Building Temporary Exhibition Wall / Studwork / Painting

Building walls to exhibit and document art on is quite similar to making art itself.  It is important to create an illusion in the case of the wall which produces a consistent surface that appears perfect. Similarly artworks suggest consistency by the artist striving for perfection. In both cases it is often compromise between the idea you started with and the one you created whilst actually doing the task.

As some of you are aware, I’m part of an artist group called BBKP.  We have been working together since 2006, making sculptures, performances, and videos, as well as running photography workshops.  Our studio is not that large and it difficult to store or archive older works.  In this video I will build a temporary white wall to hide the ugly corner of the studio, which we will use to document our horde of artefacts, videos and images.

This corner of the studio has had some water damage, and the floor was replaced with a perforated piece of ply, that allowed water to drain into the ground under the building.  As we rent the studio from a developer who is slowly rebuilding the local area, we don’t actually know the timescale for remaining in our current location.  There is little reason to conduct major repairs to the source of the problem, providing someone empties a bucket upstairs, during extremely wet weather.  I began by cladding the wall with a thick plastic sheet, to provide a membrane to reduce damp travelling into the wall.  I am using a trampoline cover which I found in the local DIY shop on reduction.  I built the wall fastening pieces with diagonally placed screws, working from the bottom to the top.  It is hard to see on the screen, but I am using a laser level to help me keep everything vertical.  I added a few additional holes in the floor further along, and once the frame was built I fasten it to the brickwork, and lined with 12mm MDF.

I finished the wall, by priming the MDF with a solution of water and PVA, cutting from the edge with a brush and painting several coats.  You can sand between coats, but I find it’s more important to imagine where your lighting will create shadows, and work according to that.

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