The commission to document the refurbishment of Savoy Place, the headquarters of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), was always intended to culminate in an exhibition. SDD’s brief was to curate and produce an exhibition of Siobhán’s 28-month photographic documentation, telling the story of the renovation, in time for the reopening of the building in December 2015.
On this occasion, Siobhán had time, whilst carrying out the photography work, to consider the curating, the final edit, the printing and framing – in short, the final look and feel of the photography series.
Tasks ranged from exhibition-title proposal to picture editing, from text writing to curating concept, material choice and the logistics of managing an exhibition – including budgeting and coordinating the team involved.
Having secured a space for this work, Savoy / The Restoration, a three year documentation of the iconic hotel, at the 81 Leonard Street gallery, Siobhan and the team at a la cARTe set about creating and curating the exhibition. With a tight deadline set for the preparation of this extensive show, spread over two floors of the Shoreditch gallery, the main actions were discussed and followed through whilst maintaining a strict time frame.
The series of images shown was edited from the book selection, and designed around both the book and the display space.
The main scope of the work comprised picture editing, materials and framing proposals, curating, music selection and compiling the press pack and PR information to reach the wider public. There was an added bonus when the Savoy offered to set up their pop-up bar, with both non-alcoholic and traditional cocktails, to a full house and the soundtrack of Robbie Williams singing the old classics.
In Siobhan’s opinion, the project had come full circle – with the atmosphere of the Savoy’s legendary American Bar recreated in a gallery, in turn bedecked with images of the classic hotel itself.