Happy Birthday Queen of Pin-Ups & Burlesque Star Bettie Page!

Today would have been the stunningly wonderful Bettie Mae Page’s 90th birthday. Everyone knows who the sex symbol was whether they recognised her from Pin-Ups and Playboy or from her many underwear shoots and burlesque shows. Her life wasn’t all wonderful but we’re here to celebrate her and what better way than to look at her in all her liberating glory. Continue reading

Exhibition, Behind the Scenes- “This Is Who We Are.”

So, it’s ok showing up to an exhibition on opening day looking at art then leaving. Artists appreciate that you have made the effort to get out and look at their art. Has anyone considered the effort that goes into organising this exhibition?


York St John University degree show- Create 13 or as we have named it, “This is Who we are,” Is a month away -I’ll put details of that later-. In exhibition time, you probably won’t be able to see the mayhem and- in some cases misery (The class may be awesome at art but not every piece of work we create, will be seen as, “Perfect,” Also the amount of tutorials and crits- yes we have to sign up to get our work reviewed and the tutors and the class try to tell the honest truth- puts us through our paces.)

We started this semester end of January, we have been timetabled in for weekly tutorials, three crits- we actually had our second crit session this week, 3 official exhibition meetings. Overall, since January we have been given around 12/13 term time weeks to create a super fantastic understandable, “Appropriate,*” Piece of work for the exhibition.

*I say appropriate, art can be made to insult people etc but under university rules they could have some problems.

That’s the art.


The Exhibition.

The first thing what officially started the run up to this exhibition was choosing the name. It took a few weeks to finally vote that this exhibition would be called, “This is who we are.” It was a majority vote, so I doubt everyone is happy with it but we are stuck with it… I guess the comfort is the exhibition can also be referred to, “Create 13.”

If you go to an exhibition you’ll find everything is laid out in order, so you can get around, or in some cases though it. Video art and art that involves primarily lights(- e.g one artist in our group likes experimenting in UV), of course it might be best if it is in a dark room, and if your gallery space doesn’t have a dark room, or the dark room isn’t big enough… Case we have at YSJ there is one black room, there are 30/29 of us in this exhibition and as contemporary artists lights and video art is bound to be something a few of us would be interested in- e.g. I know at least one artist in the exhibition who has been working at videos on the Macs. So, a space may need to be adapted to accommodate other video art, this means walls may need to be put up and painted black, (Most galleries are painted white).

Behind the scenes, we have had to- with help from our super tech tutors and of course the super lecturers- curate where the art is going to go. Walls are going to have to be taken down, walls are going to have to be put up all to accommodate the size of the art we are creating, it’s not a case of we have all painted pictures of landscapes or stuff which can be framed and mounted on walls.

Four weeks to the exhibition most of us still don’t have a final piece yet- I’m not saying we are all panicking, we are all cool, we eat panic and stress for breakfast… I’ll do another blog post if anyone actually breaks down. The floor plan probably won’t be finalised till every one works out what they are doing. It’s not just a case of, “Ohhh you can go there, you can go there… You can go on the roof*!” *Health and Safety dictates no one is going on the roof- again I’ll do another blog post if that changes… it might be a bit insensitive though if I did a blog post if someone broke down on the roof though. Even though we are not 100% sure what the end product will be some co-ordination is needed. An Artist needs to think, if their art might clash with another artist, there are 29 -possibly 30- individual artists exhibiting in, “This is Who we are.” But a case we had in our January exhibition, “Project 26,” located in The New School House Gallery, I know my comic work could have been mixed up with another artists on the course.

We have to also think about Health and Safety. We had a exhibition meeting today where it was discussed, areas which are cornered off, need to be easy to accessed for disabled people. Just because they have a physical disability that shouldn’t be a barrier into art, art can actually help people feel better. Also emergency exits have to be thought of. The gallery needs to be easy to move though. Any future artists out there, -note putting a piece of art… or anything… which blocks a fire exit is a health and safety risk- you’ve been warned.

For this exhibition and I’m sure most exhibitions you have to complete a, “Risk Assessment,” I am not going though how to fill one out, I’ve been filling them out 2 years and I still have no idea what to put. Best asking someone who actually knows how to fill one out. But a Risk assessment is a big thing. If your art has a risk of falling off the wall, plinth etc, people need to know so a way can be found to stop this from happening. Think of it, you go into a gallery something falls on you, your not going to be happy are you? Also if your the artist and the work gets ruined, your not going to be happy are you? Shock Horror I know us doing art degrees actually have to think what we are doing! A risk assessment can be filled out multiple times- and not just because someone didn’t fill it out right the first time- changes in work can present new risks. So, us in the, “This is who we are,” Exhibition have to think about the audiences safety as well as our art.

Other things which have to be sorted out for this exhibition- yes there is more. Hospitality, well we need wine on opening night. Publicity- we need people to come to this exhibition. Invigilators- you know those people who work for the gallery and are often sitting by the art work? They actually have to do more than just sit there- I don’t mean more as in breathing and sitting they actually have jobs to do. Next week- hopefully- we will be sorting out the invigilator timetable. This is so the art work can be maintained- if it involves perfume, like one artists work did for Project 26 the invigilator will have to spray the perfume every so often, they also have the job of making sure everything is running smoothly and the audience gets the full exhibition.

The point is, more goes into an exhibition, than the art work. I haven’t even mentioned the money and resources which have to go into an exhibition. “This is who we are,” Is a degree show, we are third year university students, art is something all of us a passionate about so of course we want to put our hearts and souls into this exhibition and want the audience to see that. Chances are, especially looking at the overall personality of the class, this is is going to be a kick ass exhibition what we have put all our resources into.


Details of the Exhibition 

I know York isn’t in everyones area, but I’m sure there will be a review on this after. I do suggest you go to any degree show, it’s a chance to see up and coming talent. Plus you never know something could happen in that exhibition that person could be come famous then if the story is gossip worthy you could sell your story to some magazine.

The Link to the exhibition-


If you are too busy to click on the link, put this in your diary.

“This is Who We Are,” (Create 13)

Art Block at York St John University and The New School House Gallery, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PW

Preview: 17 May 2013, 6-9 pm (both venues)

Opening times: 18 May – 1 June, Tue – Sat: 10-5 pm, Sun: 12-4 pm (both venues)

Or for more details look out on- https://twitter.com/Create_13

Or I’d be happy to help

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