Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Visual Jazz: Creating the Exhibition

Before the workshop, I have been resting for a few days in Concord. It is a beautifully preserved town with an English feel despite it being the birth of the revolution. While I have been enjoying walking about the leafy streets admiring the weatherboard houses, huge broadleaves trees and interesting bird sounds, Lucy Lacoste, the gallerist, has been working on the exhibition display. She has a particular ability to call on an intuitive intense focus on each piece, and is creating a vivid strength of environment for each artwork in the show.

She works slowly, very slowly, she has been working on the display for nearly five days, with her tireless indefatigable helper, Linda. Lucy lays out all the work on the floor in what looks like a jumble, and spends time absorbing the form and colour and sense of each piece, so that her creativity can come into play with the exhibition layout. She does not like having artists around while she is doing this, and was visibly relieved when I said I would stay away and leave it to her as she knows the space. I was tired when I got here, so it suited me too!

During the five days she was working on the display she was as focussed and as intense as I am when I am in the studio creating the work; although I dropped in to the gallery a couple of times to see if I could be of any help lifting pieces, Lucy was polite and kind but it was clear her mind was elsewhere. She was thinking about each piece and how it would look in relation to each other piece around it. It is a great art, the art of display and exhibition ‘hanging’, and can only be done quietly and without distractions.    

And now that the display is done and the work on show it is clear that Lucy has done an excellent job. Each piece sings.

She was a potter herself originally, and so understands the medium and the people in it. She has the great respect of all the ceramic artists in the USA and shows the best of them, so I am in very good company. She shows adventurous work, and is not afraid to experiment, to welcome new directions.

Sandy Brown is an internationally renowned ceramicist who lives and works in North Devon. She is the Art Advisor at Resurgence magazine.
Find out more about Sandy Brown:

Visual Jazz exhibition takes place at Lacoste Gallery from 16 July to 3 August 2011

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