Throughout the time of the research project, thanks to the bursary, I had been able to travel down to London many times to attend meet-ups and workshops; two of these occasions stand out as milestones, either by allowing me to forge valuable relationships or by shaping my thinking about the topic.
The first of these occasions allowed me to meet my mentor, Sarah Titheridge, art technician and founder of Art Tech Space. Sarah has worked as an art technician in the UK since 2009 across various galleries and museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the White Cube gallery and many more.
She founded ArtTechSpace in 2012 as a much-needed networking platform for art technicians and employers. But ArtTechSpace is much more than that; a forum where you can find out about employment opportunities, meet other technicians, share techniques and tools, find out about training opportunities. Sarah started organising art tech meet-ups in London as part of ArtTechSpace’s events. By the time I had started the research project, they have also launched a meetup for women art technicians.
On May the 10th I had attended my first female art tech meet-up in London. It was a real milestone in the project as it was the first time I had met fellow women techs – not just one or two, but a whole crowd. It was a great convivial event, where I had a chance to introduce the research project and chat about the experiences of other women in the trade. I came away feeling recharged and with a dozen emails addresses in my notebook, I felt I had finally really started to make progress.
I had asked Sarah to be my mentor for the project following this meetup. I benefited from face to face discussions and skype and email sessions with her throughout the project. Having conversations with someone who has 10+ years of experience in the art technician world has given me the perspective to reflect on the industry, and her work with ATS has given me inspiration about the tangible change that can be made.