MA in Curating Placement – Reflection from my time with Bricks
Over the past year, we had the privilege to work the MA Curating Student Elita Robertson. Read on for Elita’s reflection of working across Bricks and St Anne’s House Programme, with the highlight of her wonderful work on RE:COLLECTION – regathering social practice, with visual artist Ellie Shipman.
This year I undertook an MA in Curating at UWE Bristol with an integrated placement at Bricks. I began the year by shadowing all the wonderful Bricks staff to get a good overview of the organisation, before analysing past project Gather St Annes to gain insight into the history of Bricks’ work and St Anne’s House specifically. I helped with a variety of projects including the BRIZ magazine, website development, marketing research and podcast transcriptions and was able to attend various events at SAH and beyond. The variety of tasks I undertook early on helped me identify exhibition-making and working with artists as specific areas of interest.
My main focus during my placement was creating a final project for my MA course; I curated a solo show for SAH studio tenant, artist Ellie Shipman, called RE: COLLECTION which was held in the Pulp room of SAH in November 2023. This was an amazing opportunity to gain professional experience and work independently whilst still collaborating with Bricks. Bricks’ staff were incredibly generous with their time and resources and helped me develop skills and work to make this project a success.
As well as logistical organisation and artwork selection and collection, promotion was a large part of this project. We were able to facilitate a billboard collaboration with JACK ARTS as part of the Build Hollywood family hosting multiple billboards across the city as well as produce flyers and a collaborative podcast episode to promote the show and utilise Bricks’ existing contacts to promote our project.
Installing the show was a great challenge which taught me several practical skills that I can use in the future like picture hanging, artwork placement and creating exhibition texts and guides. We also organised a private walkthrough for industry contacts followed by a public opening night event attended by friends, family, collaborators and the wider community. This was a highlight of the project as it hosted a busy, fun atmosphere aided by the in-house bar and wonderful food vendors, Indian Summers.
After opening night, I helped invigilate the exhibition which allowed me time to translate it into assess-ible formats for my MA course and reflect on the project generally. We ran several accompanying events like casual lunchtime talks and more in-depth Q&A events, before de-installing the show, learning more technical handling skills.
Throughout this placement, I have been able to develop so many skills necessary for a career in the cultural sector and have gained a good overview of the wider field. I now feel much more confident in my abilities and feel my CV and job prospects have been vastly improved. I also feel more confident about my ambitions for the future as I have been able to identify areas of interest and act independently but with continued support from Bricks.
I want to say a huge thank you to all the Bricks staff for their continued encouragement and support as well as to Ellie Shipman- Thank you all so much for an amazing year, I hope to work with you again in the future!
To contact Elita you can email her on: email@example.com.