Today we took the exhibition down.  I must say that it is a lot quicker and simpler to take paintings down rather than put them up, my tricky to hang triptychs that took a couple of hours to position came down in minutes!

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Even so, there were still additional jobs to do such as pollyfilla-ing the holes left in the walls and covering them with emulsion, sweeping and hoovering and generally just checking the gallery was as we had found it.

We all felt a little sad that the exhibition was over, but at the same time very positive about the experience as a whole.  We have learnt so much and now feel much more confident about organising another exhibition in the future.

John, Sam and Helen

Finally, we would like to thank AWOL Studios for their support, letting us use the gallery space, our sponsors and all those who came along and helped make it a really special event.


Thanks everyone!!!

April 29, 2012

A big thank you to all that came to the opening event and made it a really special evening.  We really hope you had a great time and enjoyed all the artworks.

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Blink and you may miss it!  Today is the final day of our exhibition.  Once again we are open from 10am-4pm on the 5th floor of AWOL studios.

Parking is available and there is also a lift.

We have received some great feedback from those who felt moved to write in our comments book.  Here is a short random selection…

“Really enjoyed the space and the flow of the work.”

“The art work was exciting and thought provoking.”

“Absolutely fantastic show! Really brilliant work and well curated!”

“All your art is awesome!” (Ryan age 7)

Open for visitors!

April 28, 2012

After a wonderful preview event last night we open for visitors today at 10am.

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We are open today and Sunday from 10am-4pm.  Come along and enjoy the artwork!

Today is the day!!!!

April 27, 2012

Opening event TONIGHT!!!  6-9pm

@ AWOL Studios Gallery

The final finishes touches are left to do today and then we will be ready to open the doors to the public this evening.  We have all worked so hard and are now really looking forward to hearing visitors reactions to the work and the exhibition as a whole.

We really hope you can make it and enjoy the evening with us.

Today has been a very long but enjoyable day.  We have taken all our work to AWOL Studios Gallery and have put most of it up ready for our exhibition which starts this Friday 27th April with a preview event running from 6-9pm.  In fact there is only one more painting to go up!

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We have curated the exhibition ourselves and are feeling really pleased with the finished result.  We feel we have placed the work in the most complimentary positions possible and have aimed to achieve unity and flow throughout the exhibition.

Final jobs that remain are to clean, tidy, polyfilla and set up for Friday’s opening, as well as spending some time taking high quality photographs of our finished corridor decoration on the second floor of AWOL Studios.  The feedback we received for this work was extremely positive and we are really glad we had this opportunity as it provided us all with a very large wall space  to work with, much larger than we have ever previously experienced.

AWOL Studios is promoting our exhibition via their website, click here to see our press release.

Only 3 days to go now until our exhibition opens and tomorrow is the day we begin to take our work to the gallery!  A van is booked for 11am and today we have packed our work in readiness.

5 days to go…

April 22, 2012

Only 5 days to go until our exhibition begins! We have been to so many great second year exhibitions already, we are now getting really excited about staging our own!

Exhibition Opening Event:  Friday 27th April 2012 : 6 – 9pm

Exhibition Open Days:  Saturday 28th – Sunday 29th April : 10am – 4pm

Almost finished!!!

April 20, 2012

Here are some pictures of the almost finished corridor decoration. I left John painting at 7pm this evening!

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John and Sam’s work were created using acrylic paints.  My work was made by printing large black and white prints which were then pasted to the walls using a 50:50 mix of PVA glue and water.  I chose this as the best solution after also testing wall paper paste and photo-mount.

Corridor decoration day!

April 20, 2012

Today we went down to AWOL Studios to decorate the 2nd floor corridor.  A really great experience that has followed plenty of planning.

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A key point that we all noticed, but had not realised before beginning our work in the corridor, was the porous nature of the walls.  They were freshly plastered with only a thin layer of emulsion which made the walls very hungry for paint or glue.  It took a little while to get used to the surface however we quickly began to work effectively with it.  After reflection, it would have been great if we could have tested our ideas out on a similar surface prior to working in the corridor.

Posters distributed all around Manchester School of Art, Fred Aldous, Font BarThe Deaf Institute and The Eighth Day Cafe.  Flyering begins today as well!

Our fee for exhibiting at AWOL studios is to design corridor decoration for the second floor of Hope Mill.  Our brief has been very open with the only condition that David, who is in charge of AWOL studios, approves the designs before we start painting.  We decided to do a design each, playing to our strengths and individual ideas.  We then put them together as a joint proposal for AWOL, allowing David the final say on whose design would be picked.  Happily all the designs were approved so on Thursday we will all be venturing to AWOL studios to carry out the work.

