Blindboys Wideyed: the story – part 2

March 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let’s talk dirty…

So back in August 2009, when we were starting to think about what we were going to do next, we also looked at the state of our bank account and the cupboard was bare. Realising that no matter what we eventually decided to do it would be difficult to achieve with zero cash, we thrashed out some ideas and began to come up with a cunning plan…

First, we started frequenting auction houses, and at the beginning of September won a few job lots of camera equipment. Next, we started selling off the things bought bit by bit. Initially, the plan was mainly to sell enough to recoup our investment and put much of the remainder of the equipment into the pool of stuff we sometimes use when running workshops and projects, but by the beginning of December, when we approached Blindboys about exhibiting their work, we realised we needed money more than anything and kept selling.

In this way we raised around £500 over the 3-4 months between December and the present. We used this as match funding in a successful application for a Newcastle City Council DCLG ‘Art in Empty Spaces’ scheme grant, and doubled to £1,000 our total budget for the BLINDBOYS WIDEYED project, in addition to which the wine and nibbles for the preview were generously provided by North East Photography Network.

With £1,000 we were able to put on the exhibition in the empty shop, the site specific installation in The Mining Institute, and the billboard piece on Forth Lane. It covered the cost of rent, window lettering, poster, postcard and exhibition printing… basically, our shoestring budget has covered everything bar labour. Apart from the time and effort we (and our lovely helpers) have put in, ultimately this project hasn’t cost us anything.

And while everything was hung with double-sided sticky tape and physics, or wallpaper paste and elbow grease, or magnets, if we’d waited until we could afford to do it all better, we’d still be waiting.

Where’s the fun in that?

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