Last week we had a lecture be Alfredo Cramerotti an international Artist and curator, currently the Director of Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno (the biggest space dedicated to contemporary art in Wales), Cramerotti has been educated in Fine Art and Curatorial knowledge in Wales, London, Austria, Sweden, Germany and Italy.  The lecture was about curatorship and how to set up a show, what it can entail and the presentation or your vision of an exhibition.

Cramerotti started the Lecture by saying that he preferred to work with curators who are also artists because they could relate to the artist and the art and for the Mostyn Art Gallery this is quite important.  Cramerotti’s mantra is to always strive to be “linking the contents with the context”.  This is evident with his curatorial team, who use the building’s rich and varied history and try and always fill at least one of the six gallery spaces with art that relates to the building’s history or the local area.  For instance Gallery Space One in its past was a Royal Mail sorting office so an exhibition was put together called “You’ve Got Mail” looking at mobility of goods.  It has had 4 chapters with 2 chapters to go, each chapter is by a different artist looking at it from different angles and materials.

The Curatorial team consist of three, each approaching the gallery spaces in different ways, the ‘exhibition’, ‘learning’ and ‘engagement’ but each are equally important to the gallery.  The team are encouraged to work together to have the exhibitions overlap two of the three categories.  The exhibitions that are put together at Mostyn concentrate on contemporary art but alter between generations and mix it up with older inspirational artists and new up and coming artists in the same exhibition space.  Additionally the art exhibited in this way demonstrates  “shifting perspectives”.  As an example Camerotti talked about traditional portraiture and re thinking how we can talk about this category as almost conceptual portraiture.  Mostyn put a show together with Franco Vaccari, a physicist and artist who in 1972 at the Venice Biennale placed a Photomatic Kiosk (photobooth) in the centre of an empty room with instructions for the viewer to take images of themselves and pin them on the surrounding walls, at the end of the Biennale there were thousands of images all around the kiosk.  Vaccari didn’t actually create any work for the Biennale but set the conditions for the viewer to become artist and curator.  A selection of these photostrips were exhibited in Mostyn on the theme of Portraiture.

The talk was a long one, over an hour, but it was engaging and interesting with Cramerotti’s clear enthusiasm and passion for the subject made the time pass in an instant.  Trying not to belittle the talk, the best part of Cramerotti’s visit had to be getting the chance to have a one and one with a curator of one of the biggest galleries in the north.  This was an opportunity I was not going to miss, but it was a bit of a surprise and I was ill prepared for such an event.  I was nervous and preoccupied with the thoughts “don’t take up all of his time, don’t be boring and I need a mint” I hope I came across as ok?  Cramerotti made me feel very relaxed and came across as an approachable person and his insight into my work was extraordinarily helpful.  A great big thank you to you for taking the time to come and speak to my peers and I.

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