My painting, "Participation Mystique," at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham, South London.

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This past June, MA students at UAL Camberwell College of Arts participated in an interim group show at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham. I exhibited a painting in it, seen in the photos above, entitled "Participation Mystique," as well as being on the curatorial and hanging committee. Although I have previous experience working and exhibiting in various art galleries in the United States and the United Kingdom, it was still a new and valuable experience. I always enjoy the excitement of bringing a show together, and of course being in it. I enjoy being a part of an exhibition, organising and hammering out all the details that make a show successful, but there's nothing like actually hanging a show, and I feel this is where my true strength lies. I really come alive during this stage and take great pride in the shows I install. The arrangement of work is very important to me. I want the artists to be represented the best they can be, giving their work the greatest advantage. The arrangement and space between the artwork is vital. This applies to artwork on the walls and on the floor. I usually go with the less is more philosophy to create a strong cohesive show. I definitely like to give the artwork room to breathe, allowing enough exposed wall and open floor to give the mind space to relax and really absorb the art. However, sometimes there is more artwork than wall space, and the less is more philosophy is not an option, like in our show at the Copeland Gallery, so hanging in a salon style can be a great solution. Salon style takes its name and appearance from the salons of the 19th century, where artworks were squeezed onto walls as part of academic competitions. This style can look very nice if done well, and I think we pulled this off at the Copeland Gallery. We utilised the largest room in the gallery for this style of hanging. I usually prefer to hang artwork in a row at eye level, the standard 58 inches from the floor to the centre of the piece. This is a general rule of thumb museums and galleries follow. Sometimes I like to create interesting groupings, but I usually still follow the rule of 58 inches from the floor to the centre of the grouping. Lighting is very important when installing a show. Hopefully there is enough spotlights in the gallery, but sometimes spotlights are limited, so you have to get strategic, and in this case you have to decide which pieces get the most light, and that can be tricky. Sometimes you can cross the light to spread it out, and provide a more pleasing coverage. I cannot stress how important lighting is in an exhibition. There were some issues with lighting at the Copeland Gallery show, some artists felt their artwork didn't get the needed lighting, spotlights would have been helpful in the darker areas of the gallery to solve these problems, but you have to work with what you have and get creative. The Copeland Gallery is a gorgeous spacious gallery, and the natural lighting was very nice. We were fortunate to have sunny days during the exhibition, so lighting wasn't really an issue, but I imagine lighting problems could arise there after the sun goes down. There were a lot of people making decisions at the Copeland Gallery installation, but I felt everyone worked well together.

Overall, I feel the interim group show at the Copeland Gallery was successful. It was short, running only several days, but I felt it gave those that never exhibited in a gallery before a good taste of what it's like, and served as a practice run for the upcoming MA Fine Art Graduate in September. I'm planning to exhibit my latest painting, entitled "Trickster." I feel this work strongly represents the development in my style and the growth in my personality that occurred this past year at UAL Camberwell. 


After graduation from UAL Camberwell, I plan to continue painting and exhibiting my work. I will continue to network and curate shows. 

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My painting, "Trickster," in a group crit at UAL Camberwell.

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Update:

My painting, "Demiurge," was selected for the London Grads Now.21 show at Saatchi Gallery. It ran for two months. 04/11/21 - 16/01/22