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Who are your role models?

A piece of advice given to me recently was to find people who are in positions I would like to have and work back through their CVs. Follow their trajectory back to the point I am currently at and see what steps they took next.

So who do I want to be? In five years, in ten years, in the time past that which I can’t imagine. I’m not exactly sure. I’ve got a job title in mind, there’s institutions that I like, independents I admire, great big spaces that I’d like to get my hands on. However, I’m not currently able to imagine how I get from here to there.

Maybe it is a good idea to look at other peoples’ paths, it at least confirms that it is possible. And where to start? Well, MAs have been on my mind this year so that’s where I began looking. If there is one thing that worries me it is that there seem to be a number of popular institutions which it would seem that I’d have to go to if I ever want to emulate quite a few succesful careers.

This is connected to a bigger logistical problem: the current economic and political climate is not conducive to postgraduate study. I’m ambitious and I work hard, I’m not expecting that I’ll get in everywhere or anywhere for the kind of courses I would like to apply to but firstly, how on earth would I pay for it if I did? Even if you are lucky enough to have familial support there’s so many costs to consider and seemingly so much debt to get into.

Beyond these straightforward problems there’s also something that runkles me slightly about the idea of certain institutions being the only pathway to the best jobs. Its something that makes practical sense, the best universities attract the best applicants and whittle them down to the best of the best, but the situation holds people to ransom through their own ambitions.

Now if I consider my role models, both in terms of those around me at a local level, who are doing great things with the resources available, to those who are coordinating blockbuster exhibitions at the biggest institutions in the world, they all have a few things in common:

Vision, hard working, in-depth understanding of the artists’ practices, instinctive sense of what to support, good sense of humour, new and innovative approaches to engaging audiences’ with contemporary art, practicality and above all personal drive to make things happen.

Now that’s what I want to be. I’ve got a long way to go in terms of my education, CV building and if I’m honest with myself critical understanding of what I want to do. But I think its important to keep these qualities in mind and to try to live up to them as I enter into the post degree show world. Currently that feels like the end game but I’ve got a little bit of space at the moment after handing in my midpoint work to breathe and look forward. It seems as good a time as any to think, who do I want to be?