Kate Bush, Curator
Introducing the Selectors for the MA/MFA Phase of Graduate Photography Online 2016: we talk to Kate Bush, Curator at Media Space.
What is your core role in the job that you do?
I conceive and curate exhibitions as well as directing exhibition programmes across art and photography - I have worked in diverse galleries from the ICA to the Barbican Art Gallery to my current role at Media Space.
How did you make your way into the career you're now in? Did you always want to work in a field that involved photography?
I studied Fine Art and the History of Art at BA level, and then did an MA in Art History. I landed my first job in a small photography gallery in Bethnal Green called Camerawork in the early 1990s and from there I went to Arnolfini and then the ICA. It was at The Photographers' Gallery in the late 90s and early 2000s that I really learnt about photography as a medium, and learnt how to look at it properly.
How do you decide on what makes an interesting photograph or photographic project?
Any photographic approach can be interesting, whether abstract or documentary, but what great pictures share, for me, is some compelling or distinctive relationship between form and content.
As regards the artist's statement, what is important for you to know about the work?
There are no set texts, no rules. It could be an emotional or highly personal statement, a philosophical treatise, or a straightforward account of background facts. I think any statement should emerge from the artistic thought process in a natural way: follow your instincts in terms of what you want to say and how you want to speak for your work.
What advice would you have for someone interested in working in your area of photography?
If you're an aspiring young photography curator, find the artists and the photography that fascinate you, immerse yourself in it, write about it, try and make small shows in unusual places and let people know about them. If you are working with interesting emerging artists, and doing interesting projects you will get noticed.