A Year of Conscious Practice

Blue Oyster and The Physics Room, Dunedin and Christchurch, 2016
Edited by Rebecca Boswell, Chloe Geoghegan and Balamohan Shingade
Designed by Dexter Edwards & Son La Pham

The Physics Room and Blue Oyster Art Project Space are pleased to announce the launch of A Year of Conscious Practice, an online publication about curating contemporary art produced through the 2015–16 Emerging Curators Programme in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The 2015–16 Emerging Curators Programme was an initiative designed to support the development of critical exhibition practices, facilitated by Melanie Oliver and Chloe Geoghegan and supported by Creative New Zealand's Sector Development Incentive Fund. The facilitators sought to challenge current models of exhibition making, generate a discursive environment and build relationships through peer mentorship, activity and connectivity. Participants included: Rebecca Boswell, Henry Davidson, Fayen d'Evie, Amelia Hitchcock, Emma Ng, Bridget Reweti, Bridget Riggir, Balamohan Shingade, Taarati Taiaroa, Ane Tonga, Ted Whitaker, and presenters were Tara McDowell, Charlotte Huddleston, Melanie Oliver and Anna-Marie White.

The first part of the Emerging Curators Programme ended in November 2015 with a collective resolve—the twelve participants agreed to sustain "a year of conscious practice." Participants then worked in groups to present three outcomes: a group exhibition at The Physics Room titled Passionate Instincts (October 8 through November 12, 2016), a one day workshop-hui Reflections and Directions (November 12) and this online publication titled A Year of Conscious Practice out now.

Dedicated to the practitioners in our field who are at the beginning of their careers, A Year of Conscious Practice represents twelve opportunities; twelve spaces for dialogue or reflection—borrowing the basic format of the 12-month calendar year. The editors propose this second alternative "calendar" as a space for reflective, alert and purposeful dialogue that responds to the experiences and challenges of the outcomes-driven, time-poor curator. As most curatorial learning takes place "on the job" in Aotearoa, we have encouraged contributors to draw on recent experiences in the sector and look at ways one can sustain criticality along what can be a difficult career pathway. With contributions from peers as well as more experienced practitioners, speaking from diverse cultural positions and geographical locations, we have sought discussions on a variety of methods and motivations for working in or alongside the field of curating.


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