Chairing the panel discussion will be Julie Lomax. Guest speakers, Jo Baring (Director, The Ingram Collection), Kate Davies (Director, The Roberts Institute of Art) and Yates Norton (Curator, The Roberts Institute of Art), will share curatorial approaches to opening up collections across the UK, and the ways they support both artist and curatorial eco-systems. We will also hear from artist and writer, Valerie Asiimwe Amani (The Ingram Prize 2022 Winner) and artist, Osman Yousefzada.
Moderator and speakers biographies
Julie Lomax is CEO of a-n The Artists Information Company. She is a member of the Association of Women in the Arts and regularly lectures at Sotheby’s Institute. Prior to a-n, Julie was the Director of Development at Liverpool Biennial and held Director of Visual Arts positions at Australia Council for Arts and Arts Council England, where she was responsible for visual arts policy and investment. She was the Chair of The Showroom, London between 2016-2021.
Julie originally trained as an artist, graduating from Chelsea School of Art with a degree in Fine Art.
Jo Baring is the Director of The Ingram Collection. In 2023 she was elected as the Frankland Visitor to Brasenose College Oxford. Editor of the book, Revisiting Modern British Art, Jo is also the co-writer and co-presenter of the critically acclaimed podcast, Sculpting Lives. Her curatorial projects for 2023 included a show for MICAS (Malta International Contemporary Art Space) and a collaboration across two venues with The Women’s Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. Jo is on the board of the Artists’ Collecting Society and Women of the Year.
Kate Davies has over 15 years’ experience in the visual art sector. She is currently Director of The Roberts Institute of Art, a non-profit contemporary arts organisation based in London, and oversees the David and Indrė Roberts Collection. Since joining RIA in 2019 she has seen the organisation through a re-brand and new identity, vision and mission to increase accessibility to the David and Indrė Roberts Collection, one of the largest private contemporary art collections in the UK with close to 2,500 works. Under Kate’s leadership, RIA has forged institutional partnerships with a range of national museums, launched an artist residency in Scotland for international and UK artists and developed new performance commission programmes. Previously Kate worked for over 10 years as Head of Collection for Damien Hirst to develop his personal art collection and has extensive experience working with artists on production and commissions as well as collaborating with museums and galleries on large-scale projects and installations. She played a key role in launching Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in south London, helping to establish its profile and leading the gallery programme which included solo exhibitions by Jeff Koons, Ashley Bickerton, Dan Colen, Rachel Howard and Gavin Turk alongside group shows supporting early-career artists.
Yates Norton is a curator at The Roberts Institute of Art. He often works closely with friend and collaborator, David Ruebain, on disability justice work, presenting widely on their work in publications, talks and exhibitions. He was previously curator at Rupert, contemporary arts organisation in Vilnius, Lithuania, directing its 2020 public programmes and co-developing the programme for the Creative Europe funded consortium, 'Who Cares'. He regularly writes for publications including the Chicago Review (forthcoming), Rachel Jones: say cheeeeese (2022), Anj Smith: Where the Mountain Hare Has Lain (2022), Phaidon’s Great Women Sculptors (forthcoming), Latin American Artists (2023), Great Women Painters (2022) Prime: Art’s Next Generation (2021), Great Women Artists (2019), White Cube Companion (2021), amongst others. His collaborations and work with artists include singing in Lina Lapelytė, Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė’s Golden Lion-awarded opera, Sun and Sea.
Valerie Asiimwe Amani is a Tanzanian interdisciplinary artist and writer. Her practice interrogates the ways in which body, language, and myth are used to situate (or isolate) the self within community; with works that bridge the political, domestic and intimate.
She has exhibited internationally including a solo performance at South London Gallery with the Roberts Institute of Art (2022). Recent group shows include Boundary Encounters, Modern Art Oxford and Mundane x Sacred x Profane, Sakhile&Me Frankfurt.
Amani is a PhD candidate at The Ruskin School of Art and was the recipient of the 2021 Ashmolean Museum Vivien Leigh Prize and The Ingram Prize 2022.
Osman Yousefzada is a British - South Asian interdisciplinary artist and writer, engaging with the representation, rupture and reimagining of the migration experience. He works across textile, sculpture, moving image, installation and performance, referring to the socio-political issues of today. Yousefzada’s practice is led by modes of storytelling, merging autobiography with fiction and ritual.
Yousefzada is a Professor of Interdisciplinary Practice at the Birmimgham School of Art, a research practitioner at the Royal College of Art, London, and a visiting fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University. His work has been shown at notable international institutions including: Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (solo 2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Wapping Project, London; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Ringling Museum, Florida; Lahore Museum, Pakistan; Design Museum, London; Lahore Biennale, Pakistan; and Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh.
Yousefzada’s practice has been described as "defiant", where the participating bodies throughout his work are presented as part objects that refuse to identify or conform. Most recently, his series of solo interventions titled What Is Seen & What Is Not was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, London. Across three site-specific works, this commission responded to the 75th anniversary of Pakistan independence and explored themes of displacement, movement, migration, and climate change. He has been invited to exhibit at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024, a solo show at the Palazzo Franchetti.
In his first book, The Go-Between (2022), set in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s, alternative masculinities compete with strict gender roles while female erasure and honour-based violence are committed, even as empowering female friendships prevail. This book was long listed for the Polari Prize and reviewed by Stephen Fry as "one of the greatest childhood memoirs of our time".