Installing Exhibitions: A practical guide

Exhibiting your work is always exciting, but how do you know what the right way to display your artwork is? What fixings should you use? What’s the best way to light your work? How do you make a shelf for your 3-D pieces to stand on? Even if you have a professional gallery install and curate your art for you, it’s always handy to know how to the practical side of things work. And if you’re doing it all yourself, then it’s really important to know the best and safest way to do things. So, it’s time to look at another useful book from the hai bookshelf!

Installing Exhibitions: A practical guide, by Pete Smithson, does exactly what it says on the cover. If you want to know how to transport, fix, hang and display your prints, paintings, 3-D or audiovisual work, this book will give you the information you need. Pete Smithson is the Technical Manager for Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in London, so he definitely knows his stuff!

The book starts off by asking you to consider the space that you are using, then briefly talks about risk and health and safety issues (important as you will have people visiting your show). Next it looks at the tools you’ll need, how to prepare the space, and how to safely pack and move your work. There is plenty of information about different types of wall fixings plus a chapter on using rigging to suspend items. For 2-D artwork, there is advice on how to plan where to put the pieces so they look their best and how to hang different works. For those artists who create audiovisual art, there is a chapter that covers using projectors, video and audio, how to install the equipment and what to check to make sure it works.

If you fancy having a go at a bit of construction, this book will show you how to make various shelves and plinths. The final chapter looks at electrics (UK, Europe and North America), managing all those cables and using lighting. At the end of the book is a glossary and space to make notes.

This is a great book for anyone who exhibits their own or other people’s work at any level (or who is planning to). It’s totally hands-on and full of useful advice and plenty of diagrams. We recommend it!

Publishing info –
Title: Installing Exhibitions: A practical guide
Author: Pete Smithson
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. (2009)
ISBN: 978-1-4081-1016-4

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