As a whole, I am pleased with how our book fair turned out on the day. However, I am not sure that all team members collaborated well as a TEAM.
In one of our initial meetings, we decided on four possible locations for our exhibition. These were the a The Roland Revinsky building at Plymouth University, the ground floor in the Drake Circus shopping Centre, the centre library and a room in the city art gallery. Unfortunately, none of these ended up being possible and without consulting us, a small group within our cohort decided on the location for us. Which was downstairs in the reception area of our college. I felt like we should have been informed of this, as it effects a lot of what us as the curatorial group were doing and it is also not the best setting for the theme and purpose of the exhibition.
We divided the cohort up to groups to begin with – curatorial group & design group.
I decided my skills were best used in the curatorial group as I could help physically to get everything together and plan out the space. I also had extra roles in the exhibition and along with another team member, organised finding shelving to use and as well as this was involved with physically setting up and taking down the exhibition.
Initially, another member of the group said he wanted to make bookshelves. I wasn’t overly happy with this as I thought it wasn’t realistic with the time we had. In the end, he wasn’t able to do this on time and it was decided that me and another member of the group would source the bookshelves. We searched online and travelled all over Plymouth, looking in warehouses, waste centres and charity shops. We ended up finding two shelves which ended up being the perfect amount and sizes for the purpose.
The first book shelf was found at a house clearance shop. We spoke to the shop owner who kindly allowed us to put a deposit of £20 down on the item which we would get back if we returned it the day after the exhibition in the condition we found it in.
When we found this shelf, we sent a photo to the group conversation on Facebook to confirm that everyone was happy with it. Fortunately everyone was and we thought it would work well as we could use both sides of the shelf so viewers could look around it. Another member of the curatorial group also arrived in the shop whilst we were there and helped us in the discussion with the shop owner which resulted in us planning to pick it up Monday 15th (day before the exhibition) and take it back on Wednesday 17th (day after the exhibition).
On Monday 15th at 4pm, the group met in the space outside the reception and we began setting up. This involved us moving furniture out of the way which we didn’t need for the exhibition and gathering the furniture we did need and arranging it in the space. We did this carefully, being wary of the other people who may have been using the space that day as well as thinking about health and safety.
Two people from our group were planning on using extension leads as their work was being displayed using light boxes, so I sourced some tape to hold the leads down in place behind the big screen and also was able to find tape which would stand out to people.
We also found plants which we were able to use which I think really added to the overall aesthetic of the exhibition and brought it together.
This was the over all outcome –
I think it turned out much better than I thought it would. I was worried the space wouldn’t work for what we wanted, but we were able to adapt to it. We placed all of the furniture and books very specifically, arranging it to create a welcoming space for people to come and look through the books. Theres space on the table for people to open up the books and flick through them and we laid the books out by size and colour.
On the day, 2 or 3 people at a time managed the space and were there to answer questions and deal with the general running of the book fair in 1 hour slots.
Overall, this all went smoothly. We worked well as a team however as with all team projects, there were a few people who stood to the side and didn’t help at all. We did manage to get it done effectively and quickly, regardless of their lack of help.