Interview: Geraldine Barlow, Curator of ‘Sugar Spin’
Monday 28 November 2016 Share FacebookDelicious Email

We recently caught up with Geraldine Barlow, Curator of International Art and the very busy curator behind the upcoming exhibition ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ opening this weekend at GOMA.

BLOG-3-GeraldineBarlow_SugarSpin_20161122_nharth_014Geraldine in ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything / Photograph: natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Sugar Spin is our celebration of 10 years of GOMA. It will feature over 250 contemporary artworks exploring light, space, architecture and the senses. From brand new works to your favourites from over the years, the exhibition will be a soaring, spectacular commemoration of modern art.

BLOG-5-20161110_nharth_SugarSpin_ShoppyMediaCall_163

BLOG-6--GOMA_SugarSpin_installationview_20161114_nharth_004Geraldine with artist Hrafnhildur Arnardottir infront of Nervescape V / Photographs: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

EXPLORE NERVESCAPE V FURTHER IN OUR BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOSTREAM

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON THE SUGAR SPIN EXHIBITION? HOW WILL YOU BE CELEBRATING AFTER OPENING NIGHT?

I arrived at the gallery in April last year and began working on the exhibition some months later. It has been a wonderful experience to throw myself into learning about the collection and developing such a vast exhibition in a relatively tight period of time. After opening night, maybe something tangy and salty after so much sweetness

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU LEARNED WHILE CURATING SUGAR SPIN?

I’m always interested in the powerful influence childhood experiences have on an artist’s work. Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (aka Shoplifter) speaks about how intrigued she was as a young girl, by the braid of her grandmother’s hair kept in a bedroom drawer.

HEAR FROM HRAFNHILDUR ARNARDOTTIR

Nick Cave has spoken of his sense of wonder that his mother could slip a sock over her hand and create a special new character – for him this was an absolutely magical moment. Art encourages us to continue to play and dream.

“I get to fall in love with new works of art every day –as the painting rack rolls out, I spy something on a shelf, open a box or hit something unexpected via our online collection search.One of the best things about my role is that there is always more to see and think about.”

HEAR FROM NICK CAVE

Nick Cave introduces ‘HEARD•BNE’ 2016

 WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING HAPPENING IN INTERNATIONAL ART?

Artists are bringing their works to life in very unexpected ways at the moment, bridging performance and more traditional artforms such as sculpture and installation. We are hugely excited to be presenting Nick Cave’s high energy performance Heard, as well as bringing this work into the gallery’s collection with the support of a very special benefactor. The dancers who will perform the work just met their horses today – I think they’ll be relieved to know they’re staying on here in Brisbane. I can see some strong connections being formed!

SEE THE HEARD PERFORMERS IN REHEARSALS

WHAT DO YOU THINK WE’LL BE MOST EXCITED TO SEE RETURN TO GOMA FOR THE EXHIBITION?

It’s hard to pick a single work. The great pleasure of my role is that I’ve probably being able to bring the top 20 most requested works back to the gallery. This has presented a challenge also – how to make the familiar feel fresh and new. Alongside the favourites are plenty of surprises.

One work which I’m really looking forward to experiencing is Celeste Boursier Mougenot’s From Here to Ear (v. 13) 2010 – a magical sound installation of live finches. There is a lot of sound in Sugar Spin … and quite a number of animals also.

HEAR FROM CELESTE BOURSIER MOUGENOT

EXPLORE FROM HERE TO EAR (V.13) FURTHER IN OUR BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOSTREAM

21st Century: Art in the First Decade installation viewFrom Here to Ear (v. 13) 2010 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

And now, the QAGOMA Qs…

WHAT WE BE MOST SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT BEING A CURATOR? That we often have a very curious array of artworks at home..

BRISBANE HAS THE BEST… manners when it comes to greeting and thanking the bus driver.

I HAVE A FEW questions, always more questions.


THE BEST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? The sense of discovery, and challenging myself to think about big picture global questions through art and artists.


ON WEEKENDS I… love to be in the water, and on the beach.

WHAT ARE YOU READING? I’m re-reading Ceridwen Dovey’s beautiful and devastating Only the Animals to discuss with our members.

PREFERRED METHOD OF TRANSPORT? Sailing would be nice!

THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TODAY seeing artworks I had planned to bring together in the gallery space – no longer tiny cut outs, or details on a model – and feeling as if what we had planned might just work!

BLOG-1-GeraldineBarlow_SugarSpin_20161122_nharth_025

BLOG-2-GeraldineBarlow_SugarSpin_20161122_nharth_020Geraldine in ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything / Photographs: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO? Seeing people discover the exhibition. And maybe some private dance lessons with the Heard.

IF I WASN’T A CURATOR, I’D BE exploring the world more slowly, looking for other ways to think about patterns of understanding, or perhaps just catching more waves.

‘Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everythingwill celebrate GOMA’s place in the modern art world. The exhibition will show from 3 December 2016 to 17 April 2017 and is free to attend.

GOMA. A place where people come together to be inspired and imaginations spark. A place where ideas meet. This summer will be packed with even more excitement as GOMA turns ten. So come along and help us celebrate from 3 December 2016.

Continue the conversation online with #GOMA10 @qagoma 

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