Catching Up

It has been quite some time since I last blogged here and I’m now ready to get back into it! So, what have I been doing since August 2014?!

Well, quite a lot has happily happened in my personal and professional life. So lets take a look at it all chronologically.

In the first week of September 2014, I went on a course run by the Independent Cinema Office  in Cambridge for a few days, to work on strategic audience development in my role as film programmer at JW3 Cinema. I learnt so much from this experience and am still implementing the successful project that was a result of this course.

Kate Ross presentation for Film Hub London Exhibitors Breakfast 28 April 2015_004


In the second week of September, I went to California for 3 weeks. I was working remotely from there for the first part, so that I could join my husband who was there for work and we stayed in Palo Alto during that time. We then took a holiday as we were in the area already and did a brilliant road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles on the famous Route 1, Pacific drive.

Route 1 Pacific Drive

Route 1 Pacific Drive

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood














A couple of days after arriving back in London from California, I sang with Minim Singers at a special event to mark preparation for the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur at New North London Synagogue with a panel of speakers sharing their musings on the subject of sin.


minim singers


In September, I also took on another role at JW3 and have been working as Music Programmer since then, until July 2015, programming and managing music events across a range of genres.

Jive Aces - the UK's number 1 Jive & Swing band who I programmed to play at JW3

Jive Aces – the UK’s number 1 Jive & Swing band who I programmed to play at JW3

The next few months involved me doing a lot of wedding planning, as we decided to get married in the spring. I also sang a lot during that time including at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea with English Chamber Choir and in November with the Chelsea Arts Club Choir.

French Reflections concertjpg










December saw all the regular seasonal festivities and a lot of singing in my other two choirs as is usual at that time of year.

My nephew was also born at the end of December which was the best gift ever!

February was taken up with wedding planning full steam ahead as our wedding took place on 8th March.

Kate & Itay - wedding

Kate & Itay – wedding

We went on honeymoon to the stunning Italian region of South Tyrol and on returning to London I sang at Chelsea Arts Club in another weekend of concerts.

South Tyrol

glitter and be gay concert


In April things were busy at my workplace, as JW3 merged with LJCC – the London Jewish Cultural Centre so there were new programmes to integrate and new staff to get to know and in May I was back in Israel to see family and to go to a wedding.

Haifa, Israel

Haifa, Israel


Back to now in June 2015, I’ve had a bit of a ‘life makeover’ and changed my hairdo, glasses and (sur)name.


new me

new me







Of course a lot more has happened over these months than some of the highlights I picked out above but it gives you a taste.


Here’s to everything that’ll be happening next, including hopefully more blogging!









Kate Ross Curator – New Website

I have now launched my new website! Here’s hoping that a proper website will help me to publicise what I’m doing and bring in more work. I will still be blogging here, the website is just an easy way for people to find out about what I do. Please take a look around the site which is in its first version and do share it!

kate Ross Curator - Website

kate Ross Curator – Website

SYNESTHESIA I – launching my new visual art & sound series at Notting Hill Arts Club, curated by Kate Ross – Curatorial Curiosities

The new visual art and sound series that I am curating for Notting Hill Arts Club launches on the evening of Monday 3rd June with SYNESTHESIA I. I chose the name SYNESTHESIA for the series as it describes an experience that I have always been fascinated with, whether in connection to artist Wassily Kandinsky’s ‘music-painting’ or with regards to contemporary artists creating video art that stimulates simultaneous reactions to sight and sound. I also thought that the name SYNESTHESIA sounded like a club night which would work well for the venue – Notting Hill Arts Club. I think the name also stands out clearly and looks eye catching on the flyer that artist Nicky Carvell has designed for the night.

digital flyer for SYNESTHESIA I designed  by Nicky Carvell

digital flyer for SYNESTHESIA I designed by Nicky Carvell


En Visage – Nicky Carvell

For SYNESTHESIA I Nicky Carvell has produced large-scale ‘Naff Graphic’ decals, mirroring the huge cut outs of musicians and sports people which still adorn the now stripped out interior of the Visage nightclub in Leisure World.

