Curatorial development in Scotland

Nick Thomas

Having graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2012, I’ve been involved in various self-organised projects. As well as making my own work, I’ve spent a lot of time collaborating with others to put on shows at venues like SWG3, The Old Hairdressers and the sadly now defunct Studio 41.

Between September 2013 and August 2015 I was a committee member at Transmission Gallery. While not ‘curatorial’ in the traditional sense, the committee were responsible for every aspect of running the space, from programming to organising the finances. Transmission has a distinct, though hard to define ethos, and benefits from strong international connections, with numerous shows involving artists from overseas, as well as exchanges with other artist run spaces. Through Transmission I learnt a lot about working with artists, thinking around the perceived limitations of a space, the primacy of documentation in the circulation of artists’ work, the importance of slowness and much more besides.

Between February and July 2015 I was programme assistant at LUX Scotland, where I contributed to many aspects of the organisation’s activities, including screenings, talks and touring programmes. With projects such as ‘Where I Am’, an investigation into the history of artists’ moving image in Scotland, I was involved in an in-depth research process and hand-on collaboration with institutions across Scotland.

Drawing on my previous experience, I’m particularly interested in the working processes that go into putting together an exhibition or event and in particular the difficulty inherent to truly collaborative methods. Other current interests include the intersection of science fiction and critical theory, post-humanist thought and historical questions of distribution around artists’ moving image.

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