Having worked as an editor on Olivia Plender’s website, which went live almost a year ago, I recently contributed to another site that went public earlier this month – curator George Vasey’s. This time my involvement was much less direct and intensive: in 2021 George approached me whether I’d be interested in having a series of conversations with him because he was taking stock as to where he was as a practising curator and how to make the range of work that he had done so far visible or accessible in some shape or form. And because he also writes for various platforms and was thinking about expanding his practice in slightly different directions, he wondered whether I would be willing to be a sounding board in thinking through how to present his different activities in a way that would be versatile, exciting and relatively near-future proof.
Having secured funding for the development of the site – for design and build – and for a series of sessions with me, George and I met three times in the course of late winter/early spring. In the first (online) session, we very much talked about different ways of thinking about practice, portfolios and ended up discussing conventions and expectations that we often – consciously and unconsciously – feel we need to emulate. In the second (face-to-face) meeting we talked about how to organise content and what you foreground and why and how – with a series of texts he’d sent me beforehand as launchpad. In the last session we also talked about how we introduce ourselves – again, considering what we expect from others and therefore often (blindly / unconsciously, or sometimes very consciously) copy in our own behaviour – and how slightly deviating from those unwritten rules can be hugely effective. It’s been a real pleasure spending time with George, whose work I was familiar with, in this series of meandering conversations, which also made me reflect on my own practice. I look forward to seeing his site being populated more extensively in the coming months and in future.