Emily Gray is a curator currently based in Scotland who predominantly works on curating projects outside of the traditional gallery space.
During the month of July, Gray was in residence at Platform3 in Bandung, an arts organisation that provides space for artistic and thematic exploration and experimentation.
She worked with three Bandung-based artists - Eldwin Pradipta, Panca DZ and Ackay Deni - to curate an exhibition called 'a new day came'. We spoke to Gray about what it means to be a curator and about her time spent in Indonesia.
Why did you decide to become a curator?
I love working with artists and facilitating their work. The variety of practice, subjects and contexts never cease to amaze me.
The beauty of working in curation is being able to see an overview of such diverse practices and subjects, bringing them together and exploring alternative approaches that bridge between the artist, art work and audience.
Both Bandung and Glasgow are dubbed as ‘creative cities’. What do you think the similarities are between Bandung and Glasgow?
Neither Bandung or Glasgow are capital cities, and are both destinations that have tourism but with a more domestic emphasis.
In terms of art, this sets them in what I view as a privileged position: small enough to enable a greater connections across and within the cities themselves, and also a certain freedom for experimentation - outside the pressures of being in a major capital while still holding key positions within the global art scene.
In both cities this has lead to some important artist-run spaces and collectives, and there is a strong emphasis on the curatorial.
How important it is for a curator to do a residency programme?
I think as the role of the curator has changed over the last decades, the importance in having space and time to develop new ideas and experience different environments is vital.
Also making connections and expanding networks allows the development of new opportunities of exchange between people, places, cultures.
In a globalised art world, I think the connections we make to the diversity of places, people and cultures is even more important, finding common ground as well as the opportunity to shift perceptions and ideas through direct exchanges.