The exhibition projects I create are centred on contemporary craft and design practice, but not exclusively about designer/makers, and these projects often have strong participation projects. I work closely with artists, investigating their own aims and ambitions, and exploring how to fulfil these and ignite ambition in others; creating dynamic and provocative exhibitions and events that support venues’ own goals for audience development. I’ve secured and managed funded commissions, creating suitable environments for artists to explore and experiment, and to increase the scale and intent of their work.
My programming is driven by a continued thirst to learn, and to communicate with diverse audiences, in the desire to elucidate, entertain, educate and provoke thought and debate. I am intrigued by the processes, both physical and intellectual, that underpin creative development; artists’ handling of materials and technologies; and how artists tackle challenging subject matter and present this to audiences.
Alongside detailed examinations of the whole life practices of thoughtful and thought-provoking artists such as Renate Keeping (whose output reflected on her family background as displaced German Jews and working class Londoners, family life and the ageing process), I also programme on themes of great interest to me. For example, Beauty is the First Test was an examination of how art and craft practices use mathematical theories, both implicit and explicit, to complete works of great technical skill and pleasing appearance. It was a deliberate challenge to the phobia that many people experience about maths and numeracy skills. What Do I Need to Do to Make it OK? toured for two years, and looked at damage and repair in the natural world and to bodies and minds, asking how we reconcile ourselves to change.