Sorry luv, you’re not dressed right.” Dismissed by the bouncer beneath the glare of the jaunty neon sign, Visage Nightclub was my teenage anathema,’ writes Carvell. ‘Having journeyed to Leisure World with my friends, I was not allowed in again despite the irony that I was the only one dressed in leisure wear, a rejection which embellished the notion of Visage as a glamorous otherworld that I would never experience – it is now due to be demolished.

The title “En Visage” signals this sophistication onto a fantasy land that will remain just that. It is this artificial jazzy sign that still fascinates me; the dream overriding the grotty reality.
Carvell sees her own cut outs as ‘signs’ to an alternate realm where anything is possible. Indulging on the look of ’80s post-modern record covers, fabric prints and TOTP set designs, these signs envisage uplifting visions which fizz before the eyes, dynamically flashing, always on the precipice.
Nicky Carvell’s work celebrates commercial visuals which may be stylistically outdated, but yet retain a powerful presence through their innate dynamism. Carvell sees her work as a simultaneous deconstruction and veneration of mass-market visuals, becoming retro yet progressive at the same time.Nicky Carvell has exhibited in London, New York, Milan and The Netherlands.
She has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Royal Academy Schools, London.

Nicky Carvell’s En Visage works will be on display until August 2013.
Nicky Carvell's En Visage logo designed especially for the exhibition at Notting Hill Arts Club

Nicky Carvell’s En Visage logo designed especially for the exhibition at Notting Hill Arts Club


IKTA LIVE – Victoria Trinder & Collaborators

IKTA presents a session of experimental sound play, featuring Victoria Trinder and special instrumentalist guests. Working with traditional modes of composition in conjunction with and interactive sound objects that introduce an element of the unpredictable.

IKTA logo

IKTA logo

Victoria Trinder works in collaboration with other creatives operating within a multidisciplinary arena. She highlights and documents exchanges that take place through dialogue and activity, championing the symbiotic relationships that are embedded in our contemporary day-to-day society.

saxophone is amplified  & ready for an IKTA live sessoin

saxophone is amplified & ready for an IKTA live session

Trinder founded IKTA (I Keep Thinking About) an Internet Radio station that acts as a platform for emerging creative voices regardless of age, gender and cultural backgrounds. IKTA broadcasts experimental sound sessions that occur at headquarters in North London.

equipment set up for an IKTA live rehearssal

equipment set up for an IKTA live rehearssal

Victoria Trinder holds a BA in Fine Art and is currently studying for her MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design. She has exhibited in the UK and internationally, recently being selected for feature at Pnem Sound Arts Festival, Holland. She holds a Post Graduate Teaching Certificate, obtained from Goldsmiths in 2008 and continues to work with adults and young people in and around London where she lives.


Any band that can play ‘spontaneous soundscapes’ influenced by avant-rock, progressive dub, classical, latin and soul with some electro-industrial and psychedelic skronk have got to be great musicians, and that sure applies to GD Painting and Horseless Headmen, whose improvisations may feature ‘churning groove, soaring melody, glorious racket and epic abstraction.’ Fans of Can, Faust, King Crimson and Song X will like this too.

Horseless Headmen performing

Horseless Headmen performing


Half An Abortion is far more considered than the gonzo band name would have you expect: this is carefully-layered, properly physical noise, some of which could be lazily described as ‘harsh’. Yet it actually has a very engaging flow, a wry humour and a structure that invites the listener to climb all over it.


I am really excited about the first event in the series and invite you all to come and join in at Notting Hill Arts Club. Please join the Facebook event through this link.

