Regardless of my intentions to write more frequently in my blog, something more urgent always interferes.

I recently prepared a new five frame Exhibit. The idea for this exhibit came from the devasting earthquake which hit the Solomon Islands on April 2 of this year. I decided to prepare the exhibit and entered it just within the time limit for ORAPEX on May 4 and May 5.

The title is New Georgia Tok-tok. New Georgia is the group of islands in the Western privince which was hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami; and tok-tok is Solomon pijin english meaning many people talking. I used a looser translation of tok-tok to define it as communication. The Exhibit then treated the postal history of the part of that Solomon Islands which was affected by the earthquake.

The two Post Offices in the pre-war period were Gizo and Shortland Islands (which is further to the west of New Georgia but also hard hit). In the post-war period can be added Munda as a Post Office. The postal agencies include the famous Barakoma airfield. Other postal agencies have been established on many of the islands.

A theme which I tried to get across was that just as written communication often took weeks to travel short distances in the twentieth century, so too in this century electronic communication about the hardest hit areas is very slowly coming in. The town of Gizo with modern facilities, a tourist trade, and significant European residents was immediately in the news. Small villages which were literally washed away with an undetermined number of deaths and injuries still have not been heard from.

In the weeks leading up to the Exhibit, I planned it in my head. In the days leading up to ORAPEX I started drafting the Exhibit. In the hours leading up to mounting the Exhibit in the frame I almost did without sleep but did the mount the Exhibit Saturday morning before returning to the store to begin packing for the show which opened at 10 o’clock that morning.

There were problems with my Exhibit that I was aware of; and others that I learned about because of a long discussion and critique with the Chief Judge Sam Chiu.

(During my exhibiting career I have sometimes had helpful advice about my exhibits which often related to story line and presentation. Every Judge has tried to be helpful but some have really not been able to help much. For example it was very frustrating for me to have one judge say there was nothing he could suggest to improve my Exhibit and yet award only 21 out of 35 points for importance which dropped the exhibit from a gold to a vermeil medal. What I have done after every time I have Exhibited is to re-do the whole Exhibit based on the Judge’s comments I received. No Exhibit has been placed in consecutive judging situations without improving the material in the frames. These lead me to want to “hit the judges over the head” with descriptions on pages like “this is the only known example”.)

That was a long aside. Most Judges have taken lots of time and I would especially mention Dave Piercey. However after ORAPEX I want to put Sam Chiu alone on a special pedestal. No Judge has ever been so focused on the whole exhibit or offered such useful comments on how to improve.

The upshot is that I am now planning to exhibit at the Royal in October with an eight frame exhibit on the same subject.

It is possible I will eventually master exhibiting; but the same cannot be said for computers. I assume this blog will NOT have a title (and you don’t want to hear about how messed up the text became when I tried to italicize one phrase).

-Ian Kimmerly