I always need to allow at least a whole day to pack up a piece of textile to send off to an exhibition. I’m rarely there to unpack and install myself so have to ensure that I give very clear and unambiguous instructions of how I would like my piece to be arranged/installed. I also have to give instructions on how to pack up to return the piece at the end of an exhibition as the ‘dismantling team’ are rarely the same people as the ‘setting up’ team. So here is what I did for my recent piece of work in the hope it might help if you ever find yourself in this position.
I have bought three ‘extra’ strength plastic boxes in different sizes so I have a choice for each piece needing to be transported. I record each stage of the packaging so that I can use the photos to help explain how I wish them to be packed up for the return trip. Each piece of (acid free) tissue paper, bubble wrap is labelled with my name, although in theory all packaging should be kept in my box after unpacking ready for re-packing.
Starting with the individual cylindrical shapes, I made temporary inside cylindrical supports and labelled each one with a number to indicate in which order they should be placed. The three mirror boards were numbered and little labels placed on them to show where each shapes should be placed.
Each mirror board was wrapped in Clingfilm to prevent scratching and each cylinder shape wrapped in tissue paper and numbered- -again.
To stop the mirror boards from crushing the cylindrical shapes as the box is moved around from place to place, I placed the cylinder shapes inside separate boxes and then placed these inside my plastic box.
Plenty of ‘cushion’ pockets and bubble wrap was used to stop these moving around inside the plastic box.
Forms completed, stamped address envelop enclosed for selection result, cheque written for submission fee, ‘artist’ statement written, lid taped down with strong brown packaging tape, labels stuck on all outside surfaces, strapped onto luggage trolley and off to the post office – a 15 minute walk away. More forms and decisions to make on which postal service to choose. I usually opt for the ‘express24’ Parcelforce with compensation cover and guarantee arrival time. Home to open the bottle of wine!