Monday, June 4, 2018

Diary of an exhibition hang

As noted in my earlier post, PATTERNS OF COLLECTING/From the Bower at The Johnston Collection, opened to the public today. Hours before this evening's preview event for the Friends of the Johnston Collection, I look back on the week that was, wherein the show was installed over a period of 5 days.

Sunday, 27 May (Day 1): At our Abbotsford place as Alice watches on high, my packing is finally completed. After a late morning drop-off to the Johnston Collection, the placing of our artwork and collection objects within the Johnston Collection is still in the early stages, but progression has definitely been made. 

Monday, 28 May (Day 2): Seemingly endless unpacking and placement continues. By day’s end we’re all exhausted but feeling less overwhelmed as our collective vision starts to take form.

Tuesday, 29 May (Day 3): Gradual but definite progress is made, including the painstaking installation of the combined collections wall by Loris Button and Carole Wilson.

Wednesday, 30 May (Day 4): By day’s end, we’re just about done, and a collective sigh of relief is heaved. Tattooed Faces Sampler (1997), a seasoned veteran of our show’s tour, now hangs in the magnificent Passage to India Room. In the hall, a swarm of insect women hover outside the entrance to the Natural History Room directly opposite. Further down the hallway, through the Boudoir and into the adjoining Sitting Room, a life- sized linocut on fabric, Daughter of Time (1997) hangs alongside artwork by Carole Wilson, one of several of her works that directly reference the house and its collection. Down the staircase and into the Wunderkammer Room, where a glorious lace-filled dome by Louise Saxton is reflected in the mirror, as is the artist herself, along with museum director Louis Le Vaillant and Robbie and Dorothy, just two of the museum’s tireless workers who have played an enormous part in the installation of our show.

Thursday, 31 May (Day 5): In the Wunderkammer Room under the benevolent gaze of Baroque-era portrait painter Mary Beale, Louise, Loris, Carole and I begin the first of two walk-through sessions with the museum guides.