Association of Arts Pretoria
173 Mackie Street
Pretoria, South Africa
Pretoria Art Museum
Cnr Francis Baard and Wessels Str,
Pretoria, South Afric
Tel: 012 358 6750
Compiled by Cate Terblanche, Art Curator, Sasol Art Collection
Do you dream of winning the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition? Do you want to pursue a career in the visual arts? Once again, we as Sasol are proud to be associated with the competition known for changing lives! This blog will provide you with some insights into presenting your artwork in the best possible light, focussing specifically on framing of two-dimensional works.
LOOK AT ME!
Let’s be honest, the key to winning the competition is in catching the judges’ attention, and well.. to keep it. In previous blogs, I have emphasized the importance of technical excellence, and conceptual correspondence. In this blog, I will focus on how the viewer (aka judges) will receive your work, and how you can optimize this experience for them.
And therein lies a clue. Experience.. For a moment, think about how you experience your favourite meal or snack. Maybe an ice cream. You notice a sign in a shop, then you start thinking about it, then you make choices (with a chocolate flake or not), then you buy it, you spend money on it. You hold it in your hand and view it, that perfect moment before you dive into the first bite and taste the cold, sweet delight of that fabulous ice cream. Looking at art is much like that. You need to consider the whole experience. And that experience extends to the framing and presentation of your work.
FRAMING AND PRESENTATION
Presentation is often the last aspect of a work to be considered, once the work is completed and it needs to be exhibited, right? But some attention to presentation at the start of the creative process could be beneficial. You could even use the mode of presentation to extend the meaning of your work. A good example of this is the winning work by Andrea du Plessis, Paloceae Lupantozoa (2021).
Image: Andrea du Plessis, Paloceae Lupantozoa (2021) Multimedia, oil on canvas, augmented reality interaction. 53 cm x 63 cm. Image courtesy of Sasol Art Collection.
On one level the artwork speaks to the relationship between the ‘traditional’ and the ‘new’, and by opting for a very ornate, traditional frame, the artist reinforces this idea. The viewer then interacts with the work via their cellphone, which is a ‘new’ or contemporary method of framing and viewing images, which sets up the tension between ‘old’ and ‘new’.
Framing also means that you are ‘putting a border’ around something, and in a way the demarcating it for the viewer. In other words, you are saying ‘this is art, and this is wall (or not art)’. Therefore, that border should receive as much attention as the artwork itself.
Framing (or the lack of it) in itself will not result in a work either being rejected or accepted. Judges look at the work itself, the ideas and craftmanship embodied in the end product, but the way the work is presented to the judges can make a difference.
TIPS ON FRAMING
The act of signing of artworks deserves as much consideration as the choice of framing and presentation. Here are a few pointers:
IN A NUTSHELL
The purpose of framing is primarily to protect a fragile artwork, but it should be considered as an extension of the artwork. If you cannot afford professional framing, opt for a protective mount and supply clips for hanging the work.
Do check out the other blogs in this series which focus on the main reasons why works are eliminated in the regional rounds, pricing your work and much more. Make sure not to miss this!