For one of the public outcomes of my Final Major Project I held a pop up exhibition at my place of work.
My employers are currently going through a process of trying to change some of the culture habits that we have developed as a company and introduce some well being policies to assist colleagues through difficult times. With this in mind I discussed my project with some of the Senior Management Team and we decided it would be really useful to have my work open for others to see.
As someone who suffers with anxiety this was a very big personal challenge not only to speak in public but also to share the personal challenges that I have experienced over the last couple of years and explored very deeply through my project.
At the Face to Face event in Falmouth there were a couple of concerns over the display of the diary entries. There was a suggestion to have them recorded so that they could be listened to while the audience viewed – I tried this but some of the entries were still quite raw to me and I wouldn’t get them recorded in a way that would have allowed the audience to understand them as it was very emotional.
What I did decide to do was to have the sound of the lapping waves in the background, and as this was something that soothed me while creating the work did act as a comfort as I delivered my presentation.
These are some photos of how I set up the exhibition. I also have the video of my presentation.
I had some feedback forms at the end, which whilst I hoped people would enjoy the work – I don’t think I ever imaged that it would actually spark a conversation, that others would actually find the work helpful, that it made them feel better that they weren’t alone. I found this emotional, a little overwhelming – but it also helped me with the knowledge that the struggles that I have had could actually help other people to deal with their situations.
The outcome of this pop up exhibitions was really positive and I have been asked to show it again so that more people can benefit from the experience.
This experience has made me also want to share this work further – I am looking at venues again as it has given me the confidence boost to be able to do this.