Kirsty Ogg is a curator who specialises in supporting and exposing up-and-coming art students early on in their careers. She used to be the director of The Showroom in London, which was a space for new artists to exhibit their works to start their art careers, and following on from this is now the director of New Contemporaries, which is a UK group offering support to students from art school.
I admire the reasons behind this brand of curating, because the art career world can be difficult to access, especially from a financial sense. Ogg describes this incresing difficulty herself in an interview with Artfund:
‘there is an incredible weight of expectation on young people now to achieve, to be productive, to contribute straight away both creatively and economically, and a lot of this has to do with the fact that they graduate already saddled with huge debts’
Support groups such as New Contemporaries are invaluable in providing art students a springboard to access this complex art industry whilst allowing them some security in order to try things put and further explore their relationship to the art world without the same overwhelming pressure.
Ogg’s work at the Whitechapel Gallery was incredibly interesting to learn about, especially “Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh”, an exhibition that she curated and presented in 2010. Personally through my own attendance at exhibitions work centered around South Asia is not easily found and often has to be sought out, and it adds another interesting dimension to her body of curatorial work.
It is interesting for the Visiting Artist Talks to include curators, as many of them got there by chance, such as Ogg who originally studied sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art before moving further into a curatorial role through her collective projects, and it exemplifies the different career paths and multitude of options graduates have once they leave art school.