Behind the Scenes at Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum

This week we’re working behind-the-scenes at Kirkby Gallery preparing the space for our forthcoming exhibition of our Picturing 100 Years project. As we’re not yet able to open, it will be a virtual exhibition, and we will be showing lots of images over three weeks from 23 November onwards, and even a film of the final result.

The first thing we had to do to prepare was to make space and take the final few ‘From Kirkby with Love’ portraits by Philip Garrett from the Gallery Store to their new owners, the wonderful people who sat for them! Left is artist Mike Kirby (who has exhibited a number of his own works at Kirkby Gallery, as part of ‘FIVE’ as well as being one of our Artist Friends who kindly donated work to the Open Art Affordable Art Auction to raise funds for the Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum). Right is Yvonne Diaz, an emerging artist, one of our regular visitors and attendees of Kirkby Gallery art courses, also a member of the Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum.

During changeover periods at Kirkby Gallery, we often have to rearrange the space itself. You may have noticed that the gallery layout changes between exhibitions – we have special hinged walls that can open out to create partitions and give extra wall space, and we even have enormous wall sections on locking wheels which we can move around too! Sometimes we paint some of the walls different colours to complement the artworks on display. Then of course, we have to move and rearrange the display cases and plinths, and sometimes we have to construct custom bases to place sculptures and large artefacts on.

Our small team expands to include technicians, most frequently the multi-talented Andy Weston pictured above, who has helped install Kirkby Gallery’s exhibitions for the last twenty years or so, as well as working as a practitioner delivering some of our art courses. Special thanks too to the much missed Andy Escott, Ken Rowney and Adam Vaughan. We should stress that Tina and Vicky do the installations too (they’re the ones taking the photos rather than featuring in them) and of course our wonderful volunteers help ordinarily.