Monday, July 11, 2011

The Exhibition – Finding Venues, a Printer and a Framer

It is exciting to put a dream out there.  It is a lot of hard work to make it a reality and really impossible to achieve with out the help of people around you.  Some of these people as in my case were my partner (Steven) and close friends, who get caught up in the excitement of everything I do.  But others were people who came into my life while in the process of making the exhibition happen and I owe them a lot for all they taught me.

The first step in the process was finding a venue.  I had only just spoken to the librarian (after an introduction from a friend at the local Council) about the possibility of exhibiting at Hornsby when she called to tell me there was a slot.  It was the only slot available for all of 2011 because of a cancellation..and it was in 3 months time!  It was April and I had locked in my first exhibition so I needed to get a move on.  They say be careful what you wish for.  I had only just  got back to work after a year away..and I had already promised I would have an exhibition ready in a few months…!  I knew I had to find a place that did excellent printing. I Googled and called many professional photo shops in Sydney but they were expensive and charged by the minute for their advice.  I was getting desperate…. 

It was because we chose to have breakfast at Rav's Cafe in Pennant Hills that everything fell into place.  We had just visited some of the local kitchen showrooms very early in the morning.  (Most people would come back from a year away and take life easy.  I was also in the process of renovating my house – new wardrobes, new floors and a new kitchen thrown into the mix for good measure!).  We were starving and many of the cafes were not open when we spied Rav’s Cafe.  The place was buzzing with the chatter of locals having their bacon and eggs on a Saturday morning and it immediately sent out a good vibe.  We settled in. 

As I sipped on my cappuccino, the lovely artwork on their walls caught my eye.  We got chatting to Anil the owner and learnt he provided the space for artist to banner-aboutusdisplay and sell their work and in turn he got a bit of a rotating exhibition at his cafe.  A win win for all concerned.  Before I knew it I had almost locked in my second venue…and I didn’t know the first thing about throwing an exhibition together!  While in Africa, having breakfast in St Lucia with my girl friend Megs, we had noticed the walls of the local cafe were decorated with photos on canvas and dreamt about doing the same when we were back in Australia.  I found it hard to believe I was making it all happen so quickly. 

It was as we walked out of the cafe that the signs outside Pennant Hills Framing caught my eye.  Professional framers – the sign announced boldly and so we walked in.  Steve Pennant Hills Framingand I clicked immediately with Jason, the owner.  He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable and spent quite a bit of time with us explaining the services he offered but more importantly he didn’t charge by the minute for giving us advice unlike many stores in Sydney.  We got valuable advice on how to frame pictures for an exhibition and in the process found out he did printing of photos as well.  We learnt it is important the frames are all the same size, the same colour (in my case plain black) with a simple white mat to set off the photos.  While the photos could be different sizes, landscapes and portraits, the size of the frame stays consistent, giving the impression this is a collection. 

I had finally found my framer and printer…now it was time to get cracking and chose some photos! 


“Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.” – Robert M. Hayes

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