"I went to Goldsmiths because I wanted to be in a critical and reflective environment. I talked to a lot of people who had gone through the programme and it felt like a place where I could develop my own curatorial voice. It offered space, great tutors, a peer group and time to interrogate my working processes.
I loved the course and it really changed the direction of my career. It was a very intense experience and I learned so much. I met some amazing people that I worked with and made lots of friends. Before the course, I had studied Fine Art and had spent a few years trying to be an artist, putting on shows in artist-led spaces and working in galleries. Goldsmiths really helped me to reflect on this experience and take my thinking to another level.
After graduating I became curator at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland developing their exhibitions and events programme. My MA research basically became my first year of programming. I have developed independent curatorial projects across the UK and regularly teach and write for art magazines and books. From 2016-18, I was a curating fellow at Newcastle University and co-curated the Turner Prize in 2017. I’m currently curator at Wellcome Collection working on their temporary exhibitions programme. Because of my support for emerging artists I've started to take on more advisory roles for organisations such as Jerwood Arts and Art Licks and currently sit on the board of New Contemporaries.
MFA Curating taught me to be rigorous and to give ideas and research the time they need. It taught me to think about the bigger picture, and that curating can encompass many different approaches. Importantly, the course gave me the confidence to understand that curating can be an artistic practice.
Two pieces of advice I received on the course stand out to me. As I’ve developed my career I really stand by them. Pay attention to the art world but don’t follow it. Develop your own voice and figure out what kind of curator you want to be. I think this is crucial. Also, choose people and not institutions — don’t always go after the conventional opportunities. Build relationships with people and have patience. You never know where your opportunities will come from. I’d also add; be persistent, have a sense of humour and support others."
Image: These Rotten Words, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff (2017) Photograph by Jamie Woodley