Interview

Cotton Reels,

Lost Gloves and Unquiet Moments

Getting to know the 2020 MA Curating Team

by Izzy White & Ellie Perry

10th August 2020

After a resounding opening week that saw them named The Guardian’s "Exhibition of the Week", Izzy White and Ellie Perry sat down with the Courtauld’s MA Curating team to chat about their end of year virtual exhibition Unquiet Moments, learning to code and the things they’ll remember from this strange moment in time.

IZZY WHITE: Congratulations! We saw that The Guardian picked you as the Exhibition of the Week! How have you found the reception to be generally?


JULIE BLÉAS (Press and Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator): The Guardian has definitely been a massive highlight! I think overall we have been really pleased with the reception and the feedback we have heard. 

What is interesting to see, is that writers that might have an inclination towards art but are not writing for art publications have been interested in covering the exhibition. We’ve been [covered] by two lifestyle magazines! But I think that just goes to show that people are really looking to art during a time that has been so difficult. People overall have been praising the website and how they relate to the exhibition, so that’s the greatest praise of all to see that we’ve looked at art in a different way.


ELLIE PERRY:  You were inspired by the history of Somerset House as the registry for births, deaths, and marriages, how did you come to this as a source of inspiration and how did it develop into Unquiet Moments?


ELIZABETH KETO (Lead on Interpretation, Catalogue, and Image Licensing): For the past several years, the exhibition put on by the MA in Curating has taken place in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House, and the exhibition’s theme has been in dialogue with the summer program at Somerset House. This year they chose to focus on a chapter of the building’s history, and its function as the registry housing the public records of births, deaths, marriages, and wills in the UK. It is an incredible archive of these individual and social rites of passage and significant moments in human lives. So for us, [when] we were given that brief, we were really struck by what the archive might exclude or elide. In the sense that, there’s all this fine print and details of life that goes on in between these significant and recognised moments of birth, life, and death, so we were drawn to the idea of an archive of the vernacular, showcasing the everyday intimate joys and tragedies. We felt like this was a really appropriate theme for an exhibition because it is often artists that do the work helping us to draw close to, interpret, and understand the everyday. Day-to-day life is the water we all swim in without seeing it. Artists and the attention that they give to everyday subjects and, in turn, the attention that their works then demand of us as viewers, helps us to see the water and the challenge within it, deepening our perceptions of the lives we live daily. The title ‘Unquiet Moments’ – which we actually arrived at quite late in the process! – evokes the idea of something that’s fleeting but also resonant and these works of art are those that you need to spend time with, pay attention and listen to.

IZZY: For sure! And that absolutely came through! What was the process behind selecting the works in the show? Did you find the collections available inspiring or limiting? Was there anything you would have loved to have in the show but couldn’t?


ZAENA SHEEHAN (Project Manager and Events Coordinator): In terms of working with two collections, I think one of the lovely things about the Courtauld MA Curating program is that it’s transhistorical. Going from French 18th century works to contemporary feminist performance and American photography - we’re all quite diverse in where we’d like to go! But I think integrating and creating meaningful dialogues between two such different collections was a really important aspect of our curatorial approach. So from the very get-go, we consciously tried to integrate the Courtauld collection into our narrative. Something that was really important for us to remember was to do so in a meaningful way – we didn’t want to create artificial juxtapositions just for the sake of balance so we had to be careful, but I think we managed to find a nice balance in the end! In terms of narrowing down our selection, it was really a collaborative process. We had numerous meetings whereby we had all gone away beforehand, tasked with bringing five to ten works to consider which were then put through - at times a totally brutal - process of gradual elimination and constant refinement until we had something that felt cohesive. Obviously this was informed by feedback from our course leaders Martin Caiger-Smith, as well as Sam McGuire and Joanna Woodall who teach our language and interpretation course and have been amazing mentors to us throughout this process. There is a lot we would have liked to include that we couldn’t. We were very lucky that most artists were willing to have their work shown online - it is new territory and we were careful to make sure we had everyone’s approval. Unfortunately, there were two works that were problematic in such a format, one of which we ultimately couldn’t include at all. With the other piece - Bridgit by Charlotte Prodger (2016) - we eventually came to an agreement with the artist to show the work as a film screening instead of having the film on the website at all times. This suited all parties because Bridgit was a really important work for us from the beginning and it would have been such a shame not to include it! It just demonstrates the complicated processes, and hoops you have to jump through when displaying works online.

