Thursday, 1 April 2010

Arae Exhibition - Q&A with curator Sarah Michelle

Following the success of the last year's ARAE fashion and jewellery exhibition in September, ARAE returns with a new exhibit, showcasing emerging talent from various disciplines including fashion, film, illustration, jewellery and photography. Situated in the exciting new multifunctional creative space 10 Gales at the heart of Bethnal Green, curator Sarah Michelle takes time out to reflect on last years success and discuss the concept behind this years show.

What's the concept behind Arae?

The inspiration behind arae is hard to explain. For this exhibition it was the seventies, Amira Fritz, the Australian label ‘Romance Was Born’. In general it was trying to create exhibitions based on working together as opposed to using money to show work.

How does this year's Arae exhibition compare to last years?

Last year was fashion only- it featured three of the same designers as this year and the wonderful Florencia Kozuch. It was very dark- we blocked out the windows and chose a dark space. Each time it's meant to be quite sensory so there was an eerie soundtrack but this time there is no soundtrack.

How will you be transforming the exhibition space for Arae?
We want to change the space from a bright clean room to something garish. We are trying to build a waterfall of acid coloured flowers. KengKeng Watt has been helping to build this. I want it to feel quite random.

What kind of work can we expect to see?

There are photographs, illustrations and installations as well as a fashion piece. It's pretty mixed and disjointed and deliberately so. I wanted it to be a strange selection somehow. We even have a short film from Katrina Choy.

How did you go about selecting the exhibiting artists?
Some people through other projects like Sara Bro-Jergensen and Louise Larsen. Some are my friends and some I found through their websites like Tian Wang whose work I just really liked. Her prints really inspired me so I emailed her.

Aside from Arae, what other exhibitions have you curated and are there any more in the pipeline?

 Well Arae is my first foray into exhibitions. It’s a learning curve. I will do another one in September in a bigger space with an entirely new concept. Something totally different again. I really like combining live music with the artwork so I want to build on that. I would like to take it abroad eventually and tour.

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