I recently completed my Honours in Curatorship at the University of Cape Town with a first class pass, where I focused my final research project on valorising textile work and the often overlooked contributions of garment workers to the global fashion industry.
I have a background in textile design, but have always felt a deep appreciation for art, and feel that the two are quite intertwined. While studying textile design in Brussels, I was able to intern as the Assistant to the director, Louma Salamé, at the Villa Empain - Boghossian Foundation, a centre for art and dialogue between the East and West. I got to sit in on meetings with artists, contact galleries regarding possible loans, and work with some of the artists in residence on their projects. I was able to witness the complexities of running a cultural institution firsthand, and I loved being part of a team bringing different artists together, and seeing the results of our work at each exhibition opening.
I also assisted Louma Salamé in bringing to life the Frontières Imaginaires exhibition she was curating. I helped research potential artists and assisted in writing texts for the press release and the exhibition catalogue, including artist biographies, piece descriptions and extended labels. It was fascinating to see the whole process grow, from an idea on paper to canvases hanging on the walls and a printed catalogue. I have also worked as a freelance translator for the Villa Empain since 2016, translating (French / English) exhibition catalogues, artwork descriptions, press releases, artist biographies, newsletters, etc, which has kept me in touch with what is going on in their art world.
Studying remotely this past year was an unexpected challenge, but it made me realise how adaptable humans are, and gave me a better understanding of the power that art and cultural exchange can have. While most of us were confined to our homes, many of us turned towards art to escape from our realities - for example, many institutions very quickly made more of their collections accessible to the public in incredibly creative ways. Museums, cultural centres and art galleries have the power to deeply inspire people, and I would love to be a part of a community that is working to make this possible.
I know that this sounds a bit naive, but I truly believe that art has the ability of connecting people, by transcending borders, languages, and social barriers. It is a really inspiring phenomenon to witness. I want to learn more about this world, and to be involved in creating these moments of connection and understanding.