Alek O., Edward Higgins White III (2011), embroidery, 43 x 22.5 x 3.5 cm, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (Courtesy the artist)

ELLIE: So how did you find speaking and liaising with the artists involved in the show? Did they have any concerns or ideas regarding the presentation of their work in a digital space as opposed to the original space? If so, how did you accommodate these?

ANNIE BIRCHENOUGH (Working with the Arts Council Collection and In Artists Liaison): Ah! - before I answer your question, I just want to add on to the back of what Zaena was saying and mention that there was one piece that really stayed with us for such a long time which was The Kiss (2000) by A K Dolven. It is an artwork that was really central to a lot of our thinking, the work portraying the intimate and youthful moment of an embrace that we as young curators saw and were like ‘okay, so these are the moments that mark the every day.’ It never came into the show for various reasons, but there were just a couple of situations and artworks that posed difficulties like that. Interestingly, when we realised we were moving onto an online platform, we thought that would lend itself to digital work like film and photography -  but actually as the most easily replicated, downloaded or pirated formats, they ended up causing the most concern! Really, all of our artists were incredibly supportive and responsive and a massive advantage to the situation was that we were able to work very closely with all of them. We were in touch with all of our living artists, talking directly over the phone or even hosting a  Zoom session with twelve of them which was quite unusual -  particularly for an MA curating group! Some of them were concerned about making sure we didn’t have things like right click downloadable capability, so we had to work quite closely with both the artist and the web developer to make sure that didn’t happen. I would say the main concerns about the online platform were over losing any sense of scale or interaction with artworks that exist as physical encounters.  We also had to make sure that no quality in the artwork was lost - which artists themselves and the Arts Council were really helpful with, providing us with high quality images of works like Edward Higgins White III (2011) by Alek O , which has a textured surface. We also tried to use our sections pages to communicate these differing senses of scale by formatting images as comparatively sized thumbnails. This was an ongoing challenge, and if we had many more hours and even more digital capability I wonder if we could have found a more creative way of doing it, but it seemed to be the most straightforward way!

IZZY: No, I think that’s a really clever approach! That comparative scale definitely comes through once you know that!

ANNIE: I think it is a little difficult to get that nuance across though. Going back to the Alek O for instance, I thought for a very long time that it was a large, almost tapestry sort of work – but it’s actually quite a small and delicate piece. It’s made from the unwoven threads of lost gloves. So the material the artist is working with already dictates that it’ll be quite small. I think we could never fully achieve an accurate sense of scale without people reading the sizing but we got a gesture of it through the thumbnails!

IZZY: Definitely! And knowing the depth of thought and process behind that layout makes it even more impressive. That aside, I imagine it’s quite difficult to signpost a virtual show in a web format - is there a particular order to the “rooms” of the show or a way you wanted your audience to move through the works? - and if so – why?

SIA PINESCHI (Website Development Lead): I think from the very beginning we were interested in the idea of giving the viewer autonomy within this exhibition - purely because it is such a different experience to a physical show in which you have a stricter route. The digital platform gave us an opportunity to think about movement and arrangement in a very different way. Our intention was that you can move freely to any of the rooms from any other room and select your way through the exhibition without feeling like there was any one set way through it. We really wanted to emphasise freedom as a feature of the show and didn’t want it to feel like an afterthought. In this digital format, you get the opportunity to see all of the works on each of our section pages at once in a way you might not be able to in a physical exhibition. So, the viewer is able to select whichever work speaks to them most and then see that work in conversation with almost every other work on the section page - I think this allows more to be drawn from a piece in terms of relationships and dialogue as opposed to a setting where what you see is in a specific order.

IZZY: It definitely encourages you to think more independently about what you’re experiencing and how you can bring your own opinions and connections to an exhibition in a way you don’t always realise – instead of being told what to see or feel and when.

SIA: Especially because the exhibition was centred around the concept of everyday moments and personal experience, it would have felt very artificial if we were then to say ‘oh this is the way you should experience this.’ We really wanted to capture the everyday experience in terms of how you know your own life better than other people, so choose what speaks to you and listen to other people speak about their own lives.

