Bree Di Mattina is one of three 2018 UQ Visual Arts Curating and Writing students behind the popular Summer Mixer exhibition series at UQ Art Museum. We caught up with Bree to hear more about her curatorial debut.
Q: Tell us about the exhibition you curated for Summer Mixer and why people should check it out?
A: My exhibition Figure Eight presents artworks where the artists have drawn from existing artworks, poems, narratives, and general stereotypes, and reworked them in a more balanced light. The featured artists are calling out the gender stereotypes that exist in established narratives, and seek to present a more nuanced approach through their reinterpretations. I hope visitors to the exhibition will appreciate the concept and that their own behaviour going forward may even be influenced.
Q: You originally submitted your idea for this exhibition as part of your UQ Visual Arts Curating and Writing course. Was the experience of actually curating this exhibition on the Art Museum walls really different to the theoretical plan?
A: The scope of the exhibition expanded a little during the process, but the overall premise remained quite true. The finished product did differ to the very first iteration of my idea but that’s a natural process that any scholar or curator would go through when they are installing an exhibition with a team.
Q: What aspects of operating within a professional museum environment did you find surprising or really enjoy?
A: The overall enthusiasm and level of assistance we received from everyone within the Art Museum was fantastic, particularly from our mentors Dr Holly Arden and Peta Rake, but also from the designer, registration team and the crew who physically hung the works – everyone was fabulous and it was a great team experience. I learnt a lot about myself and about the process of curating an exhibition. Being on the floor during install and having to make a few snap decisions was really exhilarating!
Q: Has the experienced sharpened your focus on a future career plan?
A: Curating was always part of my career plan and this experience helped me to understand the kind of institution I would like to work in and the things I’d like to say as a curator. Creativity is an important part of my life and I think curating will provide opportunities for me to express this.
In 2019 Bree Di Mattina is undertaking Honours in Art History at UQ. She is a volunteer curatorial intern at the Queensland Art Gallery (International Art), holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), and has two wonderful children.
Summer Mixer is showing at UQ Art Museum until 18 May 2019.