Exhibition Context Research & Rationale

To commence my research for exhibition methodologies, I am exploring the relationship between the utilisation of plinth and wall space. My idea is to present my work in such a way where the viewer can be drawn in by large visual wall pieces and then interact with a physical artefact set in front. 

The work that I propose to exhibit will be two A1 sized posters (wall pieces) and an A5 paperback book atop a tall plinth (physical interactive artefact).


Figure 1. From Torafu Architects, n.d. (torafu.com, 2017).

This is the first image I retrieved which somewhat iterates my idea of having a large poster situated on the wall with a plinth standing in front of it. The large poster serves as a means of attracting and drawing the viewer in, while the smaller kettle is placed on a plinth nearby and situated at a height that unifies the artefacts at eye level. Similar to this set up, I would like my plinth to stand before my two posters. Rather than having floor space on either side, my thoughts are to have the plinth flush to the wall; the audience would view and approach my exhibit from the front. I do not feel there is a need to have my audience move around the plinth as the object displayed would be my book, which can be picked up and flicked through from the front.


Figure 2. From Artists Book Exhibition in Perth, 2017. (exhibitions.artistsbook.lt, 2017). 

This image is sourced from “Between the Sheets” Artists’ book Exhibition (Gallery Central, Perth, Australia). Here, I’m examining the various plinth sizes. The taller plinths that establish their artefacts at a greater height are the most influential as they lift their objects to eye level. This positioning also allows for people to pick up, flick through and interact with the books without having to bend. In my case, I would like for people to be able to pick up and look through my book if they desire. The plinths are also white in colour, which blend into the background of the wall and do not detract from the artefacts themselves. White is also a clean crisp colour which allows for coloured imagery to contrast and stand out from the negative wall space.

Xavier university art gallery

Figure 3. From Xavier University Art Gallery, 2017. (theculturetrip.com, 2017).

Here is another image from Cincinnati’s Xavier University Art Gallery which also utilises the taller, white plinths to bring the artefacts to eye level. Yet again, the objects on the wall and plinths stand out as they contrast against the white.


Figure 4. Muji Award Exhibition, 2015. (www.amusing.ly, 2017).

In this image from the Muji Award Exhibition first held in China, not only are the plinths flush to the wall – the posters are situated above the plinth with their bottoms ending close to the plinth’s top surface. This is the closest example I have found of how I imagine my own work to relate to each other. The two posters would rest just above the top of my plinth, creating a sense of unity between the two different artefacts displayed. The lighting in this shot is also somewhat a reflection of the potential rear design room space in which I will be proposing to exhibit my work along with the other design students. The floors here are grey with a white wall as is the rear design room at EIT.


Figure 5.  From Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, 2014. (The New York Times, 2017).

This is an image of “The Parakeet and the Mermaid (La Perruche et la Sirène)” (1952) by Henri Matisse which was on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I am using this image to demonstrate my how a large, brightly coloured image is effective at contrasting and standing out against a crisp, white background. It creates a sense of dominance, drawing the viewer into examine the work further. The man in this frame is also a good example of how I imagine people to view my work too; from the front/standing before it.


Figure 6. Close-up of posters at Scotland’s International Poster Exhibition. (warriorsstudio.com, 2017).

I have selected this close-up image to demonstrate the space between the two posters. There is a clearly defined white space between each poster, providing a sense of harmony and balance as they rest side by side at the same level. It is good to have the gap between each image to differentiate one from the other, to eliminate overcrowding or cramming the individual pieces together.


Figure 7. Posters by Dawn Gardner, 2011. (www.creativereview.co.uk, 2017).

After looking at many ways to hang posters, I came across these posters by Graphic Designer, Dawn Gardner, pinned to the wall at the D&AD New Blood series of 2011. I want to hang my posters with clear pins such as these or flat round white/clear pins. This will create a more informal aesthetic but this will match my work as the posters are of studio based work. This method would also allow for my posters to be easily and quickly secured to the wall above my plinth. They will not be blown around by wind or bow the paper too much.


Figure 8. Exhibit stand at D&AD New Blood, 2013. (www.creativereview.co.uk, 2017)

Here is another stand at a D&AD New Blood exhibition where the illustrator has displayed his posters using pins.

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 7.42.37 PM

Figure 9. Example of plinth stand, n.d. (www.luminati.co.uk, 2017)

I have found a plinth online that looks similar to the plinth I have secured for myself, the only difference is that mine is white.


It would also be a good idea to include a bookstand on top of my plinth so that my book would rest on a tilted angle, will not fall over and can have its pages turned reducing the damage of the book. The bookstand would need to be made for an A5 size book and the image sourced above gives dimensions for doing so. If I were to go through with this idea, I would have to make this from perspex and would need to ask Hayden for some assistance in this area.


Figure 10. Example of book stand, n.d. (www.aliexpress.com, 2017)

My Rationale

My research has visually informed my decisions regarding the utilisation of plinth, wall space and their relationship around audience and room. I examined how the use of a white wall and plinth can create a contrasting relationship with colourful artefacts so as not to detract from the exhibit. Using a tall plinth and book stand can secure and bring the artefact situated on top to eye-level, enabling my artefact (A5 book) to be easily viewed/flicked through. A tall plinth flush to the wall will elevate my artefact to a height which unifies it with my two posters pinned on the wall behind. This set up would enable the audience to view all elements of my exhibit from the front as desired. The use of large posters will draw the viewer in to notice my smaller A5 book. Finally, I explored how the use of pins to attach my work resembles the informal feeling of studio-based work, while a bookstand will tilt my book so that people may look through it.

Sophie Wilkin.



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