Barbara Walker, Boundary I (2000), oil on canvas, 182 x 121 cm, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (Courtesy the artist)

ELLIE: So on that topic, you introduce the show as a reflection on the rhythms of daily life and loss, obviously these themes have sort of changed in their meanings right now - loss and changing routines are integral to the situation we find ourselves in amidst the pandemic – did this new normal have an impact on the theme of exhibition? and if not has it changed how you feel about any of the works?

ELIZABETH: We felt that the themes of our exhibition – which we had sort of started to develop before COVID really hit - the documenting and paying attention to the routines of daily life, the small personal experiences of families and communities and, of course, loss and memory had really become more relevant and resonant in the context of the pandemic. So, it wasn’t that we changed the theme of the exhibition but rather that the exhibition took on this new poignancy. For me it’s definitely deepened my appreciation of the enduring timeliness of these works and how they continue to speak even in these unprecedented moments and within this new context that none of us could have anticipated. Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience and holding space for joy, and how people are maintaining a sense of community even in isolation. The photographs by Vanley Burke in particular, which show these weddings and baptisms and school outings, have become so moving to me in this new way as emblems of community. I’ve moved home and have been reconnecting with childhood friends and neighbours that I haven’t seen in years and works like these really feel relevant. Going back to the notion of loss, obviously so many are experiencing the loss of loved ones, jobs, routines and any sense of the ‘normal.’ We have so many works that speak to that in a way, for example Nigel Shafran‘s photographs of his father’s office after his death hold this haunting sense of emptiness. We also have works that speak to the idea of a necessary transformation and how we move from a sense of collective loss to a better future. For example, Andrea Zimmerman’s Estate, a Reverie (2015) or Mikhail Karikis’ Children of Unquiet (2013-14) are [both] about this idea that we need to take experiences of loss and hardship as calls to renew our responsibilities to one another - so I think the works really do speak to the way we are living now in new and profound ways.

IZZY: So in light of these changes and the notion of the ‘new normal’, how did you find the transition from curating a physical space to an online one? Were there any major changes to the process?

BILLIE GIMÉNEZ (in charge of accessibility and assisting web development): It was such a huge change and a different process, we had to get used to working in a way we had never done before. Making the online space itself involved working with a web developer which is something we’ve never had to do before - we’d been trained to work in a physical space with conservators and art transporters in galleries and instead there we were working with web developers. That’s something that was very new with this project, it was quite tricky considering we’d never done anything like it - most of us had no idea how to build a website or how to implement conceptual ideas in a website – but it was exciting! We all had to spend three or four days coding with the web developer to get everything ready for the launch and that was really surreal you know, nine art students sat there coding. But it was fun! I guess things like the hang of the artworks on a virtual page takes on a completely different meaning because you’re not putting them on a wall, but you are still putting them on a page – so it’s still important to draw the same connections between the them that you would when hanging them physically, but also not to think too much about the superfluous stuff and focus on the artworks themselves. It’s been a different experience for all of us though, the time zones are definitely a complication! Some of us have had to wake up really early every single day to be able to work at the same time as everyone else! I think it has made things a bit distant at times, but we’ve tried really hard to stay connected and keep communications open. 

IZZY: Do you reckon you’ll ever use your new coding skills? 

BILLIE: Definitely! I think it’s such a useful skill to have as we move into an increasingly digital world, especially for us as curators it’s something we’re going to have to get used to - I’m not suggesting we’re going to have to get degrees in coding! But knowing what your web developer is talking to you about is really important if you want to know what the exhibition is going to look like online – in the same way you would be taught the difference between normal screws and security screws to get your works onto a wall in a physical space, similarly you’re going to need to learn a little about websites.

Nigel Shafran, Fruit bowl collecting water (from Dad's Office 1996-1998), 1996-1998, c-type photographic print, 69 x 82 x 3.5 cm, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (Courtesy the artist)

Nigel Shafran, Seatless chair (from Dad's Office 1996-1998), 1996-1998, c-type photographic print, 69 x 82 x 3.5 cm, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (Courtesy the artist)

ELLIE: We really loved the personal reflections you bought to each work through the audio discussions between some of you and your families. What inspired you to have these open conversations as part of the show?

MATILDA MCEVEDY (Audio Content Creator): We worked hard to find the voice we wanted for the exhibition. I think we really wanted to connect with people in their homes and the context was so important to that as well! People are at home, isolated from friends and families and there is this longing for human connection. Something I’m still struck by in zoom calls is how you try to replicate that human connection - of chatting with someone in a room - but you can’t quite have it and people are craving it – we were craving it!  With these audio clips, we wanted to tell real stories though a variety of voices to show the diversity of human experience - we had Daysee and her mum chatting about their relationship and the women of my family talking about sewing and I think it was really important to open up the exhibition like that so a visitor could come with their own experiences and connect to the works on a more personal level.