I am Curator for Notting Hill Arts Club

I have some exciting news on my career development in curating… I am now curator for Notting Hill Arts Club which is  a specialist pioneering music and arts venue. Here is what Notting Hill Arts Club say about themselves on their website:

Through conceptualising and cultivating niche, underground and genre defining nights, the artsclub has set the musical map of London. Alongside our serious graphic arts based exhibition programme, concept visuals, and extended area-shaping public arts projects, the artsclub is fundamentally explained in its belief that a world created by artists would be a better place.

What and How am I Curating at Notting Hill Arts Club?

I am very excited about this opportunity and I decided to create a new visual art and sound series for Notting Hill Arts Club which I am curating. This new programme reflects my curatorial curiosities, research and practice into new contemporary visual art work by emerging artists, sound art and the idea of the non-gallery space. The series is allowing me the profile  artists whose work I think is cutting edge, interesting and different. I will curate exhibitions around every 2 months and the opening/ private views of these shows will have a whole night created around them with sound and performance artists who I have chosen because their work fits together with the style and ethos of the venue as well as complimenting the artwork to be displayed on the walls of the Club. The process of curating in this non-gallery space is interesting and challenging as the Club is in a basement area, so it is not well lit, therefore I am also choosing art work which is vibrant and will stand out well and is appropriate to the club environment. I am also having to consider the fact that the venue is not an art gallery, so people are using the space to socialise, watch live bands and have a good time so the work needs to be secure so damage is minimised and the work is protected yet can still be enjoyed and on view. For this first exhibition, the images are being printed on matt vinyl which is a resistant material that will stick to the well used club walls like a huge sticker.

the exterior of Notting Hill Arts Club. Sandwiched between a restaurant & a hair salon, you have to be in the know to realise what's beyond the wooden doors... 'small basement, big fun'

the exterior of Notting Hill Arts Club. Sandwiched between a restaurant & a hair salon, you have to be in the know to realise what’s beyond the wooden doors… ‘small basement, big fun’

The Idea of a Multi Purpose Arts Space

The Notting Hill Arts Club is the perfect type of venue which matches my interests and strong belief in the idea that the future for showing art work seems to more and more be the multi purpose space, meaning that a venue which artists and curators can work in, also has another strand of revenue in order to keep it going and secure its future. In the case of Notting Hill Arts Club, that’s the live music nights they put on and charge at the door for.

Online Presence and Publicity through Social Media Networks WORKS

I was actually approached by a staff member of the Notting Hill Arts Club team who had been researching artists and curators on the Internet, thanks to this blog where my work was viewed and it appealed to the person who contacted me. I’m a believer in the power of social media and free online publicity for creatives. Its working for me so far! Further to this, I have started a professional Facebook page to keep people updated on my work as a curator and you can join it by clicking here.

In my next post I’ll outline the first exhibition and event curated by me for Notting Hill Arts Club which will be happening soon.

Curating SURFACE exhibition at Chelsea Futurespace gallery

SURFACE is the latest exhibition that I have curated, this time with Daisy McMullan who is my colleague at my workplace CHELSEA space . As part of my role this year as Chelsea Arts Club Trust Fellow  (which you can read about here), Donald Smith – Director of Exhibitions at CHELSEA space informed my colleague and I that there was a gap in the exhibitions programme at our sister gallery Chelsea Futurespace and that we would have the opportunity of curating an exhibition there.

Chelsea Futurespace Exterior

Chelsea Futurespace from exterior to interior during SURFACE private view

The Challenges & Limitations

Chelsea Futurespace is not a space which has the sole function of a gallery.

Chelsea Futurespace is an exemplary collaboration between Chelsea College of Art and Design, Futurecity arts consultancy, and the property developer, St James Urban Living, part of the Berkeley group. It provides a showcase exhibiting space for the alumni and staff of Chelsea College of Art and Design set within St James’ Grosvenor Waterside development at Chelsea Bridge.

