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Speaking at the ENGAGE conference ‘fringe’ events, Lara Goodband is a freelance curator working with Invisible dust, an organisation that brings artists and scientists together on collaborative projects to promote environmental engagement. Lara and others, from Invisible dust, gave a fascinating talk reflecting their ‘hands on’ approach to curation. Seeing her role as a curator/ facilitator for a project, right through from selection of project proposals, setting up visits with the artist to locations before the work is planned, enabling research, contacts for local information, interviews, and support; Lara also spoke about liaising with the venues and artists, and managing invisible dust’s own PR expectations in relation to artistic considerations. Lara’s flexible style of curation has led to some innovative integration of newly commissioned, contemporary style work within existing more traditional collections, an example of which was her curation of Offshore, 2017, displayed at the Feren’s Art Gallery and Maritime Museum, Hull – integrating contemporary sculpture, video and sound installation with selected elements of the existing museum collection.

In a talk ranging from cucumber straighteners… through multi-sensory glasses and ‘blind photography’ to a conceptual historical art research project based on a Rembrandt painting some Dutch artists linked to public opinions about Brexit, Lara’s talk showed how important making connections and negotiating unexpected cultural links were to the work of a curator.

This film of Lara’s project Microclimate, working with artist Gayle Chong Kwan, shows how innovative links can be made in participatory community arts. This project also enabled Lara to highlight the need for curators and organisers to make determined links with groups outside of the mainstream art-culture-going community, including consideration of barriers such as transport and timings, to promote inclusive participation.

Find out more about Invisible Dust from their website

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