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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Final Major Project: The Exhibition – The Installation Process

Installation day!

Having collected the framed prints from the framers and already in the 2 cars, we loaded the additional items – digital photo frames, leaflets etc. (My chosen specification for the work – Prints – C-Type Matt, Frames – Limed Oak, Digital Frames – Black Stained Oak)

The gallery is approximately 40 minutes drive from home. Luckily on arrival, we were able to find 2 spaces relatively close the gallery to unload. We then had to move the cars to a car park at the top of the steep hill in Stroud (good exercise on the way back up every day!)

The Lansdown Hall and Gallery is a Grade 2 listed building, decorated with rustic-cut Cotswold stone turrets and pinnacles, built in the 1880’s as a Temperance Hall. It is owned by Stroud Town Council to be held in perpetuity for the community, and run as a community venue by a small charity.

As part of the booking, it was stipulated that the images would be fixed directly to the wall with mirror plates and self-tapping screws. The historic walls are protected by a layer of plasterboard and faced off with a thick layer of painted marine plywood. This meant that the installation was not too tricky. Thankfully, I had my very handy husband to help with the job.

Each frame was wrapped in a thick clingfilm, which meant the images did not move when layered in the cars. We removed this layer only at the point of installation of each image.

Our first task was to place the images against the wall according to the latest installation plans.

On inspecting the wall, it was decided that 2 of the images needed to be swapped around to give the layout below:-


The installation started with the ‘Lash Obsession’ image placed above the fireplace. Once in position, this gave us the top line for the images. The intention being that the top line would be constant around the room for the framed images.

The distance between the end images was measured so that the gap between images could be evened out.

Using his laser level, my husband was able to project the top line along the wall from the first image. Removeable stickers were placed on the wall to indicate the position of each image to aid the installation. My husband held each image in place whilst I fastened the first screw in place. Then, using a long spirit level to check that each image was level and inline with the previous one, and a short spirit level to check each image itself was level, we were able to finalise the position of each image and fasten both screws in place.

We continued this along the long back wall and used the laser level to project the top line around the corner onto one end wall to maintain the top line.

Once installed, there was a lot of reflection from the bright sunlight streaming through the windows – I had not encountered this on my previous visits to the gallery.

The digital photo frames and PC were installed on the end wall in a more random arrangement to reflect the often chaotic overload of information from the internet.

The installation process took around 5 hours to complete. this was in line with our anticipated amount of time. Due to the sie and weight of the images, it was a definite 2 person job.

Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome.

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