Artist as Curator – Reflection on Studio Practice

During the last year, I have tried to find a balance between my studio artistic practice and my curatorial practice.  My knowledge of curatorial practices has grown significantly in recent months under the guidance of my tutor Edith Doove and I have done my utmost to develop my skills in this field – particularly with regard to my own arts practice.

In my most recent studio project I have tried to take an objective look at how my work is displayed to allow for wider audience interpretation.  Quite often I have had a tendency to produce somewhat personal and subjective work which perhaps can shut off members of the public. However, my aim is to make my work accessible to a wider demographic in terms of being able to relate or connect to the pieces.

Furthermore, the curatorial aspect has made me consider how small distractions and unnecessary clutter can change the context and meaning of the work.  With this in mind, I have tried to limit the amount of equipment used in my CURA300 project.  I wish to keep the work as simple as possible so that audience members can focus on just a view elements at one time without having a visual overload.  With my video installation I used a small projector and although I may have been wise to try to disguise it, it was much more preferable than a larger projector, laptop and speakers.  The room for my video installation is quite small, so it was important to limit the amount of objects placed within the space.  (

It had been suggested that I remove the door of the room and replace with a curtain to allow for easier access to the room.  I can appreciate this comment as I would want as many people as feasibly possibly to view my work during Plymouth College of Art’s Summer Show.  However, there are other video/sound works around me – one of which is particularly loud and may cause a significant distraction if I were to remove the door.  I will have to create a sign for the door to advise audience members to enter the room to view my work and close the door behind them to allow them to witness the film projection at its maximum potential (if the door is left open, the projected film is not as clear as there is too much light filtering into the room.

As mentioned in previous posts I arranged the school desk and chairs in a specific way to not only allow up to two audience members seating to view the film but also to give a sense of superiority toward the desk which is placed at an angle in the opposite corner.  I wanted the desk to take on a life of its own and also present a substitute for a child who may have been told to stand in the corner of the class after misbehaving. (

Furthermore, the furniture was chosen specifically to create a sense of familiarity and recognition within the viewer, with the hope of evoking an involuntary memory.(

There are probably still things I would change if it were possible to do so with regard to the set-up of the work (i.e. remove electric sockets, paint out electric cables etc) but I am satisfied with the result.

I have found my studio artistic practice to be quite stressful at times but have enjoyed how the pieces have come together and are improved by considering how they are displayed and curated.  Overall, I have enjoyed the role of artist as curator and feel that each aspect has benefited the other and become one amalgamated practice as opposed to two.



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