After we split into the groups we began thinking on where would we want the exhibition to be.
The Departure lounge (the place where the a few of the current third year photography students had their exhibition) was closed, so that was not an option any more. The other group from the third years had theirs in The Bear club, but I did not want to have ours there, because the interior does not suggest an art exhibition or at least what needed the venue to be. I did e-mail them to see if they were even free for the time, but their answer was that they had too much going on in the next two months and were not interested in people putting up work at the moment. We were looking for something more traditional. A plain white wall room with adequate lighting.
I found a place on John street near the University on Zoopla and booked a meeting with the agent from the firm. When we met and showed up the place in person it was was pretty good, had plenty of lights. The problem with it was that on the advert it said £800 pa ( £67 pcm ), which was more than amazing, but the agent said that must have been a fault of person that uploaded the ad and that the price was £800 pcm and they do not do short term contracts.
The rest of the group asked around Luton, but nothing. We checked out The Hat factory as well, but their galley room was in use and they told us we cannot have for the end of April. They had another room on the second floor, which needed a lot of work to be close to useable. The walls were all covered with graffiti, there was a lot of furniture and other objects that needed to be moved elsewhere. Our problem with it was the amount of work the room needed. And after a lot of talking about what needed to be done to the room, we were told we can have it for only four days, which was the deal breaker, the project was aimed at no less than five days.
Caroline Wallace from The Hat Factory took us to another place in High Town called Flamingo Arts. A small community workshop ran by her and a few more. The place seemed nice, simple, white walls, many lights, etc. At first they wanted to give us the front bit of the shop, but for four people there was no way we could fit any work there. Caroline did eventually agreed on letting us use the rest of the shop, But we had to come along on the weekend before the exhibition to clean up the place. Meaning moving tables, chairs, infinite amount of boxes and plastic bags. Clearing the walls from images, etc.
It was a lot of work as well, but we manage to finish quite fast. I did a quick sweep of the floor and it seemed like that place was not cleaned since the shop had opened. After taking all the papers and images off the walls we notice a lot of dirt and markings. Caroline gave us a small bucket of paint to cover them up. Me being the OCD person the group took as a responsibility to make sure the images were the correct height from the floor, the spacing between the images is the same and that they are of course straight. After all the measuring was done we put velcro strips and blue tac on the images and mounted them on the wall. At that point we realized the lighting was not good enough. They were way too weak so we changed twelve of them. We cleaned the front windows and put up the vinyl sign we made for them along with the opening times for the exhibition.
The price she told was in the beginning was £25, but on the week of the exhibition she told us she wants £50. We did not do a big fuss about it, since the price was still pretty low. But considering everything we did for them seemed not fair changing the price.
After we closed the exhibition on friday we stayed for an hour afterwards taking down the work, cleaning the walls and the opening times from the door.
On Saturday I walked back up to return the key.