Curatorial development in Scotland

A few thoughts on the weekend of 24 -25 September

I really enjoyed the Framework structure of the Saturday. The opportunity to hear other people’s practice and their lines of inquiry while also getting my project peer critiqued, is often missing from my working institutional practice. Generally there is little time for hearing about work in progress and reflection is often on a practical level. However by the time it got to me I was slightly nervous, as I realised how institutionalised I am. But in some ways I am grateful for the freedom that the institution has given to explore work and practices interest me and challenge preconceived notions of that institution.

I also realised the cushion being part of an institution can be. I also think it influences my practice as I don’t always decide where that work is going. I also don’t necessarily have the luxury of time to explore ideas for exhibitions and themes and then present them to galleries I think would work best, as I get given exhibition time slots, the galleries to use and on occasion the theme and contexts I have to work in. But given all those ‘constraints’ I don’t feel I am any less free to take risks or work with really exciting artists and communities to curate exhibitions and programmes.

The other presentations made me think hard about the way I was approaching my work but also the feedback I received on Saturday was very useful in preparing me for the research discussion on ATELIER PUBLIC that I had on the following Thursday. It gave me much more confidence about exploring difficult ethical questions about the exhibition.


Although I missed a couple of the workshops the ones I was able to attend related to broken conversations I have had or reaffirmed ideas or brought about new challenges to a practice I have begun to explore. Sunday was no different. The idea of ‘extended practice’ and the explorations of the curatorial seemed to give me a framework to describe in some way where my practice is going. I was really excited by the ideas of preserving the space… the commons….  the physical space … the play space …… what is possible in constructed spaces. I heard something recently that resonated with these discussions of spaces we are creating where conversations happen – ‘What we do in creating these spaces, we create Geographies of Hope’.

The stronger the framework the better the loss of control or the ‘free play’