Over the summer I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to put on a solo photography exhibition in the small gallery in Lyme Regis Museum. Quite unusually, I had the space for a full three months, the opportunity for a lot of tourist throughput.
To be honest, when I was offered the chance a year ago, I had no idea what was involved, being naïve in the world of exhibitions…. I mean, Chelsea and Ben make it all look so easy! As the date got closer, I started to think about it more and work out what was needed.
First step, choosing the photos. The title I had been asked to work to was Coast Cliff and Crashing waves. Sounds easy enough, but I had to consider the audience, which I figured was mainly tourists staying in Lyme Regis, but with some people staying elsewhere along the coast. So, I needed a good number of Lyme photos (which led to several enjoyable trips over there) and then a good range from the rest of the coast, including a bunch from West Bay, on my doorstep.
Also, I felt that because it was a primarily a tourist market, I wouldn’t put up too many of my more textural black and white images, but a mixture, including crowd pleasers, like the rainbow with Beach Huts from Lyme Regis. Chelsea assured me that curating my own exhibition would not be easy, and she was right, but I enjoyed it!
Ok, so the next stage – the printing – was easy, I put my order in to Ben, and he printed them all on finest Shed aluminium. Surely that was it. But no, I then needed a poster to publicise it, and a flyer to put around town to promote it. That took a bit of time (and money). In retrospect I think a colour image would have been better for the poster, but it looked ok.
After the poster I produced some flyers, business cards and hand-outs, and bought a visitors book. I also had to think about how people could buy the prints, as the exhibition had to last the full three months, this was again made easy by using the Shed to fulfil any orders. In fact, I didn’t sell that many, but had a lot of positive comments in person, and in the guest book.
So, all that remained was to get the drill out and fix the images to the wall, put up the labels, print some greetings cards, and create a mini-installation of some rocks, shells, fossils and a old camera or two. Job done. Oh and the private view was important too, not just for the wine, but for a couple of sales.
You can see the photos I chose for the exhibition if you go to my shed profile and scroll down to near the bottom.
My thanks go to the Lyme Regis Museum staff and volunteers – it’s a great little museum, and if you haven’t been, it is worth a visit www.lymeregismuseum.co.uk – and to Ben from the Shed.
My next exhibition – ‘Locally Sourced’ – is from the 4th to the 23rd December in Bridport Tourist Information Centre and I will be showing old and new work for sale just in time for that perfect Christmas present. It is open 10-3 Monday to Saturday and I will have a range of cards on sale too.