As she works her way through a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Art History, UQ student Brittany-lea Traverso can now add ‘exhibition curator’ to her skills set. Brittany is one of three UQ Visual Arts Curating and Writing students working under the guidance of professional UQ Art Museum staff to curate an exhibition as part of the Summer Mixer suite. We caught up with Brittany-lea to find out more about her exhibition opening on 3 December.
Q: Is this your curatorial debut, and if so, how are you feeling about it?
A: Yes, this is the first curatorial project I’ve been involved in and it feels like I’ve stepped into another realm. I don’t think you realise until you are actually involved, how much work goes on behind the scenes and what a collaborative effort it is to curate an exhibition, but I’m excited to see the results.
Q: Can you provide an overview of the exhibition premise and what you hope the audience will experience or take away from it?
A: Punchline is about satire and politics. I think Australians have a tendency to downplay the seriousness of our political and cultural climate. This spurred me to want to play with the tensions between the severity of politics and the accessibility of satire. My research into the origins of satire led me to an interesting realisation about the connection between food and morality, a theme that is prominent throughout the artworks in the show. I hope the people who come and experience it leave more self-aware and open to discourse about how we engage with politics, politicians and the political game.
Q: How have you found the process of working with the UQ Art Museum staff and accessing the UQ Art Collection?
A: It has been both a humbling and overwhelming experience to have so many people backing your ideas and helping you bring them to fruition. The wonderful thing about working with the UQ Art Museum is the constant support and guidance we are given. Throughout this process, help has always been readily available to us, which has made each transition through this project that much easier.
Having access to the UQ Art Collection has definitely reinforced my interest in archival practices. It is has long been an aspiration of mine to delve into the storerooms of galleries and museums. Exploring the UQ Art Collection and being able to examine the works I chose for the exhibition in such detail has been a real highlight.
Q: Has the experience influenced the way you’re thinking about your future career?
A: Absolutely. Whether or not I become a curator after this is beside the point; this experience has expanded my options and reaffirmed my desire to work in this industry. My love of art is what has brought me this far and what continues to inspire me to look into the multitude of opportunities within this field.
Summer Mixer: New Shows, New Curators is showing at UQ Art Museum from 3 December 2018 until 18 May 2019.