As well as the introduction to the weeks ahead on the MA Photography course we were asked if 3 volunteers would like to be part of a team of Curators of the student’s group Exhibition work in progress in August 2017.

I was asked to volunteer by a group of enthusiastic peer students, so after a lengthy selection process, I was elected as part of a team of curators.

So we were tasked with grouping students work in progress into 3 Subgroups and come up with a title for the main group exhibition and the sub groups theme names.

While I was looking forward to getting to the tasks in hand, it became very apparent that our time zones were not in sync regarding work schedules and this resulted in many late nights of discussions for my self; this made the task much harder to complete, however, I persevered.

So after many WhatsApp messaging and group webinar discussions, we presented our first round of ideas. This is a sample of 3 presentations I produced during discussions.

The way I approached the work was to arrange everyone’s work and keywords describing their work on a large floor area after cutting out printed copies of each of my peer work, so I could see everyone’s work and at the same time as well as look at individual aims of each person.

My ideas and theme names are based on the following research and reflections

  • The Groups own individual images represented with their respective keywords and aims
  • Laying out all of the students visual and labelled work into 3 subgroups, while thinking about the key areas to their respective works
  • Also, I thought about the ideas of interlinking work within each group so that each work viewed would in some way help to step into the next or evoke some interest of the other work within the group.
  • This contextual, visual analysis was also with the view that based on data so far; most people are looking for the local or relatively small audience to get some feedback over the seven days of the Exhibition
  • Key quotes and references and words from Exhibition literature and information

Key references s

Kendzulak, S. (2017). Get Ready to Curate Your Own Art Show. [online] The Balance. Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/curating-an-art-show-1295610 [Accessed 30 Jun. 2017].

Marincola, P. (2006). What makes a great exhibition ?. 1st ed. US: University of the Arts, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, US, p.48.

Landi, A. (2017). Title Fights: How Museums Name Their Shows | ARTnews. [online] Artnews.com. Available at: http://www.artnews.com/2013/12/09/how-museums-title-shows/ [Accessed 25 Jun. 2017].

Bishop, C. (2005). Installation Art. London: Tate Publisher, p.128.

Mumford, S. (2013). Be Smart About Art | Exhibition titles – love or hate them, we must create them. [online] Besmartaboutart.com. Available at: http://www.besmartaboutart.com/blog/27/exhibition-titles-love-or-hate-them-we-must-create-them [Accessed 2 Jul. 2017].

Art Blart. (2009). International artists/exhibitions by name & posting. [online] Available at: https://artblart.com/international-artists-international-exhibitions/ [Accessed 1 Jul. 2017].

Metal, S. (2013). How to Organize and Curate a Successful Group Art Exhibition. [online] Emptyeasel.com. Available at: http://emptyeasel.com/2013/01/22/how-to-organize-and-curate-a-successful-group-art-exhibition/ [Accessed 2 Jul. 2017].

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This experience was probably nothing like the real work of a curator as described in the literature I reviewed and it’s very rare 3 curators work as a team, so it was interesting how we worked together.  I thought overall we could have taken more risks with the theme names, but as this is only a work in progress exhibition the simplistic names probably match the low key exhibition platform. The group names that were selected at the end were as follows.

Main Group theme name – Searching for meaning

Sub-themes and groups

Who is responsible

  • Justin Carey
  • Simon Fremont
  • Gerry Hughes
  • Jedd Griffin
  • Josie Purcell
  • Rita Rodner
  • Philip Singleton
  • Simon Sweeney

How we Live

  • Matus Duda
  • Don Hodgson
  • Raptise Montsho
  • Philip Morris
  • Paul Peach
  • Daniel Smith
  • Crash Taylor
  • Ashley Truckey
  • Gemma Willis

What Defines us

  • Mandisa Baptiste
  • Sophie Bradley
  • Chris Chucas
  • Tomasz Kondracki
  • Dayana Sharon Marconi
  • Maryann Morris
  • Chris Northey
  • Jo-Anne Sutherst
  • Katie Watson

I was asked by my module tutor if I would do the curator role again and I replied at the time I would not do this again, however, what I really meant was I would consider doing again, but probably in a normal way in which curators would normally be asked to work in the real world situation.

For me, the best part was organizing peoples work and seeing how groups form and how work can work with other work in an exhibition platform.

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