I have worked at the De La Warr Pavilion for about three years now, working in a number of the buildings different departments such as: front of house (gallery invigilating & stewarding), education and catering. I am currently in my first year studying fine art at the University of Chichester and working here alongside doing my course has definitely helped in gaining knowledge into the art industry and helping in deciding what I want to go on and do in the future.
I’ve a huge interest into how exhibitions are put together and how they are run so I asked one of the curators, David Rhodes, if I could get some work experience with him whilst on my Christmas and half term break from University.
It’s been interesting to see ‘behind the scenes’, the amount of work, time and effort that goes into curating an exhibition. Jobs I was given included assisting with admin, editing of publications, insurance of art pieces and I also got an amazing opportunity to go up to the British Museum in London to view the Otto Dix prints that they will be loaning out to us from May – July this year. I was able to view and handle the prints up close and personal, and discuss them with the staff from the Departments of Prints and Drawing there. It was a very inspiring experience and from that I was asked to write the introductory text that is to be used within the exhibition.
I have also worked a great deal in the lead up to the I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart exhibition March – June ’14, with admin, was an editor for the book that’s to accompany the exhibition and contacted the artists and their representatives for a variety of reasons. I feel I have gained a lot of experience and have gotten to see and deal with a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily realise was involved in the run up and organising of exhibitions. It has without doubt been a positive, enjoyable, though-provoking and invaluable experience.
It’s been an absolute pleasure working alongside David, assisting in the lead up to the I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart and the Otto Dix exhibitions. It has definitely given me the determination to carry on gaining as much experience as I can within the art industry and with curating, and it has been proven to me through doing this, that this is the kind of career I would love to end up doing.
Stephanie Else Hills is a first year student at the University of Chichester studying Fine Art.