'One Day, Two Delays' was the first exhibit I have attended where the exhibitor invited me. Kathryn Best is the course leader of my graduate program in London. She is a driven, energetic lady with an impressive multidisciplinary resume in business and the creative industries. She has written many books, including books about Design Management (of course). During our first week at the London College of Communications (LCC), she invited our class of 22 students to her showcase called 'One Day, Two Delays' o-exhibited with an English artist and writer Peter Suchin.
On Thursday, October 6th, few of us took the bus to Whitechapel district in London where we found black and white photographs of what seemed to be Pyramids, sculptures, and scenery in Cairo, Egypt. The photographs were taken by Kathryn, each framed in simple black frame with, what at first looked like, a ‘description’ printed on a white sheet of paper hung next to it. Nothing fancy, nothing intermediating. My first instinct was to look at the photos without reading the text. Each photo was beautifully capturing a moment, making me wonder why I haven’t thought about travelling to Cairo to see the Pyramids, but as I glimpsed through the texts of one or two photographs, I realised Kathryn’s photos are following a story. Each photo had inspired a narrative, written by Peter.
During the Q&A, Kathryn explained that Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign (in the late 1700’s and year 1800 - I think) influenced her photographs. She was also inspired by a photographer named Colin Fleek (if I am not mistaken), who stood in the same spot and took the same photograph over and over. She explained, that due to her architectural education and interior design background she views her photos as making an interior, as if she is decorating the photo by deciding what or who to include (or not include) in the shot. “There is no single way of reading a photograph,” Kathryn added – I agree because I had different thoughts and perception from each photograph until I started reading Peter’s story.
I thought it was a simple yet thought-provoking exhibit. It was not solely a photography exhibit, nor a book signing or anything of that nature. They had managed to create a narrative from series of photographs, that each told a story on their own. But did I think one work dominated the other? Yes, I did. During the discussion, we discovered that some liked the story and seemed to have ignored the photos; others appeared to have enjoyed the photographs without paying close attention to the story. I do feel that the story ends up dominating the exhibit as once you do read it, the perception of the photographs change. At the same time, despite few disagreements, Kathryn seemed to be thrilled about the idea that her work had inspired another artist to create something new; and that is what I will take away from this exhibit: IT IS GOOD TO INSPIRE PEOPLE.
...and to my fellow Design Manager to be's out there:
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams (6th US President)