Because we deal in group shows, we have a wide variety of work on display at any one time. That is a variety of medium, subject, size, shape, colour and style, so it is very easy for the whole concoction to look like the proverbial dog’s breakfast.
I have got into the habit of starting with the paintings first. There is only so much wall space, so I plan the hanging by moving the paintings around the room until I have a layout that is practically possible as well as aesthetically pleasing. One the paintings are ‘placed’ and I’m sure they will fit, then out comes my pretty, trusty, blue ladder; and up I go, with fishing wire, S hooks and some inspirational music on the Ipod.
Key indoor sculptures follow the paintings, as they need prime spots. Then I slowly work my way round the lovely array of ceramics, placing in sympathetic colour tones and withdrawing work once it looks too cluttered. I must walk miles across the concrete yard, carrying work out from the house to the gallery and back again if it doesn’t look right. I dream about the layout and wake up in the night with a eureka moment about where a particular piece should be placed.
Finally it is complete to the best of my ability. I always say a show looks as perfect as it is going to by 9.55am on opening day – and by 10.05am it is never the same again, as the first visitors come, pick up, look, put down and hopefully buy.