So, there are some challenges involved in putting on an exhibition in such a space which is a foyer to a high end residential development where anything from furniture deliveries to dogs and children being walked traipse through, but these can also be looked on as positive opportunities. As mentioned above, Chelsea Futurespace was created as an exhibiting space to showcase specifically work from alumni and staff of Chelsea College of Art and Design, so as curators there was already a structure within which the artists selected would need to fit.

As Chelsea Futurespace is also a living space with the day to day function of being used as the foyer and reception to the whole residential developement, this means that the gallery is part of the residents’ home and many families and children come through the space on a daily basis. So the artwork displayed has to be unobjectionable to viewers and any material that could be seen as explicit or offensive in any way cannot be shown.

Chelsea Futurespace walls

view of two of the exhibiting walls at Chelsea Futurespace during SURFACE exhibition

A practical point that had to be considered is that for exhibiting, the space consists of 4 two-sided walls, each 10ft square ie 8 walls each 10ft/306cm square. These white walls are moveable, but aesthetically and curatorially, navigation and narrative around the show would need to be succesfully achieved so there are only so many possible combinations for the walls which work well. As the space is used constantly for deliveries, as a shortcut and more, any artwork displayed in the space needs to be securely attached to the walls or safe and not pretruding in the way if not directly fastened to the walls.

The Artwork & Theme

So how did we as curators choose the exhibition theme, title, the artists and artworks? We decided that it would be easiest and most efficient to select a broad theme that would allow for a number of different media or artwork to be included into it. I was keen to avoid an exhibition which would only profile one media of artwork and from the start, as Chelsea Futurespace is bright and open, surrounded by large windows and water, I imagined the show to be colourful and rich in variation, interest and technique. The theme of surface allowed for artwork to be exhibited from painting, textiles, collage, drawing, print and objects, therefore crossing the boundaries between fine art, craft and design. I also felt that this range of artwork reflects the multiple areas of practice which are explored by students (and therefore alumni) of Chelsea College of Art & Design.

Charlotte Jonerheim's work at SURFACE exhibition, Chelsea Futurespace, 2013

Charlotte Jonerheim’s work at SURFACE exhibition, Chelsea Futurespace, 2013

Two of the artists I was especially pleased to exhibit work by, were Charlotte Jonerheim, whose work I had admired at the MA Fine Art Chelsea College of Art & Design summer show last year and Brian Chalkley whose work I have written about here. I knew that Charlotte would be able to work successfully in adapting to the limitations of the space as described above and that she would create an installation that was site specific, also using objects from her personal artist’s history which is a method used by Charlotte in her practice. I was determined to have Charlotte’s work included in the show so that there would be objects in the exhibition and not just artworks fixed the wall. In the end, Charlotte used a shelf she had made and a plinth from CHELSEA space to display her work which was the highlight of the show for me, physically coming out of the wall space, yet the delicate nature of the objects were protected.

Charlotte Jonerheim Excavation II 2012-13

Charlotte Jonerheim Excavation II, 2012-13 Cupboard, paint, porcelain, muslin & wax

Charlotte Jonerheim Excavation I 2012-13 Exhibit 1, fringe & wax. Exhibit 2, porcelain figure & surgical gloves. Exhibit 3, plaster, pigment, & bangle. Exhibit 4, porcelain, lamp holder & thread

Charlotte Jonerheim Excavation I 2012-13 Exhibit 1, fringe & wax. Exhibit 2, porcelain figure & surgical gloves. Exhibit 3, plaster, pigment, & bangle. Exhibit 4, porcelain, lamp holder & thread

The work by Brian Chalkley that we decided to show, were his collages which are made using fashion magazine figures that have then been altered by the artist. I love these images which are striking, playful and also prompt us to think about what we see in magazines that is real and what is invented. This couture collage technique is clever and fun.

