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Crazy weather we’ve been having, eh? The semi-arctic conditions in Sunderland and Newcastle mean that things have been a little bit slow around the gallery these days, giving me time to finally follow-up on the Re-make/Re-model install!
Installation was completed just in time for the exhibition preview (whew!), thanks to the combined efforts and hard work of the artists, NGC curators, staff and a group of amazing volunteers. To put this quantitatively: 144 coats of paint had been applied to the walls (each of the 36 coloured sections of Lothar Goetz’s House of Rainer Werner Fassbinder received 4 coats of paint), 800 tin cans and beer bottles washed and dried, and 14,000 glass marbles arranged painstakingly on the gallery floor. All of this work, and much more, crammed into a 10 day installation schedule.
To kick off the show’s opening night, Simon Greer, founder of Nulife Glass, gave a talk demystifying the innovative process he developed for de-leading Cathode Ray Tube glass, a material that can be found in the chunky old TV sets and ancient computer screens. NGC and Nulife Glass worked with artist Lucy Harvey to incorporate these recycled materials into brand new sculptural works for the exhibition. After Simon’s lecture, guests were free to roam around Re-make/Re-model and Waste Not, Want Not, while enjoying drinks and nibbles (Throwingstones does some especially nice nibbles -- as a student, I’ve developed a pretty sophisticated palate when it comes to free snacks). We had a great turnout to celebrate these fantastic exhibitions!
I invigilated Re-make/Re-model the next day and spent a good part of the morning sweeping cracker crumbs off the floor… messy remains of a lively opening night! The show had been open to the public for about 4 hours before the first incident occurred… involving Steven Emmanuel’s Rorschach’s Rug, an eager visitor, and an accidental foot graze. Luckily, the damage was minimal; a small handful of the marbles (out of the 14,000 that make up the rug) were scattered across the floor. Because the marbles aren’t glued down and aren’t contained in their rectangular formation by any sort of material boundary, this kind of accident seemed almost inevitable. In truth, it was a relief to get this first, and hopefully last, small hiccup out of the way at the very beginning. The situation was immediately remedied by placing small barriers in front of the work, which allow visitors to walk around the rug and get a good close look at the marbles, while discouraging people from actually touching it. Since then, thankfully, we’ve had no major mishaps! The marble incident is part of the ongoing process of maintaining and evaluating an exhibition, which continues even after the gallery doors have been opened to the public.
Brave the snow and stop in to see Re-make/Re-model and Waste, Not, Want Not!