IZZY: They definitely engaged the artworks in a really new and different way, not what we’ve grown to expect from an art exhibition which made them so much more special! Obviously this sort of personal engagement was obviously enabled by the show going online, do you think you will try to do something similar in future curating projects when we go back to “normal”?

SOPHIE-ANNE PAOLI (in charge of budget and finances): The opportunity offered by the digital format to embed this audio content was really great and allowed for us to bring a diversity of voices and offer a more personalised experience. In terms of future projects I think it would be great to continue! Although it would be difficult to translate what we did directly into a physical space, I think that there are many ways in which you can involve a multiplicity of voices, many museums are already doing it! I was doing my placement at Dulwich Picture Gallery and they recently held an exhibition called “Journeys” in which six community curators with personal experience of migration were invited to shine fresh light on the works in the collection. They worked on everything from selecting the works to the interpretations and each responded in really personal ways, sharing their life stories and experiences. I think beyond the physical exhibition space, online interfaces and social media can also be really great ways to continue having conversations with people outside of curating. Inviting people from your own and other communities to share their opinions, reflections and memories really adds value to an exhibition.

ELLIE: Speaking of involving other people, how did your families feel about getting involved? What was it like to bring something so personal to the project?

MATILDA: My family were very keen to be involved and give their opinions on a lot of things! I think in general people have been very generous in their feedback and sharing their stories with us - it was a shame each piece had to be so short! I think they are also great in that they memorialise what we have done over lockdown. It’s the longest I’ve spent at home for who knows how long! And now we have this record of what we got up to, how we coped and how we connected with each other over that time.

Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Film Stills from Estate, a Reverie (2015), single channel HD video, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London (Courtesy the artist)

IZZY: We had a couple of highlights! Billie we loved your reading of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’! Was there any reason you chose Emma in particular - over Austen’s other novels - in response to the Where We Belong series by Alejandra Carles Tolra?

BILLIE: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I picked it with Matilda! She went through her massive Austen collection at home and we went through a few different scenes from different books - we had some from Pride and Prejudice and others alongside the opening to Emma. I leaned towards it because it both sets the tone for the book and sets up a really important friendship between Emma and Miss Taylor. Because Where We Belong was very much about friendship as an artwork- it’s about this group of women – the “Janeites” who adore Jane Austen, they make costumes and visit country houses and its fantastic – obviously at first they bond over this mutual love of Jane Austen, but they stay together because of the bond they create. Tolra talks about this bond and how tightly knit they are, they’re like best friends! It’s just a really lovely community of women supporting each other! There are a few men – but it’s mostly women! So the friendship of their community was what drew us to those artworks, they’re very intimate and speak about friendship which is why we chose that scene in the end – the introduction of a friendship fit perfectly! I think it also works well that it’s the start of the book, rather than a midpoint you need prior knowledge to - it’s self-contained!

ELLIE: Speaking of Jane Austen, another one of our highlights was Sia’s story! It was brilliant! What inspired you to write from the perspective of a glove? What were the challenges and how did you make it so moving?

SIA: Annie, Matilda and I had been talking about the interpretation for the Alek O and Annie came up with this idea of creating a story to go along with it –we wanted this diversity of audio and we already had curators talks and family talks but nothing like this – it was something a little more off the beaten track – I loved the Alek O t was one of my favourites in the exhibition. I feel like it speaks to such a universal experience - I’ve definitely lost gloves in this city, I’ve definitely found them too! I thought that it would be really interesting to  have this journey narrated from the perspective of the glove – from being bought, to being held, lost and then found again. I was working with this audio producer called Conrad who was fabulous and really excited to add all of the little details that go along with the story – the sound of the train and footsteps - and it was such a joy to work with him on this! We had such similar ideas of what we wanted to do with it and it was just such a cool experience.

IZZY: We also really enjoyed the creativity of the sound artist – having two very different mediums of artwork in conversation, plus the dynamic of one being made for the other was really interesting - how did you come up with that as an idea!

