What’s it like during changeover in the galleries

Drawn and Drawing On… The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art have been open for a few weeks now and are attracting glowing reviews from scores of visitors.

We take the opportunity to look back at what happened in the lead up to the show. During the installation one of our RWA Placement Curating Students documented the process:

And so we say goodbye to the exhibitions that have nourished us through winter days and through just a week, prepare the way for new work that will take us forward into Spring.

The last week has seen us denude the walls of all five upstairs galleries, gently taking down, wrapping and dispatching. Holes in the walls have been filled and sanded and the galleries have been re-painted as the sun streams into the empty spaces.

The Spring equinox is just a week away and works by artists will be handed in, selected, placed and hung.

Image courtesy of Jamie Dunn

Image courtesy of Jamie Dunn

Volunteers don their cotton gloves as hundreds of artworks all wrapped and crated start to arrive in trucks. Each has to be carefully unwrapped, all the special detail checked and carefully stacked ready for selection.


Excitement rises…a Drawing machine has arrived and strong assistance is needed to get it up all of the stairs to where other sculpture awaits selection in The Milner gallery which will become The Drawing Lab, a space for fun interactive exploration for the anything and everything of drawing.

The selection committee is seated and all 960 artworks are presented, marched past the keen eyes in their 20 seconds of fame or not. The concentration is terrific. The panel confer..first impressions count. The Yes and No piles expand equally and it takes a whole day to divide the artwork that’s been handed in. Alongside this, The Ingram Collection has arrived and is having its bubble wrap carefully removed. Each piece inspected and every tiny detail of the condition reported on. Then the fun bit as Curator and Director make the final decisions on placing. All this after months of research and careful planning.

Technicians now work furiously to hang both exhibitions and prepare The Drawing Lab. More volunteers come in to tidy up and floors are polished. The curator buries herself in a pile of interpretation printing and placing.

The galleries of the Royal West of England are magnificent with Art again. Welcome ‘Drawn’! Welcome to ‘The Ingram Collection’! Lets roll up our sleeves and get busy in The Drawing Lab. Here comes Spring. All that remains is for the public to enjoy the work.

Drawn, The Drawing Lab. The Ingram Collection.

RWA. 21st March- 7th June 2015


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