So how do we get them up on the wall? Do we have no frames and we just stick them on the wall? Do we have standard size frames or do we get custom frames for every one? So, for instance, if you've got ten prints, are the frames all the same or are they all different? Now, when you sit back and think about how the exhibition is going to look, I feel that the exhibitions should have some cohesion of presentation. The content is gonna be different all the way through, even if it's the same subject, so the presentation should have a way of keeping it all together, so it looks like part of the family.
And you don't have to go overboard. I mean, yes, it looks nice to have all your images framed, or does it? Because a lot of our exhibitions with ND and most of my solo exhibitions are done where we print the print on that beautiful textured paper. We might mount it on a gated board or something like that, but nothing else. That's it. I sign it on that. If they buy it they can frame it and pu...
t glass on it, but I like the idea that people can walk up and they kind of look at the picture and they- it's a textural feel to it, even though they're not supposed to touch it. Although, you do catch them doing the "Look at that."
Touch it, you buy it!
That's it! So you don't have to frame it, but the important thing is consistency. A lot of our work, we will print with a photo border so that it kind of has that separation from the wall, but as long as it's been done properly and mounted properly, it can be just as nice presentation.
It looks beautiful. So, we generally find that simple frames are the best as are simple mattes. Some people spend a lot of time trying to get the color of the matte, the surround, to match something in the photograph. Whereas I find that, white, maybe black, is best. It's very rare for me that a colored matte will work, not saying that it won't ever, just saying that it's a challenge. As I mentioned before, think of exhibitions as a whole. Can I share with you two of the best comments I've had at an exhibition? First one was, "Wow! I really love the frames." That's when you really know you've made it, isn't it?
And that's why I stopped using them. (laughs)
No, that's it, you're right. There was another exhibition where we were part of a sort of big, collective exhibition, and these two little old ladies were walking past and they looked over and one of them said to the other, "Let's go into the next hall to look at the art." Because there were two separate halls. And I overheard, I said, "Oh, photography's art!" And she looked up at me and felling embarrassed said, "Oh, of course!" Turned back to her friend: "Let's go next door and look at the real art." (laughs) So, just a little bit of a throw away. So when it comes to frames, simple. Do you have a lot of white space around the photograph? Maybe you have a different one where you've got less space or you've got a lot of space down below, and when we talked about colored frames, yeah, it doesn't work so well, does it?
No, although that set you've done there actually looks quite nice! (laughs) If you had them all done like that on a wall.
Eh, no. So, pricing and printing the framing. So, where are your images going to be printed? Are you going to do them yourself or are you going to get someone else to do it?
Do you print your own, Peter?
I do print- well, sometimes I print my own, but we're over different sides of Australia and so, sometimes, when the exhibitions are over on the west, I'll send them over to the west to be printed because it saves on storage.
But you don't just send them anywhere, do you?
No, I send them to my good friend Christian Fletcher or my other good friend Liz Walkling, mainly, but I have used some of the labs in Perth. I've used labs in New York and labs in San Francisco, labs in L.A. where people have bought my prints, and so rather than shipping, I know that they have certified, good quality, I know what printer they're printing out on, what paper, and I'm comfortable doing that.
I always made sure that I printed my own work, no matter what. And at the time, I did the first couple exhibitions, I didn't have a 60 inch printer, so I would go use someone else's, actually, Christian's, which is four hours away, but I got to the point where it was a lot of hard work and stress and I created a relationship with a local lab, and they had some really good printers in there, so I would go in and I would make sure that the profiles were the ones that I was going to work with, the paper was my paper that I was going to work with, and we'd be able to sort of have them print my work to my satisfaction. I'd come in, look at it, If I was happy with it, I'd sign it, and that's what would go to the gallery.
And it's the same with a framer. You know, for me, I don't frame my own, it's a matter of find, if you do, that's fine. Find and have a good relationship with a framer as well. So, we're almost there. We've got all of this stuff happening. We need to set a date and find a gallery. I should be able to find a gallery for tomorrow, can't I? It's quite easy, isn't it? Good galleries are often booked up, if you can get in at all. Taking your portfolio of images up to a gallery owner and saying, "Hey, are you interested?" Chances are they're going to say no if they don't know who you are. Sometimes it might be easier to have a group exhibition where they see some success from you and then you might have a chance to get in on your own. It's often a long term project, so if someone said to me, "Pete, can you get an exhibition ready of new work next week?" I'd like to spend six months doing this, maybe twelve. And so, some people, it's interesting, would you have all of your prints ready before you book the gallery?
In fact, I find, I would actually have the gallery exhibition date set, and work backwards. And that allows me to have some target points.
That gives you an impetus to go and do it.
Plus, I also know that they're gonna give me this space, it's gonna be that particular room, or this gallery. I've got that much room to fill. They're happy with the content. There's no point producing something and they say, "Eh, I really don't like that style or that theme or that story. Can we have a different subject matter?" So, no, you want to be settled on where it's gonna be, what it's about, et cetera.