MATILDA: When we were researching the audio we wanted to draw from we all really liked this blend of story telling with atmospheric sounds. We ended up commissioning three pieces from Iris Matherson. Her work has this sort of archival quality – she works with old tapes which she overlays with audio she creates. We wanted to really bring these works off the page and into life and I think Iris’ pieces have been very successful in giving an almost visceral, bodily experience to the works. In particular the piece she made for the prendergast sculpture – it makes my hair stand on end! The sound of her speaking with her mother has this personal resonance but also this archival feeling to it with the sound of brushing hair over the top – Billie has described it as ASMR! I think it really gives you an engaging experience with the works.

ELLIE: Do you feel like all these audio additions made the exhibition more enriching? To us, it certainly felt less clinical and “white cube-y".

MATILDA: Yeah definitely! I think we were all very conscious that a website can come across as quite impersonal and flat – the audio definitely opens that up and these personal stories allow visitors to approach the works more easily and come with their own experiences and connect to them. 

IZZY: I suppose one of the advantages to the “white cube” setting is that it doesn’t damage the sense of an artwork’s scale, and Sophie in one of your curator talks you pointed out how difficult it is for us to comprehend the scale of certain works (like Barbara Walker’s paintings) on a screen and how there is a loss of experience that comes with the format – to what extent do you think issues like this change the viewers understanding or experience of the artworks?

SOPHIE: I think it’s always going to be a massive challenge to convey scale on a laptop screen, it was definitely one of our biggest ones. Especially with Barbara’s works – they are so monumental that if you walked into a gallery space they would really dominate the room - it’s really difficult to get that impact when you look at it on a website – I think that applies to any of the works in our show or any other. I think you do lose the magic of seeing works in the flesh by seeing them online. Apart from Julie, we haven’t seen any of the artworks ourselves! We’ve been working blind in that we worked from online images to think about how to show each artwork, We tried our best to communicate scale as well as we could, we used relative sizing in each of our sections; some thumbnails are bigger or smaller to get a suggestion of it. In my caption for Barbara’s work I had to mention the scale because it is really important to her as an artist! I think it’s always going to be an issue, unless you have VR there will always be some loss of experience with a virtual exhibition – and as much as we tried I just don’t think it could ever be exactly the same!

ELLIE:  How did you approach those problems with three-dimensional sculptural works such as Kathy Prendergast or Kabir Hussain’s sculptures?

ANNIE: We had to really think about our display strategies! How we would’ve curatorially thought about these three dimensional works in space would have been so crucial to a physical exhibition - interaction with the works and making sure there was a real variety of experience – so we knew we had to try to replicate some of that. At the start we all talked about how desperately we wanted to avoid the ‘glorified slideshow’ it was the ultimate thing we didn’t want – all of these flat images which would reduce all these artworks to essentially the same thing! So sculpture was a really big part of that – as were the installation works – with the Kabir Hussain particularly – it was a work none of us had ever seen! I was in communication with the Arts Council quite early on to try and get that work re-photographed and re-filmed for the exhibition and we found out it was at Longside in storage and everyone was in furlough! Then the question was ‘would it be possible to get someone out of furlough to pull the work out of its store to get a new photograph of it?’ – ‘No, because it weights fifty kilos and we would have needed at least three people on site and that couldn’t have been done until July’ – the admin was endless! So with something like the Hussain, you go through this huge process to try to get one snippet of material that will give it a sense of physicality in the space and it just wasn’t possible. In the end, I sourced a really short piece of video from a previous exhibition – I was also in contact with the artist and another exhibition it was in at Towner Art Gallery and they provided us with some installation shots. Likewise with the Kathy Prendergast - we had this vision quite early on of encountering this object in a space – you would see this tiny little cotton reel from a distance at first and then you would approach it and have this very intimate encounter – whether it would be possible to get film footage of that kind of approach was an issue. We had this great long list of works we wanted to have photographed by the Arts Council team and we ended up having to really prioritise what we needed - so the Prendergast was kept as just a photograph. As Sophie just mentioned, we were able to get Julie into the store which was a really exciting opportunity and a miracle in the context of Covid! It required a health and safety sign off by the director of the Haywood Gallery, the Southbank Centre and the Courtauld! It was a huge logistical feat with Julie, a filmmaker and two technicians social distancing to get some film footage – but they were amazing and the interaction we got was so important – for example, the Michael Craig Martin desperately needed to be shown with somebody interacting with it otherwise we really felt it just couldn’t be shown. We talked a bit about using webcams and some other options – there was lots of creative thinking around the sculptural pieces and the arts council films were a really important product of that.

