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Nunnery Gallery: From volunteer invigilator to curator

Submitted by Media on Fri, 05/12/2014 - 11:38

Myself and Marion met whilst volunteering for the East London Group exhibition at The Nunnery, Bow Arts in early summer 2014. For me, I had recently quit my job as a hotel receptionist and was keen to put my art degree to use and get more involved within the industry. Luckily enough, we volunteered for one of the most popular exhibitions at Bow Arts to date, so got to experience the excitement at the gallery. Not only did we get to learn about the almost forgotten East London Group, we also got to see how a gallery is run.

Although we only worked together a few days, it was here where we spent time getting to know each other and talking about our careers. Both being at the beginning of our professions, we moaned about how difficult it is to find opportunities to show your work for free and how it’s often challenging to find time, space and money to create work. We discovered that we both had similar interests in art, but also wanted to develop our skills as curators.

A few months, and many hours of venue hire research later, I emailed Marion simply asking: ‘Would you be interested in setting up an exhibition with me?’. She said ‘yes’! Several months down the line and we’ve set up our project, North & Found. The ultimate aim for this project is to generate a free platform for artists to show work, but also to get communities involved and feel welcome to interact with art. For our first exhibition we put out an open call for submissions in response to the theme ‘In-Between’, of which we received an overwhelming number of applications! Finally narrowing it down to 7 amazing artists, we're now in the middle of preparing the exhibition at A Side B Side Gallery, Hackney Downs Studios - open 4th - 8th December.

Volunteering for Bow Arts has been an insightful and rewarding experience, and has led to lots of really exciting opportunities. Even though volunteering can be a risk at times, make the most of your time; talk to everyone - you never know who you might meet! 

North & Found presents: In-Between 

Thursday 4th - Monday 8th December

11am - 6pm

A Side B Side Gallery, Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT

For more information about the North & Found project, please visit our website:

@northandfound #northandfound

- Shirley McNeill