Our exhibition had to be presented online this year because of the pandemic. We opted to use Google Sites to deliver it because of its user friendly collaboration tools.
I had gone to meet with the Fine Art course members in person, before the pandemic, to discuss initial requirement for our exhibition. The intention was for photographers from L4 and HND to collaborate with Fine Art to run our show. The venue had been identified and a deposit paid. It was to be held in a gallery space on the Fulham Road. We all agreed that there were worthwhile economies to staging the show as a collaborative group.
Unfortunately the pandemic outbreak meant that we had to re-think the exhibition itself, moving it online. This change ultimately led us and rethink our collaboration with Fine Art. We experimented with combining the two shows online but this made for a discontinuous experience for the viewing public. Eventually we decided that although collaborating in a physical space made economic and logistical sense, doing the same digitally had none of the benefits.
I've worked in digital and website design for most of my career and so I was able to help the photographers organise the online exhibition.
I enabled the header tiles to showcase each photographers work. I made sure the tiles were responsive to different viewport sizes and showed thumbnail images efficiently even as the browser window was being resized. I provided a graphic for the exhibition comprised of the title: "Escape".
I also offered advice and support on the typesetting and layout of each photographer's page and through my amends to the Sites pages our group settled on a layout that included the option of a photographer's self portrait to accompany each photographer's personal statement. I contributed the following skills to the group:
Our group's numerous discussions and amends to the online exhibition all took place remotely, using MS Teams. I thought our small group did well to adapt to this new way of communicating and we were able to get through the decision making around the exhibition reasonably efficiently. Video calling for an hour to gather commitment to action points, then reconvening at a later date to assess those actions is much slower than meeting in person, but the project went ahead piece by piece and eventually the exhibition was successfully launched.
Collaborating to meet the needs of a group in order to build a digital product, in this case an exhibition website, comes with certain challenges. Chief among these would be the differing ideas of a successful outcome that each individual has. However I would assess the online exhibition as a success in its final form.
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