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Installing Richard Deacon at Tate Britain

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Curator Clarrie Wallis provides some how-to insight on sculpture installation, drawing from her recent experience assembling the Richard Deacon show at the Tate:

Installing sculpture is great fun. Tate has a fantastic team of technicians and conservators. To install the show at Tate Britain we have also enlisted the help of two of Richard Deacon’s long-term collaborators – Matthew Perry, who has worked with him for 30 years, and Niels Dietrich, at whose ceramics studio in Cologne Richard makes his clay pieces. There are about 30 works in the show. Among the monumental sculptures are the flowing contours of wood-laminated works, such as Blind Deaf and Dumb A made in 1985, galvanised steel sculptures and some improbably large ceramics…

While formulating ideas as to how to approach the selection I really enjoyed making models of the sculptures from pipe cleaners, cornflake packets and plasticine. They have been incredibly useful as a three-dimensional working tool. It’s always exciting to watch a work come out of its crate and see how, piece by piece, the show gradually takes shape. Each day is different when putting a show together and there is always a huge variety of jobs to do. These range from making decisions about the specific placement of works, to working with colleagues in Tate’s Learning and Press departments on last-minute details…

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