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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Final Major Project: Why grids?

Most of the images installed in the exhibition are presented in a gridded format. This choice of format has been a carefully considered choice.

When we view images on a computer, phone or tablet screen a grid display is the most common one we experience. For instance, thumbnail images are usually arranged in rows and columns in searches and online previews. The main advantage of the grid view is that since the images are either square or rectangular, it allows an efficient use of space and is easily navigated by the viewer.

When the images are placed into a grid format, the viewer can see all the images at once from a single vantage point. At first glance, the images appear to be identical. It is on closer inspection that the differences become apparent. The grid heightens the sense of obsession and narcissism that are often associated with online selfie posting. We are drawn to consider our unhealthy obsession with images of people that are repeated over and over again until they no longer appear human but are just images that we distribute via the internet.

In the grids I have produced for my project, each image has equal importance as they are all the same size. The padding (white space) between each image is also uniform across each grid.


Figure 1: (A Hard Day’s Night 2018)

The technique of grids has been used by many others (see blog posts on Suzy Lake and Cindy Sherman for example). Figure 1 shows a Beatles album cover that used a grid to great effect.  The aim was to show coherence and difference in the group. The images have commonality in the way they are composed and shot.

The use of black and white adds to the coherent feeling. Yet, differences are highlighted with the use of dissimilar images in the grid.


Figure 1: A Hard Day’s Night. 2018. The Beatles [online]. Available at: [accessed 21 May 2018].

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