In September, with Leeds Art Gallery still closed to the public, we attended a curatorial session behind the scenes with the curators, Theodore and Natalie, to work out how to make an ‘intervention’ of our artwork within the JS Cotman exhibition.
We worked in a dimly lit space – to help conserve the delicate watercolours and drawings – where the Cotman work was in the process of being prepared for hanging. It felt quite amazing to be a part of the curating process and a little daunting to find where our own artworks would best ‘fit in’. At one point, H was filmed as he was interviewed by Natalie about the relationship between Studio 3’s work and Cotman’s work.
With some guidance from the curators about the three themes the works were grouped into – ‘Storm’, ‘Shelter’ and ‘Modernity’ – we soon discovered places our own works related to and we started to place our pieces alongside the Cotman’s.
Eventually, with a bit of expert tweaking here and there from the curators, we managed to arrange a series of clusters of our artwork at different points within the Cotman work. And we were pleasantly surprised at how well it all seemed to work together. Photographic records were taken of where everything was placed before our work was carefully gathered in folders to be put in storage until needed. Natalie commented “The group should be so proud of themselves. It really is great to go all the way to the curatorial stage”
It felt such a privilege to be a part of this curatorial process and we found it a really interesting and educational experience. H commented that “I see why you need to have a degree in curation now.”
We are excited to see how it will all actually look when we finally get to see our ‘intervention’ in the week of 7th – 12th November when it will be on public display.