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Imagining Islands: Artists and Escape

6 June 2013 by admin

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Joseph Funnell and Amelia Smith, MA Curating the Art Museum Students

Greetings from the MA Curating the Art Museum students!

With two weeks to go until our exhibition Imagining Islands: Artists and Escape opens at The Courtauld Gallery, we thought it would be a great time to introduce ourselves and let you know what we have in store.

We are a group of twelve MA students at The Courtauld Institute of Art, and as part of our course we have spent the past six months brainstorming, planning, and now finally putting together an exciting show that we hope you will come and visit.

Our challenge was to come up with an exhibition concept that responded to The Courtauld Gallery’s Summer Showcase Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the ’20s.

After lots of research and many heated debates we decided to draw inspiration from Gauguin’s exotic travels to the Tahitian islands and his desire to escape the monotony of everyday life.

We were lucky enough to have access to artworks from The Courtauld Gallery and the Arts Council. The broad historical scope of these collections, from the early Renaissance to the present day, gave us the opportunity to think about how islands have formed a subject for the artistic imagination across time.

After having visited works in their stores, and much playing about with models, we are now coming to the end of our journey and are putting the finishing touches to the exhibition.

Using a Google Sketch-Up model to decide on the way the works will be hung in the gallery.

Using a Google Sketch-Up model to decide on the way the works will be hung in the gallery

One of the most exciting and difficult decisions for any curator is choosing the right wall colours to complement the works and create the right atmosphere.

The decision was a hard one and we won’t give anything away yet, but we suggest you come along and let us know if you think we have made the right choice!

Painting up boards with different colours to test them out in The Gallery

Painting up boards with different colours to test them out in The Gallery

We will also be running a programme of events to run alongside our exhibitions and explore the theme of islands further so look out for updates on our website. We will also be giving you a behind the scenes look at the installation on a future blog post so watch this space!

Imagining Islands: Artists and Escape is open from 20 June- 21 July.

We’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment or tweet using #ImaginingIslands @MACurating

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