Welcome to the Storylab Gallery and the exhibition 'Twists and Tails - The Story of Angelina Ballerina'.  My name is Sarah McGlynn, and I'm the new Exhibitions Assistant, newest member of the Collections Team. I was excited to get started on the installation of this exhibition, we had been working on it since before I arrived in May and now the date had arrived. 

For three days last week most of the Collections Team were involved in the hanging of this exhibition.  On Monday, after dismantling and packing the Picturebook in Progress exhibition we then prepared the gallery by filling in holes and repainting the walls so that the space looked brand new again. Hanging exhibitions is best done methodically and the team worked closely according to our schedules, we did invite some extra helpers but they remained firmly seated on the sofa.

I spent Tuesday customising a large mirror and transforming it into what would hopefully become the centrepiece of  every little mouse's experience of visiting the exhibition.  Due to the delicate nature of the artwork, we have to keep light levels at 50 LUX; this meant that the photopoint, which has recently become a prerequisite for exhibitions, had to be placed well away from any original artworks.  We decided to have the mirror as a central part of this area so that visitors could dress up, see themselves in the mirror and then have their photo taken in front of the Angelina wall graphics. 

The original artwork and correspondence from Helen Craig and Katherine Holabird had been framed and was ready to be mirror plated before installation could take place.  Whilst mirror plating, we were able to take the measurements of the frames and prepare to make the calculations required for hanging. The exhibition had been carefully curated in advance and the layout went according to plan, using some double hanging, there would be exactly the right amount of wallspace for the works chosen. 

At the same time as we were hanging the artworks, Lindsey, the Seven Stories conservator, was carefully placing objects in the display cases on mounts specifically made from archival mount board. 

Simultaneously the graphics both large and small were being sited and fixed to the walls.  The original artwork is very beautiful, tiny and detailed so we used large graphics to complement the artwork and give Angelina a presence in the room from a distance.

With the addition of pink labels crediting the artwork, a sprinkling of pink stars, generous piles of Angelina picture books and drawing activities, a plain room had been transformed into a delightful space filled with gems of information and a truly wonderful place to spend time.

If you would like to visit the exhibition, it will be on display from Saturday 19th July until April 2015 at Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books. Click here to find out details about visiting the Centre.

If you'd like to find out more about the Helen Craig archive or would like to arrange a research visit to the Seven Stories Collection then
email: collections@sevenstories.org.uk, phone: 01914952707 or visit: http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/collection.

Interested in other posts about Storylab Gallery at Seven Stories? Click here or here.

Angelina Ballerina books are now published by Puffin Books and are available for sale from the Seven Stories Bookshop.