Curating “Black & White” Exhibition

This week I’ve been really busy curating Umbrella Studio’s annual members’ show. This year the theme was Black and White, challenging members to be creative using only these colours. I was guided by our regular exhibition & projects coordinator: Angela Cheung. The plan went a bit like this…

Monday - we took down the previous exhibition and I did most of the lay-out for the black and white show. Works were mostly grouped by medium or or content. For example one wall contains most of the canvas works, another unframed paper works. The main wall is home to all the larger works, and there are a couple of installations in the front window (which look GREAT from the street!).

Tuesday - Hanging day 1 with many volunteers (Thank you so much guys!!).

Wednesday - Hanging day 2 with more volunteers and start of labelling, plus installations were installed (Thanks again to those volunteers!).

Thursday - Finishing of labels, tidy-up of works. We had to check the heights and that the works were all parallel to the floor – no crooked art. Also ABC Radio came to interview the Director, Vicki Salisbury, myself, an artist (Robert Henry) from the show, and Marion Gaemers, one of our installation volunteers and long-time member and artist of Umbrella. We also did the gallery lighting.

Friday - We prepared the gallery for the opening night – vacuum, mop, etc. Any minor changes.


I have learned a lot curating this exhibition, and enjoyed the experience. I have a couple of tips for anyone curating!

1. Don’t plan anything until all the work is present. As soon as new work is introduced, it can change the whole dynamic.

2. Leave plenty of time for doing labels and adjustments. This can take the show from ‘average’ to a very polished production.

3. Take all advice with a grain of salt. If you’re with assertive people they will try to tell you what to do constantly! You need to trust your own judgement and hold your ground. On the other hand, sometimes other’s ideas can be very good! So you also need to be open to those and consider things.

Well that’s it! The exhibition opened last night and I had many compliments that it “really gelled” and what an incredible show it was. One man told me how well I had done and said I must be very pleased with myself. I’d have to agree with him!


Posted in Projects