In five words, describe your place in the sector.
Outgoing baby curator, incoming student.
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
I drifted here, having initially left high school wanting to be a designer! This was a series of small decisions rather than a particular moment, but I think I was inching closer and closer to working in a space where ideas could be discussed in quite flexible and sometimes abstract ways (contemporary art). That being said, I’m still drawn to the optimistic pragmatism of design - which is one reason why I’m about to circle back and start an MA in ‘Design Research, Writing and Criticism’.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
I think I’ve said this elsewhere but it still rings true for me - the hardest thing has probably been coming to terms with the fact that as a curator your output is very public, despite the quality of your work having its ups and downs like everyone else's. Sometimes it feels like an episode of Chopped - you’ve put something together from a certain set of ingredients with a few surprise challenges thrown in there, but when the audience is appraising your work they don’t know about/don’t need to know about the constraints of the project.
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
The Dowse gave me my first shot at curating, and the team there has continued to be incredibly supportive as I navigated my first proper job as the Manager/Curator at Enjoy. I’ve learned a lot from Emma Bugden and Courtney Johnston by osmosis (I’m sure no one likes being called a role model, but they are super role models). I also have awesome peers within the visual arts - people like Ioana Gordon-Smith and Chloe Geoghegan (Chloe and I started at Enjoy and the Blue Oyster at almost exactly the same time) - and that’s a great mutual support network to have.
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
This is less to do with being emerging and more to do with age, but It’s slowly dawning on me how different generational outlooks can be. We inherit certain things that those before us have struggled for - and we have concerns and ideas of our own that we put our energy into.
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
Others have highlighted really worthy things in their On the Level responses, and maybe this wish comes across a little naive, but: I’d like to see greater recognition of the way that people’s perspectives and positions can change as they learn and grow, and more forgiveness and understanding for people as they learn through doing. I think sometimes when we’re in critical-thinking-mode we can be a little quick to jump to the offensive, and I like to think that most people (and organisations) have good intentions most of the time.
What is your karaoke song?
I wish it could be the theme song from The Nanny.