I (Helen) have taken Manchester as a theme and produced a series of large scale prints that will be pasted to the walls depicting both urban and greenbelt scenes from around Manchester.  I expect them to fill around a third of the corridor space.  Myself and John visited the corridor this morning  to agree the best locations for our work.   I took measurements in order for me to produce the prints to scale.

John chose to scale up his current abstract geometric shapes and encorporate his vibrant colour use. He is aiming to complete a five to ten metre length with some shapes going round doors and corners so viewers will see the shapes from a distance.  The larger shapes will be taped and painted in emulsion with the smaller shapes taped and painted in fluorescent or Day-Glo acrylic. John propses that this will give interesting, energetic, but with the familiarity of the shapes, a comfortable feeling to the space.

Sam has opted to develop his current themes of space, figures and light and will be painting a mural on one of the walls.  Currently he is considering whether it will be best to use oils or acrylic paint to complete his design.

With the flyers sorted the next job has been to organise the posters.  We had two main designs, one all black, one with coloured logos.

After obtaining several people’s opinions we have gone with the coloured logos.  Although the all black one looked slick, everyone was drawn to the coloured logos so we thought that one was the best one to go with.  Take a look and see what you think…

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Really excited today, picked up our flyers from the MMU reprographics department.

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I must admit the pack of 500 flyers does not look as big as I imagined, however we are really happy to have them in plenty of time to start leafleting when term begins.

Personally, I have learnt so much during this process about flyer printing, including the need for “bleed sections” which are required if you want a colour to run up to the edge of a print.  Generally a print company will print the A6 flyers on A3 paper as this is the most cost-effective method.  For flyers that need “bleed sections”,  such as our front page, they use slightly larger than A3 paper, called SR-A3 (oversizes A3).

If you want to create a document with a bleed section, you should let the background image or colour over run the size of your required print by 3-5mm – best to confirm this with your printing company first as they do vary.  It will mean your work will not have a white border when printed and additionally when cut down to size you will have the colour/image running right up to the edges.

Also, different printing methods require different colour modes such as RGB or CMYK.  If you are particularly bothered about the truest colour reproduction you should also speak to the print company to confirm which colour mode is optimal for the printer being used.

At last!  Our contract has been sent to AWOL and the deposit has been paid.  It has been a little while to sort out, but we finally did it!  It’s a great feeling knowing all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed.

March 24, 2012

On Friday we collected our first sponsorship deal – 48 tiger beers from Font Bar.  It was a great feeling.  Thank you Font Bar!!!!

Wonderful news.  We have obtained further sponsorship for the opening night from the splendid Deaf Institute Cafe, Bar and Music Hall, 135, Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE.

We would like to say a big thank you to them for their generous support.

After many discussions and deliberations we are getting close… we think …to the final flyer designs.  Here are the contenders at the moment:

There is still more work to be done such as creating a hand drawn map for the back as the current map is far too small and minor text adjustments, however, all in all it is definitely getting there and good progress is being made.

Font Bar Sponsorship

March 8, 2012

More success!!!!  We have been sponsored by the wonderful Font Bar, 7-9 New Wakefield Street, Manchester, M1 5NP.

We would like to say a big thank you to them for their generous support.

Fred Aldous Sponsorship

March 5, 2012

Success!!!!  We have secured sponsorship from the major art and craft supply store Fred Aldous, 37 Lever Street, Manchester, M1 1LW.

This family run Manchester based business has been going since 1886, initially importing canes for basket making.  Since then the business has grown but the ethos is still the same, to quote their website, they still “supply materials to people who make things.” Like us!

If you would like to find out more about the fascinating history of Fred Aldous, click here.

We would like to say a big thank you to Fred Aldous for their generous support.

A little bit about us…

January 30, 2012

I suppose I had better introduce us.  My name is Helen Wheeler and I am exhibiting in a group exhibition called Reflection with John Brindley and Sam Brinsdon.  We are a small group of second year Fine Art students studying at Manchester Metropolitan University and we are all specialising in the area of painting.

This exhibition is part of our second year degree, a great opportunity for us to go out into Manchester and find a public space to show our work.  A great experience that we are all looking forward to.  Finding AWOL studios has been the first giant step of many and securing this gallery space for our exhibition early on in the process has meant we can now start to organise the finer details, not forgetting producing some work to exhibit!

This blog aims to chart our progress throughout this experience.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

The beginning…

January 26, 2012

Everything must have a beginning and our exhibition blog begins with our group visit to AWOL studios.

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Measurements taken and gallery space fully discussed we are looking forward to the exciting opportunity we have to exhibit at AWOL Studios Gallery.