On Thursday 16th May 2019, I made a visit to One Great George Street to scout the venue and meet Nicola Gzurmi-Symmes, the Event Coordinator. This tied in nicely with my visit to Photo London at Somerset House the next day.
I attended the IIMEC12 conference in 2017 before and as a sufferer of M.E/CFS, when I struggled to make it through the whole day. This year it’s a whole lot different and the fact that I can now consider an exhibition at the Invest In M.E Conference, IIMEC14 is truly amazing.
I realised when touring the great hall with Nicola that actually there was more space than I had anticipated and so I decided to increase the number of stands from 2 to 3 to sit alongside a trestle table, 4foot long. I had not accounted for the fact that viewing images at the base of the stands was quite impractical. So now I will spread the images in the top two thirds on each stand.
Also the gold easels I was going to decline based on discussions with my course supervisor, Stella, thinking they would be too finished for a scientific conference with posters, now seem totally appropriate for a couple of framed and key images only. The grandness of the Great Hall along with the available space and the opportunity to frame a couple of images all seems ok. Along with a small pop up desk for a visitors book, questionnaires and a folder of images taken at the photographic shoot of the team and the laboratory at the Quadram Institute.
I had considered making a video too accompany the images for the conference but I wasn’t sure this was right for this conference style, so I decided on creating a folder of images that show my day at the Quadram Institute. Those images that led me to create the final images. I also have considered one large poster of small images which would have been great but I would have had to place these on the back of a board. Moving the Boards around in the space, I realised this wouldn’t work either, unless the display boards could be moved into the room and away from the wall. Knowing that the conference would be busy with delegates, I kept to the folder of images.
It’s been important for me to remember that this is a scientific conference and to keep it appropriate for this rather than a gallery where possibly, where there would be more opportunity and more flexibility to be creative with the space.
So I chose two images for framing, one diptych, 'Bacteriophages IVa' and another 'Oxygen II'. These feels like my signature images and convey different aspects of the science and living with M.E. For the press releases, on a different note, however I chose an image of Katharine (PhD researcher) and her work along with my related abstraction of the work 'Immune I'. Since Katharine has M.E/CFS this seemed appropriate to do. Katharine, sadly won’t be able to make the Conference as she’s picked up a recent kidney infection which has meant she’s not well enough to travel. I also framed a small image of the laboratory for the table top simply titled 'Laboratory'.
I plan to do some time-lapse videos of the setting up and the hall and highlights of the day with a table top tripod and my iPhone. A large tripod is not allowed for health and safety reasons and no photography is allowed in the lecture hall.
I am only left worrying a little about how the images will stick to the presentation boards. The event Manager insists I use their sticky pads in order to not damage the Boards, and assures me that they will hold the images securely. Additionally the cost of ant-reflective glass will probably be too much extra cost for the framed images and I am aware of glare with the room being so bright and a couple of large chandeliers.
Finally, I have also managed to arrange some delegate badges so that some of my peers, friends, family can attend and negotiated the late afternoon from the coffee break for them to come into the conference and remain for the rest of the day.