If you haven't already experienced Mark Leckey's exhibition at Tate Britain then you must before it closes on 5 January 2020. It is an astounding installation that bombards your senses with sound, and vision, as you are transported to a motorway underpass in the Wirral. Leckey's "O' Magic Power of Bleakness" is enthralling, drawing you into the past and conjuring thoughts of childhood. During the experience, you could be forgiven for believing that you are in a concrete underpass under the M53 because the surroundings are so authentic. But making Leckey's installation come to life in a space that had been previously divided into 12 galleries was no mean feat, particularly as there was only 3 weeks to complete the build.
We are experts when it comes to making art come to life. And they are professional, quick, and adaptable. However, before such a build can be executed there is an extensive planning process to ensure that:
- The artwork is created exactly how the artist envisages it.
- The curator of the exhibition is happy with the work and meets all the requirements of the gallery, and
- All health and safety regulations are met to ensure not only a safe working environment but an environment that the public can access safely and without risk to health.
How Are These Challenging Requirements Met?
The first thing is a meeting with the artist and curator to discuss what is required. We will see the artwork and determine with the artist and curator where and how it is to be displayed.
With the Leckey exhibition, this was a highly challenging work because of its size and the need for authenticity.
Each part of the build was considered and help sought from architectural engineers to provide details of what was needed structurally for the build to be executed.
3D drawings were created so that both Mark Leckey and Tate Britain could see how the build would work, the space that it created, and the experience that visitors would have as they moved around it.
The pre-build process took almost a year to ensure that both the artist and gallery were happy with the proposed build. This is an essential part of making an exhibition because of the short time scale for the actual erection of the artwork.
The Leckey exhibition required MC Designers to liaise with Audio Visual experts because the installation includes lighting, video, and sound to achieve such a dramatic experience.