Curating Fragments



I've been to plenty of shows at the Norman Rea Gallery before and even assisted with one ('Uncovering Art') in the past, but I don't think I've ever fully comprehended the amount of work putting such an exhibition together involves until my proposal 'Fragments' was accepted by the Norman Rea Gallery committee. When my idea was accepted, the exhibition seemed like a long time away. Fortunately though, I've always been very good at procrastinating uni work and planning the exhibition became a perfect means of doing so!

I must say I've learnt a lot over this period of planning, and I thought you guys might appreciate some advice in case you ever find yourself in a similar position!

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  1. Have a clear idea in mind of the theme of your exhibition before you start selecting artworks. This way you'll know what kind of art/artists you're looking for.

  2. Related to this, don't accept artwork you think is irrelevant to your theme or not in keeping with the quality of the other works JUST because the artist is your friend. Be ruthless (in a nice way!).

  3. Be open to new ideas - if someone suggests something unusual, think about it carefully before you reject it. I was initially set on the idea of having live poetry readings on the opening night, but my housemate suggested I use a recording instead. This was much less intrusive and allowed people to converse alongside it playing.

  4. Google Docs are life savers - you can share documents with lots of people in a matter of seconds. I'd recommend putting together a separate document for the exhibition proposal, the artist's bios, the price list and the selection of images you'd like to use. You can change and adapt these as you go along!

  5. Contact the artists you want as soon as you can to establish which artworks you'd like from them. You'd be surprised how complicated it is to arrange the delivery of the work!

  6. Arrange a meeting with your curatorial team as soon as possible to establish potential roles. I organised who would take photographs on the private view night at the first meeting, and we ended up with some lovely shots from Fiona Wong!

  7. Ask for at least two experienced people to help you out during installation, so that they can instruct those who are unsure!

  8. Try to see the work in person before you select it. Sometime you can get a completely warped view of scale and colour in reproductions!

  9. Enjoy the experience - it's a great opportunity to meet new people, consolidate an idea and develop your creative potential and organisational skills! All the stress pays off in the end!!!

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If you didn't manage to catch the show last night, don't worry - 'Fragments' is on display until the 24th!


Tascha von Uexkull

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