Molly has designed the BA (Hons) Costume 2014 Graduate Exhibition.
“I felt very strongly about wanting to take on this project because it’s the kind of job I aspire to have in the future, but one that often requires years of experience, so the chance to have a go now seemed like a fantastic opportunity to get a big exhibition project under my belt just as I’m graduating. Also, to see how it compares to set design.
Going to exhibitions has always been exciting for me, so a big part of the research was visiting museums and current exhibitions. I found lots of inspiration in the way information and exhibits were displayed so individually – to suit the nature of the work or art. Three big ones to mention are David Bowie Is… at The V&A, Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House and Hello My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum. They varied in scale and style and demonstrated how space can be used to guide a visitor in a certain way, or let them make their own decisions: creating a narrative.
Having gathered lots of images and ideas from current and past exhibitions I started considering how to display my peers’ work. There is such an incredible range of style and type of work on this course, that it seemed pointless to attempt to theme or group the exhibits and what would be important is to allow them to speak for themselves by providing the appropriate environment.
To show off the range of disciplines studied on the course I have specifically linked each exhibit to a colour, which refers back to construction, design, supervision or film. This provides a physical guide for visitors to follow, in the form of a pathway on the floor.
The difficult part of having a clear image of what I wanted it to be like in my head, was communicating this and then facing the realities of the design. Mainly being, that there is not enough space for the sheer volume of work. The challenge is then to rearrange and focus on the layout as a natural occurring part of the exhibition, rather than a cumbersome afterthought – something quite apparent once you’re walking around. To hope that the design can be finalised and nothing changed after a certain point is simply unrealistic, as adjustments will be made right up until the last minute – but that’s ok! As with set design, I’m expecting my favourite part to come when the build begins to happen and everything starts shaping up right in front of you, by then it’s far too late to worry.
This project has been very challenging, not letting the pressure of doing my course mates justice interfere with my design, and keeping on top of the paperwork has been difficult, but I am very excited to see the final show in a couple of weeks, with all the work in all it’s glory!”