Big Bang 2

Welcome back Tech Team fans!

Today’s blog post will be about the second Big Bang at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. To find out about the first Big Bang (exhibition) click here and to look behind the scenes of the first Big Bang click here.

So now if you followed those links this may all make a bit more sense if not click here.

So with all of that out the way, here’s the peak behind the scenes you all really wanted anyway:


This is a beneath the scenes photograph. Sadly we had to dispose of one of our large showcases because it had become unsafe and unfixable.  This is a picture I took whilst lying on the floor underneath it, part way through taking it apart. I thought it was interesting and also no-one else has seen that so you are now part of the privileged few…

Finally here are some pictures which I really do think are interesting (I may still be the only one) and you actually can’t see by coming into the exhibition. These photographs are close ups of the works in the exhibition with other works reflected in them (they are pop art-like collages of pop art). The reason why you can’t see them for yourself is that I took the pictures with the florescent working lights on that are much brighter than the exhibition lights. When you first enter the exhibition it seems quite dark, this is because most of the works are on paper and this makes them more sensitive to fading in the light, therefore we have to light them at quite a low level in order to preserve the work as best as possible for future generations.


There isn’t a prize for coming into the gallery to workout which works you can see in each photo but there may well be hours of fun for all the family right there…


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This is NOT a Joke

Hello, hello, welcome back to to basement of technical wonders at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

So ages ago we installed the latest exhibition in the touring galleries upstairs, it opened on 30th September 2015 and as it’s now 30th October 2015 it really is not a joke how long it has taken me to write to you all about this (the exhibition is called, “This is not a joke” – see how funny that introduction was?).


So for this install (amongst many other things) we had to build a room within the triangle gallery to show a film by Rodney Graham in. The above two pictures show a before and after and whilst that is probably enough to show you what we did I am now going to treat you to some extra behind the scenes pictures of the room being built (this blog maybe late but it’s all about the behind the scenes extras):

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The last picture is not a picture of the room. It’s a picture of a ball of blue tape. The ball of blue tape is part of an artwork by John Wood and Paul Harrison. Now I must draw your attention to a post I blogged (a blog I posted?, lets just say a previous fantastic update from the tech team…) way back in March 2014:

Did you look? If you did I’m sure you will agree that my attempt should have been allowed in the exhibition as my ball was bigger than theirs and in a showcase!

Anyway, here’s a picture of a ruler and some string:


And here’s a picture of a red car bonnet (or a red car hood- a lot of people in America read this):


Finally here’s a picture of a strange looking chap opening a strange looking sculpture:


I think that’s everything you need.

To make more sense of this post I would suggest coming in to the gallery to see this fantastic show. It’s on until the 16th of January 2016 and you can find more here (as well as coming to see it, not instead of). The exhibition is Not a Joke whereas this post probably was.

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Welcome back to the Basement of Wonders!

So for all of you nice people who have been eagerly awaiting the next installment of Wolverhampton Art Gallery Technicians Adventures I apologies for the delay in the posting of this post. I have had some technical issues to deal with…erm… well I guess I always have technical issues to deal with, it’s my job…but these ones were internet related and impeded my ability to post rambling posts like this one. Anyway as you can see we are back on air!

For all of those people not eagerly awaiting this post (I accept there must be one or two out there) welcome! You must be new here. Enjoy this post and then prepare to eagerly await the next one…

Since the last post we in TechnicianLand have been industriously occupied (in keeping with a promise in previous posts I am not using the “B” word) with a variety of tasks but the one I have some photographs of to share with you is the installation of the Hiroshige exhibition, “HIROSHIGE’S JAPAN: 53 STATIONS OF THE TŌKAIDŌ ROAD” you can find more about this by clicking here or by coming into the gallery to see this fantastic exhibition (that’s what I would do if I didn’t have to come into the gallery every day already).


Now anyone with any knowledge of Hiroshige’s woodcut prints may have a suspicion that the above image is not by Hiroshige. In fact it’s not even a woodcut! What’s more it’s not in the exhibition. This image goes so far behind the scenes of the installation that it’s buried in time!

Before we could event begin to install this exhibition we had to de-install the previous exhibition which was “Pop in Space” (you can now click on that title to read about the install because I have overcome the internet technicalities to arrive in this brave new world of possibilities). Now this exhibition included a wall of images printed onto vinyl sheets and stuck to the wall. Unfortunately they were stuck with hi-tack and not lo-tack vinyl so they did not want to come off of the wall. This caused us a big problem but it made for these great images:


Personally I think this image is more interesting than some art I have seen (I’m not saying which art though).

Finally here is an image of some text that got leftover from the intro text:


That’s all I’ve got. I could show images of the actual exhibition but that wouldn’t be very Behind the Scenes also this exhibition is fantastic and you really need to see the work for yourself. You have from now until 21st November 2015. Enjoy.

Oh I almost forgot, there is also a fascinating display of Japanese items from our collection to accompany the prints. It’s worth a visit for the swords and ivories alone!

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“5 Nests” Craftplay exhibition install

Welcome back Tech Team fans!

You will be delighted to know that the Wolverhampton Art Gallery Tech Team still exists! It has been some time since my last post but in my defence we have been extremely busy in TechTeamLand. Now in my last post I promised not to use the word “busy” so before I begin I would like to apologise for already using it twice. That is the last time you will see that word here (the thesaurus is on standby…).

So down to business: this post is about the Craftplay exhibition, “5 Nests” in Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s East Gallery. This exhibition has been organised by the Craftplay team (Jack and Lizzie) at Bilston Craft Gallery who organise the regular Craftplay sessions there. The goal of Craftplay is to create a safe environment where very young children and babies can explore their environment and express themselves creatively, more on that here:

This exhibition features a unique sensory setting where your young one (0-2 years) can nestle, play or explore. The main feature of the room is a life size tree made of white foam rods. If you can’t quite picture that, here are some pictures showing how we made it:


Firstly this is the team effort diagram for the base of the tree and below is the base I made, as you can see we are working to precision engineering standards.








