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  • Writer's pictureellie cox

DPS DIARY - Christmas rethink. Curating?

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Over the month of December I was pretty much spending all of my time looking for new placements and a JOB.

During this time I have been collecting and organising all of the organisations, charities, galleries and small 'artist run' initiatives, into groups on a desktop app called Notion. This is because, as soon as you begin to explore the world of art and jobs, and opportunities, and and and … You quickly start to feel as though you are sinking away from any clarity you had about direction when you started. Or at least this was my experience. saving things into categories not only made it easier for me to re-find things that inspired me. It also helped me to see the categories that I as filling up. For example I quickly noticed that it was organisations that worked between people/social work and the Art world.

Here is a link to be able to see what I have been finding:

Spending all this time looking at what other people have done, as well as considering the kind of jobs that I might actually enjoy doing, has been a hugely rewarding activity.

It has also been really hard at times as, application after application after application, it stats to become a little depressing. With only a handful ever getting back to me. I was also very aware that I was mostly applying to jobs that I was probably underqualified for, as I haven't yet finished my BA. Even though I did feel that due to jobs I have already had I was definitely capable. It was however A period of time that I hade decided to set aside to trying and figuring out so I was purposefully not applying to café/retail/bar jobs that I knew I was more likely to be able to get.

During this time I started to also realise that I wanted a more background role in the arts. Encouraging and helping people with their creative projects, rather than being centre stage myself. I have always found the activity of showing my own work to be embarrassing even though watching others do exactly that is a moment I find amazingly positive and inspiring.


Towards the end of November I was starting to think about exploring a career in curating. I wasn't sure about it completely, however the move away from placing myself on a pedestal as 'Artist and Creator.... Genius' felt right.

Part of this was attending the talk be Jes Fernie ( called :


After watching this through twice and making a lot of notes on what Jes said. Both on being self employed and on her career as a Curator.

I told her that I was really interested in working within socially engaged art and especially where this crosses over with care working.

Jes was amazingly sympathetic about my feeling unsure, and also enthusiastic that this was something I was wanting to explore. She spent over an hour talking me through places that I could approach as well as the most practical aspects of curating, i.e. how the hell you actually find sources of funding.

Hello Eleanor

A pleasure to meet you!

While it’s all in my mind:

1. Constellations programme run by UP Projects, Flat Time House and Liverpool Biennial - I’m working on it too:

Come to the event on 16 Dec. As I said, you won’t be able to apply yet, but it would be good to just hear about the experience others have had, to see if this is the kind of thing you’d be interested in pursuing in the future.

Also - look out for the programme of talks we’ll be arranging next year re socially engaged practice:

Past talks here:

2. Action Space is an amazing organisation that helps artists with learning disabilities:

Go to their Open House at Studio Voltaire today or tomorrow!:

See if you can work with them in some way

Other orgs you cd contact:

3. Daily Life

Contact Rachel Fleming-Mulford (biog here: to ask if there’s anything you could work on with them?

I had a student who worked with them two years ago.

4. Find artist-run groups and spaces in Hackney / east + South London to work with

5. Contact other DPS students to talk through ideas. Eliza Moore is great - she’s one of my students this year:

I hope it goes well!


Round up:

- I want to more away from the spotlight

- Finding a job is hard but I am trying!!

- Maybe Curating?

- Art and Care …. whatever that looks like

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