Brian Chalkley. If you're gonna be on TV and in films, people are gonna look at you in the street, 2012

Brian Chalkley. Collage. If you’re gonna be on TV and in films, people are gonna look at you in the street, 2012


It was important to us that the branding for the exhibition was clear and consistent, since we also run CHELSEA space, the invitations, press release, mailout and list of works would stick to the Chelsea Futurespace style. We chose a font that was clear and that we liked the look of and each time the exhibition name SURFACE was written, we used the exhibition title font, so that the reader is not confused between the show title and the use of the word surface. Below you can see how the A5 black and white publication we produced matches the style of the invitation card. We chose one of the artworks from the exhibition by Kangwook Lee for the publication booklet cover as well as on the invitation card as it was decorative, detailed and it worked well with the text style.

SURFACE exhibition invite card and publication cover

SURFACE exhibition invite card and     publication cover

the curious curator with Charlotte Jonerheim while installing her work at the SURFACE exhibition at Chelsea Futurespace

the curious curator with Charlotte Jonerheim while installing her work at the SURFACE exhibition at Chelsea Futurespace

Curating the SURFACE exhibition was an enjoyable opportunity, being able to pick and choose artists and work that was to our taste. However, it was also challenging due to working in a multi functioning space with its limitations. The exhibition has been well received and has now been extended until 28th April 2013.

Exhibition Review – Young Masters Art Prize part I at Sphinx Fine Art

my latest exhibition review for One Stop Arts  discusses the Young Masters Art Prize part I at Sphinx Fine Art.

You can read the review here and you can my interview with Daisy McMullan – curator of the Young Masters Art Prize is here.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

Curating Young and Old Masters. Interview with Daisy McMullan – Curator, Young Masters Art Prize 2012

Daisy McMullan, curator of the Young Masters Art Prize 2012 tells Kate Eleanor Ross about curating  Young and Old Masters at Sphinx Fine Art gallery in London. We discussed the role of the curator, the challenges involved with this exhibition and found out more about Daisy’s curatorial practice and interests.  Daisy is my colleague at CHELSEA space where we both work. I am the Chelsea Arts Club Trust Research Fellow (which I write about in this post here ) and Daisy is the Ashley Family Foundation Research Fellow.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: Please introduce the Young Masters Art Prize for those of us who haven’t heard about it yet.

DM: The Young Masters Art Prize is for emerging and established artists who are inspired by the Old Masters and art history. It encourages artists to look back to the past for inspiration, whether that takes the form of a theme, such as mythology, a genre such as portraiture, a technique such as chiaroscuro, or a more literal sort of appropriation.

The Prize started in 2009, and this time around we had over 400 applications, from all over the world. Gallerist Cynthia Corbett, the founder of the Young Masters Art Prize, saw a real need for a prize such as this that recognises contemporary art’s debt to the past.

The winner of the Prize will win £5,000 and two runners up will receive £500 each. The winner will be decided by a panel of judges, which is chaired by Godfrey Barker, a journalist and critic. The other judges include artist Adam Dant, Colin Wiggins who is Curator of Special Projects at the National Gallery, Anke Adler-Slottke who is a director at Christie’s, and Roy Bolton who is director of Sphinx Fine Art, who are also hosting the first of our two exhibitions. All of the shortlisted artists are featured in two London exhibitions; the first part is at Sphinx until October 27th where the contemporary works are hung alongside the gallery’s Old Master Collection and the second will be at Gallery 27 Cork Street, from the 19th – 24th November, when our winner will be announced.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: Name a favourite museum/gallery.

DM: My favourite historical gallery is the Courtauld, it’s full of incredible works, and the collection is really well curated, with an excellent balance between the scholarly and a more general approach.  It also has that wonderful Manet painting of the A Bar at the Folies-Bergère which I find completely absorbing.

I would choose the Camden Arts Centre as my favourite contemporary gallery, I think the range of artists, projects and exhibitions they have is great, and I always enjoy the exhibitions they have there.  I particularly liked Simon Starling’s exhibition Never the Same River, I thought it was a clever play with past, present and future.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: Tell me about your role with the Young Masters Art Prize?

DM: My role has been primarily curatorial, so thinking about how to present the artists in the best way for each of their practices, liaising with the artists to research their work and how it can engage with two quite different exhibition spaces.  I also edited the catalogue and wrote a Curatorial Statement about the Prize and the artists.  For this show at Sphinx I also did a lot of work looking through their collection (which contains over 800 works) to find paintings and drawings that could be juxtaposed with the contemporary pieces.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: What were the most significant challenges of curating the exhibition whether that is in terms of the show hang or organising the exhibition logistically?

DM: Aside from cutting the hundreds of applications down to a shortlist of 26, the most significant curatorial challenge has been working out these juxtapositions, not only between the Old Masters and the shortlisted works, but creating a scheme for the whole exhibition around art historical genre, so that each floor has its own feel and atmosphere.  In the basement there is a busy, salon-type display around still life, nature and animals, which works really well.  The first floor is a quieter room with red walls, that is dedicated to interiors, portraits and feels a lot more domestic.


Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: What is your favourite piece of work in the exhibition and why?

DM: I think I should tell you my favourite shortlisted artists after the judges have decided on a winner?  There is a really great Franz Hals portrait of a young man which I really love, and it works so perfectly next to Charles Moxon’s portrait Contemporary Reminiscence.  We also have a guest artist Ali Assaf, who has been invited to show alongside the shortlisted artists.  He is showing stills from his video work Narciso which was originally shown in the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.   The work is really powerful, based on a Caravaggio painting of the same name and Assaf appropriates the composition to ask questions about personal memory and identity.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: Describe a best and toughest moment of working on the Young Masters Art Prize.

DM: The best moment so far has been seeing this show finished and seeing all the work in the flesh for the first time, although I’m excited to find out who the winner will be. There are several very strong contenders.  The toughest thing has been coordinating so many international artists, the logistical side has been harder than I imagined. But, seeing the finished exhibition here at Sphinx has made it feel worthwhile.


Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: How do your research interests or curatorial practice connect with what you’ve been working on for the Young Masters Art Prize?

DM: My research interests are around contemporary artist’s interventions in the museum and the museum as a site of modernity. I am also interested in documentation, archives, and the relationship between the past and the present, so the Prize fits very well with my own research. I have recently written for engage journal about contemporary artists who appropriate museological forms of display.  I am also working on several new projects next year including two exhibitions with a group of textile artists.

Installation view of Young Masters Art Prize exhibition 2012 at Sphinx Fine Art gallery. Photograph by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize.

KR: What is next for Daisy McMullan, curator and where can we go to find out more about you also to keep up to date?

DM: Right now I am planning the second Young Masters exhibition at Gallery 27 in Cork Street which will be really exciting, and look very contemporary, completely different to the show at Sphinx. We will also have a work byYinka Shonibare who has kindly agreed to be a guest artist for that show, which is very exciting as a young curator.

Website for YM:

Twitter @corbettprojects

DM twitter: @daisy_mcmullan

All photographs are by Daisy McMullan and Young Masters Art Prize


Kate Eleanor Ross, author of the blog Curatorial Curiosities would like to thank Daisy McMullan for being the first to be interviewed for this blog. Here’s to many more! If you’re interested in being interviewed by me, please read details for how to get in touch by clicking here or go to the contact me page.

Beyond the Bookshelves exhibition. Curating by curatorial curiosities

I have been working hard on curating my exhibition called Beyond the Bookshelves, at the Old College Library, Chelsea College of Art & Design.

It has been an exciting, interesting and busy time so far working on curating this exhibition. I have met many different people along the way, ranging from artists to an army colonel!

Beyond the Bookshelves exhibition e-vite

Beyond the Bookshelves is an exhibition showing the work of three artists who explore the themes of text and books in their work. The exhibition space being used is the Old College Library at Chelsea College of Art & Design which was the purpose built college library for the Royal Army Medical College in the early 1900s.

The exhibition displays artists’ books and book arts made by book arts artist and painter Julie Caves, objects, sound and film clips from a live performative soundwork by sound artist and photographer Tansy Spinks and a specifically built display cabinet with book material by typographer and designer Phil Jones.

The curator has deliberately chosen three artists who work with different art forms and the exhibition also addresses the curatorial issues arising from displaying an exhibition in a non gallery space that has another daily function, as the silent reading room of the library.

cabinet by Phil Jones including two books - Tunnel Book and Staircase

The Space

Editor Norman Cousins wrote that, ‘A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life’.

This is certainly true of the Old College Library at Chelsea College of Art & Design which is the space chosen by the curator to show the exhibition Beyond the Bookshelves.

The curator began to be interested in this space, after assisting artist Tansy Spinks with her performance piece Silent Zone, Site and Sound  which was part of University of the Arts Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation Research Conference – Contested Sites/Sights. During that day, the space became an inspiring and thought provoking place to be and parts of its history and current function indeed started to come to life. This occurred for example, since the artist was using William Morris’s The Aims of Art and John Ruskin’s The Mystery of Life and its’ Arts, both of which are housed in the library as part of the extensive collection. This created a link with the wider field of the history of art and the function of the space.

Book Alphabet Book X-Y spread from artists' book by Julie Caves

Curator’s Choice

The process of putting this exhibition together has not only been a vehicle to looking beyond the bookshelves and discovering the history of the space, but also a way of exploring the process of curating and the multi facetted role of the curator. In order to create this exhibition, the curator fulfilled the roles of researcher, writer, editor, logistics project manager, artistic director and negotiator. The artists showing their work in this exhibition were chosen because of their direct links to the curator and working with each of them has marked important points along her career journey. The curator met book arts artist and painter Julie Caves during a short course completed in Independent Curating, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. The curator met sound artist and photographer Tansy Spinks at a Camberwell College of Arts led trip to the Venice Biennale. This lead to the curator assisting Tansy with her live performative sound work Silent Zone, Site and Sound which was discussed in a previous blog post of mine that you can see here. The curator was introduced to the work of Phil Jones (a designer and typographer carrying out a PhD, the thesis title of which is The bones of the book: Schematic structure and meanings made from books) by Tansy Spinks at the London College of Communication PhD research show Research in Progress: Pushing Boundaries and Practices. You can read more about that exhibition which I wrote about here.

I will post more updates about the exhibition as I get closer to the private view evening. Currently I am working on liaising with the library staff and making sure everything is completed logistically so that the exhibition can take place – including the risk assessment and so on, getting hold of the necessary equipment for the show from technical staff, whilst I am writing and editing content for the accompanying booklet that I am making for the exhibition which I will then format, print and bind myself.

Further Exhibition Private View information

Chelsea College of Art & Design 16 John Islip Street London SW1P 4JU

Location within building

Old College Library 1st Floor, Block C Access through main college entrance on Atterbury StreetWheelchair access: Yes

 Library Opening Hours

Monday       09.30 – 19.30

Tuesday       09.30 – 19.30

Wednesday 10.00 – 19.30

Thursday     09.30 – 19.30

Friday          09.30 – 17.00

Saturday     10.00 – 15.45

Sunday             Closed

By tube: Pimlico (Victoria Line) By bus: 2, 36, 185 or 436 bus from Victoria to the stop before Vauxhall Bridge and walk left along Millbank, or along John Islip Street; 88 from Oxford Circus to John Islip Street; 87 from Aldwych to Millbank. C10 from Elephant & Castle to John Islip Street. 360 from Elephant & Castle to Pimlico tube station.
By bicycle: Cycle racks are located on Atterbury Street. TfL Cycle hire docking station is located on Rampayne Street (off Vauxhall Bridge Road).