There that looked easy in the photographs. In real life it took Craftplay Jack and myself nearly two weeks of cutting and gluing but the result was definitely worth the effort, and I get the added fun of telling people that this week at work I made a tree!

After building the tree we got to light it with a mix of white and coloured lights which was a treat for me as I don’t usually light paintings with hot pink spot lights! We also made some great shadows…


If you have followed me this far you may well be wondering where the 5 Nests title comes into all this. Well the first nest is under the tree. The second nest is the type of nest a stork might build if it were human sized and had access to cardboard carpet roll tubes, a saw and a purpose built platform in a gallery eerily similar to the purpose built platform in a gallery that was used for the previous exhibition, more on that here:


Please note that as always none of these photographs show finished installations, to see the finished exhibition you will need to come into the gallery and see for yourself.

Here’s a picture of the third “nest” which ironically is made of 4 baskets…


Nest number 4 involves a suitcase but I didn’t take any pictures of it and all I’m going to tell you about nest number 5 is that it is noise sensitive. There now you have to come into the gallery find out what I’m talking about!

The exhibition/space is open until 31st of October and it is designed to be interacted with by 0-2 year olds, although you can look at it regardless of your age.



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Martin Parr – Black Country Stories install

Greetings from the Basement!

Recently we installed an exhibition by world famous photographer Martin Parr.

This blog post will be all about how…


A large part of the exhibition is made up of large framed photographic prints, but there is also a cinema space showing 4 documentary style films by Martin Parr, and a separate TV showing an interview with the artist but more than all of that there is an archive wall. Now if you are wondering what an archive wall is, I will tell you. It’s alot of photographs (alot of photographs) on a wall. I was told there would be 400 but I was delighted to count 461 when they arrived. The above picture shows the wall in eager anticipation of alot of photographs.


There’s the first of 461 photographs going up. I made a plan of how the photographs would be laid out (some are portrait but most are landscape) and then set up our laser level so that I had a centre line and a top line to start from.

Some further information about the archive wall; “In 2010, Multistory commissioned Magnum photographer Martin Parr to produce a photographic portrait and archive about every day life in the Black Country.” This then is that archive…


You can see in this picture that I treated myself to having the lights on, but I’m still using a ladder.


Still using a ladder…



As you can see I did eventually use our scaffold tower (and slightly sooner than these pictures make it look) this sped the process up but it was still strange to think that I had put up over 180 pictures and hadn’t even got close to half way.


Fortunately (for me anyway) I stopped at somewhere around halfway as we had Beth the Casual Technician (recently promoted from Beth the volunteer) in for a couple of days who fantastically took over and put up the last 230 or so.

That left Cath and I to install all of the framed works, a cinema space and a TV on the landing. I didn’t get many pictures of this as I was quite busy. All I did get was this one photograph of the cinema space being built.


I have to say that the films in the cinema are far more interesting than a picture of the cinema being built. The same could be said of the archive wall so I would strongly suggest you come into the gallery and have a look and who knows you may see yourself in amongst the archive!

The exhibition is on now in our touring gallery until 22nd of August 2015…


P.S. I tried hard not to but on reading this post back to myself I see I did use the word, “busy”. I have realised that this is the most used word on this blog so I have decided that as we are not likely to get less busy I will endeavour to get a thesaurus and come up with some better words for the next post, watch this space…

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The Liberated Quilt install at Bilston Craft Gallery

Welcome back Tech Team fans!

This week in TechnicianLand we have been out of the basement and down the road to help install an exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery called, “The Liberated Quilt”.

 Well it was this week when I wrote that first paragraph, it’s more like 3 weeks ago now so I’m a little bit behind finishing this post and setting it free from the basement but once again we have been very busy…


Unfortunately we were also very busy whilst helping to install the Liberated Quilt exhibition so we didn’t get to help hang as many of the wall pieces as we had all hoped, we did get some done though as you can see above. We spent most of our time at Bilston on the scaffold tower installing the works that hang from the ceiling. Here are some above the scenes pictures:

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 The exhibition is on now at Bilston Craft Gallery and will be on until 25th July 2015. Enjoy.



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Conquering Clouds

Welcome back Tech Team Fans!

This week we have been Conquering Clouds with the artist David Bethell. Today I have been lighting the works and I can honestly say that the title of the exhibition (“Conquering Clouds”; a title I liked so much I stole it for this blog post) felt very fitting! If you are wondering why have a look up in the Focus gallery when you come in to see the show and take note of the distance between the lights and the floor.


So in honour of the title for this exhibition this blog post will be an, “Above the Scenes” edition rather than, “Behind the Scenes”. The picture above was the first I took and it’s a little blurry because I hadn’t quite found my, ‘ladderlegs’ (that’s a cloud conquering technical term for all you land lovers).


Both of the above pictures show Dr Bird’s darkroom/boat (or, “Contraption C” to give it its proper title) from a ladder top perspective.


This picture obviously shows, “Contraption E” from directly above…


And finally this picture shows Dr Bird’s, “Contraption E” from the other end of the gallery in the exact position of a light that isn’t there anymore as I realised it would have blinded everyone as they walked into the gallery.

Now for anyone wondering who this Dr Bird is or what these contraptions are all about, I’m not going to tell you. After all this is an “Above the Scenes” post and you can’t read the labels from up here so you will just have to come into the gallery and find out.

The exhibition will be on from 2nd May to 9th August 2015. Enjoy.

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