Degree Show review:
Our exhibition was held in a large warehouse, a short walk from Coventry University. Located in “Coventry’s Creative Village”, the space was perfect to exhibit our artwork, however we had very few options as Coventry is somewhat lacking in contemporary exhibition spaces, but we adapted the space innovatively with help from our course leader Anthony Luvera.
We worked with highly skilled technicians who led the construction of wall space to fill the floor area. Anthony then utilised the curatorial assistance of Daniel C. Blight who spent a day with us introducing some order to the placement of works.
In terms of fundraising, a few dedicated individuals staged bake sales that were very successful, but when the need arose we all donated our own money to ensure we had enough funds. However, the University paid for the venue and financed the production of our catalogues, which were designed and printed by Rope Press in Birmingham.
Everybody was thrilled with the opening night. Everything came together in a natural, uplifting way and the space was bustling with visitors and conversation. It was a truly unique experience, which we can firmly say will be dear in the hearts of everyone involved for a very long time.
What piece of advice would you give to the next group of final year Photography students?
It’s important to be tolerant, compassionate and vocal. You’re a collective. You need to share your views but also acknowledge that your views aren’t the only ones. To lead, you need to listen, and you need to ask questions, rather than run away with your own views. It can seem like a complex situation, but if you are understanding, calm and fair, anything can be solved. Diplomacy is key. You need to support each other and be kind above all.
Is there anything that has influenced your degree show as a whole?
Our lecturers Anthony Luvera, Gemma Rose-Turnbull and Matt Johnston influenced the show to a degree, as they oversaw all procedures and would okay or veto ideas accordingly. The space itself also affected the final show as it dictated the scale of work for many people. We were very fortunate to have access to a vast selection of equipment provided by the University. Since we were such as large group made up of people with such different tastes and interests, it was difficult to create any real cohesion between the works, but not impossible.
How have you worked together as a year group to bring your degree show to life?
The class met weekly to discuss the production of the degree show. It became evident, that not everyone would agree. This progression led to a core group of people making decisions and then putting them to the group to vote on the decisions made. It’s fairly problematic for a group as large as 35 to achieve compromise through discussion, so like any democratic situation, after the facts have been stated; voting is the only real way to move things along productively. In addition, our lecturers, who are experienced practitioners and helped us with whatever we needed, supported our group.