Framing for the exhibition – problem solved

As all the various strands of ideas and possibilities surrounding my book and exhibitions come together into something vaguely resembling reality, I am starting to feel increasingly enthusiastic. I am beginning to taste the trepidation, excitement and fear within me as I walk further along the path I set out on a couple of years ago now. Things are finally falling into place.

I last exhibited nearly ten years ago, straight out of Art College. I had made all the frames myself for cost reasons and the labels, invitations and pamphlets were done quickly and cheaply on a computer. This time however I intend to give as much importance to these aspects of the exhibitions as I will to the quality of the images themselves.

One of the most pressing issues that needed resolving before I started applying for grants and bursaries was the framing. This will be the single greatest expense for the exhibition at around £3000 and will, visually, be one of the most important aspects of it too. The frames will have to show off the images at their best as well as melt into the background and be completely unobtrusive. I will be entrusting my prints to the person doing it and their work will have, arguably, as big an impact on the show as the images themselves. I will have to feel completely comfortable talking to them about seemingly small details such as the size of the window within the mount, the positioning of the image within the frame, the wall mountings or the glass used, for example. I can be incredibly anal about stuff like this and find it hard to relinquish my direct control over these things as well as finding it hard to talk to people I do not connect with.

I cannot emphasize enough the relief and pleasure I felt when I left The Oswestry Framing Company the other week having finally got around to popping in and speaking to them. I have walked or driven past their shop and meant to go in for many years now but never had any immediate need to.

Claire Davies, the Branch Manager, was incredibly understanding about my needs and concerns and passionate about the work she does. All my questions were answered and my fears allayed and I was provided with a quick and comprehensive quote which will allow me to take my grant application to the next stage.

Hopefully within the next month I will have done my first exhibition print and taken it in to be framed, giving me something physical to show to some galleries so I can start lining up some venues. Then I will truly be ready to apply for the necessary grants that will allow me to continue moving this juggernaut forwards.

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