So, we are now a long way through the project of setting up the Magritte exhibition.
The culmination of lots of hard work from most of the team at the Gallery is only a few weeks away. The building, painting and other preparation is almost complete and the arrival of Magritte’s paintings began on 6 June.
Achieving this was a little stressful at times despite being a relatively simple plan. If you read my first blog you will know that we were looking into using veneers (wood coverings) as a design element in the exhibition. We have now managed to achieve this although at one stage we had an amusing scenario of many samples of coloured, textured and varnished veneers adorning the walls like a row of pictures - very surreal. I wonder whether Magritte would have approved.
We also followed the veneer with a procession of samples of carpet, paint colours and materials all needing careful consideration. Christoph and Darren worked hard on making these choices. Although I always get a bit twitchy at these times with half an eye on the time schedule. However the finished galleries look great ready for all the paintings.
Our whole team of Art Handlers are now on site and have begun work on the installation. It’s always good to bring our team in again. They are a great bunch of people, many characters, many different backgrounds, and many talents. Many good friends and people committed to our work.
The first thing we do is meet. Lots of the team have been working on other projects so we need to bring them up to speed on the Magritte exhibition. Our curator Darren Pih will talk through the show and we will discuss the plan with everyone. Then I will pontificate about some particular important points of operation (I think the team kinda expects this). And then at last the Paintings arrive!
Yes. The time we have all been waiting for. Waiting for the first crate rolling out from our goods lift. Art handlers, Couriers, Conservators, Curators, and Registrars wait like expectant parents as the crates arrive. My colleague Wendy Lothian, Tate Liverpool’s Registrar will be blogging next Thursday about her role in producing the exhibition.
Then it’s all kinda weird and surreal because the next two weeks are about focusing on the careful work of handling and hanging the exhibition. There is little time to look. Little time to absorb the paintings until the exhibition is ready and open. Then, its party time!