I thought I’d give you an update on where we are with the installation of the Gauguin exhibition. All last week the contractors were stripping out the temporary galleries, fixtures and fittings from the previous Tate Modern show (Francis Alys) in the East Wing, and then constructing and painting the walls, displays units and plinths for the Gauguin exhibition. This finished on Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning the galleries were handed over to the exhibition team to begin preparing for the installation of works. It’s always a very strange feeling walking into an empty exhibition gallery. I wandered around, from gallery to gallery, thinking how enormous the spaces were! The wall colours look great - I’m really pleased with them. For those of you who read my blog on wall colours, we decided to go for warm, light grey/browns for the main exhibition galleries, and a rich ‘Prussian’ blue for the documentary sections, which you can see for yourself when you come to the show. I should at this point tell you a bit more about the Gauguin exhibition team. There is me, as project leader and co-curator, then two further Tate curators, Amy Dickson and Maeve Polkinhorn, and two guest curators, Belinda Thomson, who conceived the exhibition, and Vincent Gille, who has selected the documentary material on Gauguin (which is fascinating). Our registrar, Stephanie Bush, has co-ordinated all the shipments of works and the installation schedule. We also have a team of conservators and technicians who specialise in different media, works on paper, works on canvas, sculpture and frames, and art technicians, who unpack, position and install the works. With over 150 works of art and 5 days to install, we have had to hit the ground running. Works of art have been arriving at Tate Modern for about the last ten days (a lot of the documentary material turned up a month ago so that our conservation teams could start preparing them for display). Those works of art that are flown in from around the world travel in the cargo hold of passenger planes. (Did you know that?) So you may have been sitting on an aeroplane at one time or another with a famous Picasso, Monet or Gauguin in a crate below you! Once the works arrive at Tate, they’re often given 24 hours to acclimatise before we open the crates to check their condition, and finalise where they’ll to be hung. This is especially the case if they’ve travelled long distances. And this is where the couriers come into the process. Many of them will have accompanied the works from their own galleries, and they oversee the works being removed from their crates, conditioned checked with our team of conservators and then hung on the walls or placed into display cases by our art technicians. But you know it is all worth it when you see wonderful works coming into the space, ready to be placed. Yesterday we installed The Yellow Christ and The Green Christ in the ‘Sacred Themes’ section of the show. And this afternoon we are installing The Vision of the Sermon and Christ in the Garden of Olives in the same gallery. It is so exciting seeing it come together! I’ll keep you posted….