Well its finally done and dusted ....my first exhibition has come to an end and what a journey !!
If you had told me a year a go i would be mounting my first immersive street photography exhibition i would of said f..... well you know what i would of said if you know me ;)
I now have some understanding of what it takes to mount a pretty large installation of your own work,it has made me aware of a lot of pitfalls involved ....
- Get the work ready and curated as soon as possible.
- You will never be fully prepared.
- Do not make decisions at 5am after doing 15 hour days.
- If it can go wrong it will.....& a bit more.
- Set out clear plans in writing & agree with all parties from the outset.
- Be flexible....see above :).
- Do not make 5am decisions.
- The work takes priority over everything....Exhibition ...clues in the title.
- Get outside help if possible(i never would have stood a chance without this ) & be open to constructive criticism of your work.
- 20 hours doing something you love = 1hour doing something you don't.
- Give it everything and treat it as your last chance.
- Blood ,sweat & tears are normal......literally.
- Promote your arse off,its down to you to get your network to see your hard work,be available whenever possible,moments like this are not standard in photography.
- Expect the printers to get something wrong,mine did and it added an extra week to the process!!
- don't make 5am decisions ....ever...!
- You need a very understanding partner who is also your voice of reason ...helps if they are also s... hot with painting,artistic & remind you to eat x!!!
- The local coffee hangout is your best friend to escape to,breathe & helps if they are your friends :).
- double espresso flat whites are your fuel.
- Pick a few hours while it is mounted to sit and walk the exhibition alone ,take in what you have done and feel proud.
There are probably a 100 more things to add to the above list,I've always been able to put in a shift,a good days graft,so was ok with all the long hours and running around but when you put on top of this,curating just over 30 images from thousands i have,editing them,finding printers,getting test prints,editing more for printer profiles,painting the space,trying to light the space all on a really tight budget(i went over).Measuring the space & making various mounting plans for images,curating images on your own is an impossible task,have someone who you can trust to be honest,knows their stuff & have a neutral opinion ( i did and it made a huge difference)
All in all i enjoyed everything about it,even the dodgy bits because they wasn't bad bits just lessons learn't. The feedback i have received has been so positive and beyond my imagination.
From showing my family around and seeing their reactions,to all the people who came to support & help,old friends i hadn't seen for over 20 years,to new friends & friends who i have only spoke to online in the past,David Bailey & family twice and some amazing kids from the school.
As i have said before far to many people help make this happen to mention them all but you guys know who you are,all the hands on help,advice,messages and encouragement kept me focused and made it possible .....Thank you :)
My next exhibition talks are in the early stages but it will be a documentary type Exhibition so not street..... keep your ears and eyes open around late April early May 2017
Please add any comments below, i would love to here all the feedback and what you thought if you visited.
Below are some of the before and after images and comments from various visitors to the exhibition
"who did that" David Bailey
"i did" Me.
"clever so & so aint ya" David Bailey
SOME EXHIBITION COMMENTS FROM VISITORS
"Fab exhibition. Would like to see more"
"The exhibition was one of the best experiences I have had. It made me see image in a new way. It was nostalgic, romantic, morally provoking, inspiring for my creativity and made me feel part of the world I sometimes missed in the daily grind. A huge thank you to Jimmy for helping me to 'see' again."
"Excellent exhibition by Jim, carefully crafted, curated and captured. Nice work! The best 'first' exhibition I've seen"
"Considering this is Jimmy Lee's first exhibition I think he is definitely a photographer to watch out for."
"Fantastic exhibition and really interesting discussion with Jimmy who was at the Boathouse. He conveyed his passion and pride in his work while being very modest and down to earth at the same time. Recommend the exhibition warmly to others and hope to see more of Jimmy's work in further exhibitions. Excellent!!"
"Stumbled upon the boathouse cafe which is great for the local area, then saw the exhibition, some great street art, like a British Vivian Maier"
"Enjoyed the exhibition. Some amazing photos."
"Loved Jimmy's use of shadow, light and interesting layers and structures. He really "caught the moment"! Also liked the use of the space. Excellent!"
"Great place. Loved Jimmy’s work – didn’t know this place was here until now."
"Am I glad and proud to have been to your exhibition Jimmy and what’s great too is that I met the master of street photography, and that for me was quite a big deal! "
"I’m so glad I got to see it yesterday, not only is your work amazing, but all the work you put in and how far you have come in such a short time is inspiring."
"It was a beautiful exhibition. So wonderful to see the talents of a local artist"
"Chill afternoon at Jimmy's exhibition, seeing someone's hardwork and commitment starting to pay off in a short space of time is inspiring! Big up!"
"An excellent exhibition in a great space."
Fantastic afternoon looking at and discussing the superb imagery of the #j_walking exhibition at The Boathouse Creative Studios in the Icehouse Quarter, Barking. Jimmy Lee is a most talented photographer. The display stirred a variety of emotions, opinions, views of the world and society, skills needed to master picture taking, equipment and most of all the passion and patience to click 'The Moment'.
Jimmy has inspired our youngest by giving Gascoigne Primary School children a personal tour of the exhibition. Thank you to Carole Pluckrose for giving this opportunity."
"Absolutely wonderful photographs. Children responded to Jimmy – very informative, down to earth. We are going to look at starting a photography competition – asked Jimmy to judge for future. Keep in touch with future projects please. Thank you for this afternoon."
"Be very proud of what you have achieved! "
"Lovely exhibit, Jimmy was very affable and answered all the children’s questions . Thought provoking pictures – would highly recommend. "
Gascoigne Primary School – Year Five comments
"I think that this exhibition is extremely interesting. Also the detail in the photos is incredible. The messages that the photos give is great – and the different angles used to give a different effect is very good. This exhibition really makes people take more notice of the things happening around us. The exhibition encouraged me to take more photographs and take more notice of different things." Year 5 kid nailed it !!!!
"I really like the theme and the way they related it to pictures. This exhibition was really good."
"I like the homeless pictures because it inspires me to help the homeless more."
"I found the exhibition good and the photographer interesting."
"I love the pictures – I am inspired by Mr Jimmy."
"Yes about homelessness in school – really important to put. Really pleasured pictures."
"I thought that the exhibition was amazing because the pictures were really insightful."
"I like the part of the homeless people because it tells me I need to start helping homeless people."
"It was very fun because it really persuaded us to help the homeless even more."
"I loved how you put pictures of homeless people."
"It was very interesting – the layout the most."
"It was amazing – they were amazing pictures"
"Made it into a better place"
"I really liked the exhibition. The part I liked best is when there were pictures of the homeless people."
"You could have got more pictures from other countries."
Anyone want to pay for a holiday in Nepal for a month or 2 ? :)