IZZY: They were definitely worth the hassle! We’ve already talked about how you tied together different collections but we wanted to elaborate and ask whether you intended to have the exhibition spans tie these vast periods and places together so beautifully, did you set out to curate an exhibition that observed the ‘unquiet moments’ of human experience throughout global history?

JULIE: I think that was something quite natural. When you’re given the opportunity to curate an exhibition with two collections as rich as the Arts Council collection and the Courtauld collection it seems quite evident to have a theme that would cover time. From the get-go we didn’t want a chronological show but we did want to highlight dialogue. Visually it’s much more stimulating because you get this range of material and practises - in the ‘visual diaries’ section we have the Cezanne sketch of his wife and the Charlotte Prodger– these are both quiet moments of everyday life, one from the twentieth century and one from four years ago. I think in most exhibitions the most poignant understanding we can get of a work comes from relating it to others. There’s this phrase we keep coming back to which is that the unquiet moment reveals the enduring impulse to reflect, record and reimagine the every day – recording these ‘unquiet moments’ has been rooted in artistic practise since art began! I think it is this juxtaposition across time and place makes unquiet moments so relevant and in the context of today and the current situation, our audience has been identifying to that!

 

IZZY:  How have you found trying to organise your events program over time zones and trying to fit them to a schedule everyone is able to work with?

ZAENA: All the artists involved in our events have been so generous and accommodating with their time. We had a talk with Sunil Gupta moderated by Fiona Anderson - Sunil was so generous with his time in meeting with us and charring about his practise and answering my emails any time of day and at the weekend! Annie moderated the discussion between Karl Ohiri and Mohini Chandra on Monday, that was an incredible event because it took place at 5:30 and they’d never met until 9:30 that morning on zoom – you never would’ve guessed because the way they spoke about their work in dialogue was so beautiful and bought out so many connections between their practises. The final live in conversation we have is between filmmakers Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Mihkail Karikis who are actually friends and have wanted to do an event together for a long time but have never been offered the opportunity! so it’s really exciting to be able to facilitate this discussion! We’re also going to have mini-interviews on Instagram which will also be on the Courtauld’s YouTube channel – there will be two discussions with Arts Council collection artists – one of which is between myself and Kathy Prendergast and the other Billie and Alejandro Carles Tolra.  We’re also holding  talks with Courtauld curators! 

ELLIE: How have you found producing and publishing the catalogue to accompany the show?

ELIZABETH: It’s just been finished! We’re publishing it on the website where it’ll be downloadable as a pdf. We’ve been so lucky to be able to share our platform with other emerging artists and writers and scholars and the catalogue that has come from that is just this wonderful compilation of conversations between us, interviews with our artists and personal responses to the works - it’s a record of our creative and interpretive work on the show but also something more that allow it to live on! 

ELLIE: Unquiet Moments has reflected on how places and objects can act as memories of a person/moment. After lockdown, do you think there are any objects in particular that you will remember from this time?

ELIZABETH: My dad and I have been doing this big sifting through our family photographs! There is a sense of sadness and loss that comes from seeing these old photos but they also hold this sense of joy and bring a lot of laughter – I think now I’ll find them not only emblematic of the time they capture but also of this time of revisiting and recapturing.

SIA: My mum and I have been clearing out of closets – Covid cleaning! She has a lot of clothes from the 80s and it’s been this great process going through memories of her life in New York - where she was born and grew up - and taking those objects and occasionally, when they fit, giving them to me and giving them new life! There’s a pair of boots she bought at a yard sale in the 80s she’s given to me and they had already belonged to someone else before her so they’re like fifty years old now but still holding up! It just speaks to this long line of objects holding onto memory while also being repositories for new memories.

SOPHIE: I mean I’ve sat at this desk pretty much every day since March and I’ve been staring at this cork board for months and I think now every time I look at it I’ll think of our exhibition and this time!

MATILDA: The outfits and things I’ve made! I’ve learned to make dresses over lockdown!

You can check out the exhibition Unquiet Moments, through here.

We'd love to hear from you!

The Courtauldian

c/o The Students’ Union

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Vernon Square, 

Penton Rise,

London

WC1X 9EW

the.courtauldian@courtauld.ac.uk

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon