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In Conversation With India Dickinson

India Dickinson

This month we headed down to
Plumpton in East Sussex where
India Dickinson's gorgeous art
filled studio is.

It was most definitely worth the
journey, not only did we get to see
some amazing works of art that
India will be exhibiting but we
also got to meet and find out more
about her work as an Art Curator
and how she came to make a living
out of what she loves.

Tell us a bit about your story. How did you become an art curator?

After school I worked in a few galleries and with artist agents in London and New York.
I then studied Art Business and went on to do a degree in Visual Culture at Goldsmiths.
While I was at university I began organising pop up exhibitions with friends and artists
I knew. After I graduated I continued working with artists and curating shows. From
there I setup my own company and started representing artists in a more formal way.
Now I am based in a studio in Sussex, represent twenty artists and curate pop up
exhibitions in London every two months.

What triggered your passion for art?

I have always been obsessed by art and was creative from an early age. Both my parents
have fantastic taste and opened my eyes to a lot of different art. I then studied art at
school and university. However, at this point I was more interested in other artists and
the organisational side of things rather than making my own art. I think having an
artistic background helps me to understand artists work and the struggles it takes to
create an artwork.

India Dickinson

Where do you draw inspiration from and how do you find new artists to showcase when putting together exhibitions?

I draw inspiration from the people I work with and a lot of research is involved in
finding new artists for exhibitions.

What qualities do you look for in art pieces?

Fundamentally I have to love it myself, at the moment that seems to be the only criteria
for selecting artwork. I trust my own taste and the art has to engage with the viewer in
some way.

What are the steps you take when curating an exhibition?

For me it starts with the venue as every exhibition I curate is in a different space. I then
work around a loose theme or idea when sourcing artists for the show. I try to include a
combination of artists I represent and have worked with before and new artists. I then
select the work to include in the show and then it all kind of snowballs from there. We
then design the invitations and press release. Clients and press have to be invited, social
media campaign begins and so on. Then we have the private view which is the best part
and it all kind of happens in a bit of whirlwind.

India Dickinson

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

Scouting new artists and doing studio visits. I love going to exhibitions and degree
shows and discovering new artists. But really, I love organising my own exhibitions the
most!

Can you walk us through a day in your life?

My day to day varies hugely and at the moment as I split my time between London and
my office in Sussex. When I am at the office I start my day with half an hour of yoga
followed by breakfast and a strong coffee. I then go to the office and spend most of the
morning replying to emails. I am either prepping for an exhibition or managing our
website and online sales. When I am in London I am often driving around to meetings or
studio visits with artists. I also try to go to a lot of private views and exhibitions while I
am in town.

India Dickinson

How do you make your clothes work for you and your busy lifestyle?

I wear pretty impractical clothes and mostly live out of a suitcase so it needs some
planning, but I try and look smart most of the time.

What are your go-to wardrobe staples?

A statement two-piece trouser suit or black jeans, white t-shirt and big boots.

And finally...
If I wasn't an art curator...I'd be an artist
My favourite artists are... Ivo Morrison and Orfeo Tagiuri
Words to live by... 'If not now, when?'
My ideal breakfast... raw tomatoes on toast
My day isn't complete until I've... had a productive time in the office.
My favourite season... Winter
My favourite London hangout... Brockwell Park
My style muse is... Marion Cotillard

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Photography by Jutta Klee @juttaklee
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