South Square Gallery Curatorial Traineeship: June Update
Clare Nadal writes
Summer finally being with us (well a summer of sorts), the leaves beautiful and lush on the trees outside the office window of South Square, I feel it is high time to provide my blog readers with an update on the progress of my Curatorial Traineeship.
After the excitement of painting the gallery walls a beautiful muted blue and meticulously arranging beautiful pastel ceramics for David McLeavy’s show home/flat Villa, I had only a short space to breathe before I began my first placement at The Hepworth Wakefield.
Feeling a conflicting mixture of nervous expectation and excitement, I began my first two week placement. I joined the Collections and Exhibitions team for the de-install of the hugely successful Alice Channer, Linder and Jessica Jackson Hutchins exhibitions and the install of the current Haroon Mirza and William Scott shows.
During the de-install, I was involved with filling in the condition reports for the Alice Channer sculptures on loan to the Hepworth before they journeyed to their next location, checking the sculptures for any changes and damages. Then as the Scott loans arrived I donned my white curators’ gloves and assisted the couriers and conservators, documenting the packaging and checking the condition of the works. This was a real eye-opening experience for me to learn just how much care and detail is involved in conservation.
Later in the second week, alongside Holly Grange, the Collections and Exhibition Assistant, I began work on a small archive display for the Scott exhibition. Having never worked with archives before, this was hugely exciting for me, in particular being able to handle and transcribe original correspondence between William Scott and Barbara Hepworth. In addition to assisting with the selection and arrangement of objects and artefacts for the display, I also created a timeline of Scott’s life, allowing me to develop my research skills and increase my knowledge of Scott and his artistic practice. I also assisted with editing the labels for the Scott works and was able to learn the conventions of long and short labels that The Hepworth use.
Back at South Square we are currently working on an exciting partnership with the Bronte Parsonage Museum to commission a new outdoor artwork in the Parsonage Meadow with a sister exhibition at South Square. The new works created will celebrate the local heritage of the area, the relationship between the Thornton and Haworth villages, and the Bronte sisters’ connections to these places. For this project I have been a member of the selection and interview panels, providing me with the exciting opportunity to interview artists and hear them speak about their work, practice and ideas. Both the outdoor artwork and the South Square exhibition will be on display at the time of Le Tour Yorkshire cultural festival, held when the Tour de France comes through Yorkshire in Summer 2014.
Summer 2013 looks set to be an exciting time for me as I spend some more time at The Hepworth, this time in Collections, assisting with the auditing of the collection the gallery is carrying out over the summer period. Last week I began work on this project, receiving training in using MODES, the Museums and Collections Database, as well as art handling and cataloguing. I will also be hopefully assisting artist Des Hughes with some archive research he is carrying out into Henry Moore’s links with Castleford.
I shall also find myself busy with my own research for my trainee exhibition in December as I start to shape and plan my show. Catch up with me in the autumn when I will provide an update on how everything is going and give a taster of what to espect from my exhibtion!