Visit to Dyffryn to decide on how to display my work.

Now that I am no longer installing my piece in the house, I need to find out a new way of hanging my coal so I went back to Dyffryn House to take another look at the space and discuss the logistics with Mary.


I drew out all the options I could think of:

installation set up installation set up 2

When in the space it was easier to decide what would work.

Number 1 was ruled out because I couldn’t find any over the door hooks that were long enough to take the coal away from the wall. Also the hooks might not hold the weight.

Number 2 was ruled out because it would be too small and low down, getting drowned by the massive space.

Number 3 was ruled out because the hanging would be against the wall which ruined the illusion of floating also it would be so difficult to keep the walls clean from the coal.

Number 5 was ruled out because I looked at the corners but the pillars are in the way for this option to be achievable (you can see this from the pictures above)

Therefore by process of elimination it had to be Number 4 – the cabinet.  The more I thought about this, the more I thought that this is in fact a better way of displaying my work than my original plan in my head. I serendipidously came across the best way to display my work. There is something lovely about having the coal displayed in a cabinet as it heightens the importance of something that is taken for granted by us. We casually use it in our fires however this coal is precious. Miners have made great sacrifices and struggled to retrieve it and the coal itself cannot be replaced, it takes millions of years to form in particular conditions that cannot be replicated therefore once it is gone it is gone forever. When I visited the Geology department at Cardiff Museum last year, they had a coal collection and I got told how this is the most precious part of the whole collection. At the time, this took me by surprise. I thought surely the rare fossils are more precious but I was told that these large chunks of coal are the last of their kind, the mines they were from are closed, probably flooded and no more can be retrieved. Coal is something I didn’t think much about before, it seemed quite common to me as we used to use it in our fire when I was younger but now I think about it, I never really encounter it now. Children these days might not really be familiar with it at all and it will be interesting to see their responses to the coal I use in the exhibition.

Therefore the new plan now is to display my work in the cabinet. It has an open front which I am really happy about as my work will be free from tinted glass in front of it. This also means that if I decide to put my book in the cabinet, people can take it out to have a look through. (I might need to make a sign stating that people can do this as a cabinet by nature is normally a restrictive device so people might defer away from touching things.) It also has removable shelves, without these my display wouldn’t work.

Next step – work out how I am going to display my work inside the cabinet. I can think about this overnight to decide for tomorrow when I go set it up however the display will mainly come out of trying it out inside the cabinet tomorrow.

Options: (some drawn above)

1. Have the whole cabinet filled with coal and the paintings separate… where will the book go?

I could also do this but put the paintings on the back behind them so that they are partially obscured by the coal.

2. Put the paintings on the back  of the cabinet and have the coal hanging down below them.

3. How far to take the coal down?  What shape?



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