
This focussed the mind wonderfully. I had already created a trial poster from the quilting work but realised it would not do and examined the final version, taking careful notes re background colour and font et cetera to ensure uniformity. This I then had printed (Whitewall) as A1 and A2 to judge which size would be best and decided on A1.
I started with a list of 15 crafts which was reduced to 11 after I completed the first two photographic sessions. These were ‘furniture’ and ‘lace making’. The lace making was such that I managed a complete set of photos starting with the choice of design, show the process and finishing with some completed examples. The other one was furniture. There is a small furniture maker a few miles away and they were very helpful but the problem remains that they cannot complete anything meaningful in an hour so it is such a series of snapshots. I reconsidered the list and removed other crafts were this would also hold. I wanted to keep my presence down to one hour. Most of these people are earning their living by their craft and I did not want to get in the way. I made it plain at the start that they should just get on with the work and ignore me. I did have to interrupt as I wanted one portrait of the maker. Everyone was asked for permission and told the background to the request. To my astonishment, no-one said no! (I did promise an A1 poster when finished and took a box of biscuits to each craftsperson.)
The final list was
- book binding
- dyed cotton
Some of these were personal friends but several were total strangers.
In taking photographs, I took far more than I could use. The minimum count was 70 and maximum over 100. For each craft, 6 to 9 were extracted, processed (cropped, colour balance corrected, et cetera) and a poster created. The first figure shows the announcement of the exhibition followed by some photos of the exhibition venue and then 11 figures showing the posters themselves. The posters were all created as 60 by 80 cm at 300 dpi in photoshop. The final printing was not done by Whitewall – too expensive but by a local printer whom I know. He made a very good job of the printing particularly the colour. I draw to your attention, the one of Dyed Cotton. The real colours were as rich as shown.
Photos of Venue
The 11 posters follow