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MA Curating and Collections graduates hold accessible art exhibition at Chelsea

9 portrait drawings by artist Stephen Anthony David are set out in lines of 3 and clipped onto brown clipboards which are hanging on a plain white wall. Each portrait is a drawing of male, just including their head and shoulders and each portrait is different.
  • Written byGina Lampen
  • Published date02 November 2021
9 portrait drawings by artist Stephen Anthony David are set out in lines of 3 and clipped onto brown clipboards which are hanging on a plain white wall. Each portrait is a drawing of male, just including their head and shoulders and each portrait is different.
Amy Lousie Comis and Jacob Lomas, Portrait Drawings by Stephen Anthony David
MA Curating and Collections, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

This September, MA Curating and Collections 2021 graduates Amy Louise Comis and Jacob Lomas collaborated on their UAL Graduate Showcase submission, the project 1/100.

The project consisted of a 1-day show held in a marquee on the Parade Ground at Chelsea College of Arts, where 100 individual works by artist Stephen Anthony David were displayed for public viewing.

We interviewed Amy and Jacob to find out more about the project.

Two people a man in an orange and black striped top, black trousers, black shoes and short hair. A woman with long blonde hair, white shirt black trousers and white trainers. They stand in front of a display of portraits by artist Stephen Anthony David and are looking directly at the camera
Amy Lousie Comis and Jacob Lomas, Amy and Jacob at the exhibition 2021
MA Curating and Collections, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

Tell us about your project, 1/100: what were the inspirations behind it?

1/100 was an initiative aimed to make art more affordable for students and young professionals at the beginning of their art careers, whilst also reaching out to new audiences by delivering artworks in a more inclusive, accessible, and approachable way.

As students and young professionals interested in art, we realised that being able to own art is difficult, especially for those who are not within the art industry. Some can also find attending galleries and exhibitions an unapproachable and quite pretentious experience.

We wanted to highlight that art can be for everyone, so we exhibited the work of an established artist in a way that would not only compliment his aesthetic but introduced a new accessible way of displaying art that could draw in new audiences.

Image is of inside the Chelsea tent, centre there is a table with art works positioned upright and flat, in the background there is a wall, on the right of the wall there are 3 panels each panel has 9 small portraits on. On the left in front of the wall are two white podiums each with a portrait positioned upright on top.
Amy Lousie Comis and Jacob Lomas, Display Overview 1/100 2021
MA Curating and Collections, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

We wanted to highlight that art can be for everyone, so we exhibited the work of an established artist in a way that would not only compliment his aesthetic but introduced a new accessible way of displaying art that could draw in new audiences.

This was done through our curatorial decisions and display techniques, as well as we upcycled all the materials to keep costs low and be sustainable.

The works were displayed at different intervals, interchanging throughout the day allowing for different narratives to emerge within the space. The drawings transformed the space into a visual artist dialogue, offering up works from the studio archive, artist sketch book and a personal look into the development of David’s artistic process.

Image is of inside the Chelsea Tent, there are a number of white podiums each with a portrait positioned upright. A number of visitors are walking around the exhibition looking at the podiums.
Amy Lousie Comis and Jacob Lomas, Visitors at the exhibition 1/100 2021
MA Curating and Collections, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

Did you overcome any challenges during the project?

Yes, 1 thing we didn’t factor in was the temperature change within the Chelsea tent where we were exhibiting. The humidity and uncontrolled temperature of the tent occasional saw some of the edges of the works beginning to curl and so we had to change over the narratives at regular intervals during the day to avoid the works being on display for long periods of time.

Tell us about your final exhibition and how you felt being able to physically curate an exhibition once again?

This was actually our first physical exhibition. Starting the course during the pandemic, we had only curated exhibitions online, so having the opportunity within the Chelsea tent gave us the perfect space to put into practice the theory we had learnt over the first and second terms.

The image is of a man with grey cap on, blue shirt, jeans and trainers. His back is to the camera, and he is holding a camera up to his face and is taking a photo of a portrait positioned on a white panel. There are 9 portraits in total on this particular panel. You can also see two more panels to the left of the man and 1 white panel to the right, each containing 9 portraits.
Amy Lousie Comis and Jacob Lomas, Wall Display 1/100 2021
MA Curating and Collections, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

How have you developed and adapted your curatorial practice through the pandemic?

The pandemic taught us how important the collective experience of art really is. The dialogue between curator, artwork and viewer in a physical space is something very difficult to replicate online.

What have you enjoyed most about studying at Chelsea College of Arts?

The opportunity to work with archival material, material collection objects and the collective learning experience.

Despite the difficulties that covid created, the course and all of the students, including us, were optimistic with our projects and looked at the pandemic as a means to develop a new outlook on exhibitions and curatorial practice.