Between occasional rants, deconstructions of words and phrases, brilliant images, visitor voxpops, excellent contributions from experts in the field, along with the odd impulse to re-write in bold felt tip, there are serious discussions here about written interpretation practice. If you’re a regular gallery visitor, work in the visual arts, study art or curating, then this is the book for you.
This invaluable guide to all things artspeak contains interviews and features from top arts professionals, including:
Artists Richard Wilson, David Blandy and Emily Speed, who share their experiences of being written about by galleries.
Dr Penelope Curtis explaining her thinking behind the “Walk Through British Art” at Tate Britain – with responses to Tate by three arts professionals.
Renowned curators Lewis Biggs, Omar Kholeif and Gerardo Mosquera, who reveal their approaches to interpretation for exhibitions they curate around the world.
Simon Martin, Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, who explains their approach.
Dr Abigail Harrison Moore and Amanda Phillips, who detail their collaboration between students and Leeds Art Gallery.
Artists Luborimov-Easton, who defend their use of art language – with a response by artist and writer Alistair Gentry.
Writer and critic Dany Louise, who shares why she thinks good writing really matters, and explores the different facets of a complex subject.
Good news! Following last year’s period of planning and development, it’s a tremendous pleasure to announce that Interpretation Matters has been awarded project funding from Arts Council England!
This means that over the next two years, we can further develop and animate this website, work more closely with galleries and their audiences, and continue to facilitate discussion and debate about written interpretation produced by galleries.
In the summer months, you should see a presence for Interpretation Matters in many galleries across the country and on many more websites, as we reach out to gallery visitors and ask them to feedback on their textual experiences in the country’s galleries. This site will provide a neutral platform for that feedback and discussion to take place between galleries and their visitors. Do you have something to say about your gallery experience? Comment on any page on this site, or email email@example.com
With the help of artist Alistair Gentry, I will be working with project partners the De La Warr Pavilion and the Bluecoat to run a series of workshops with staff and visitors looking in detail at how their written interpretation is produced and received. There will also be an interactive text-exhibition at the Bluecoat, to further stimulate discussion with their visitors.
Around autumn, watch out for The Interpretation Matters Handbook, which will be published by Black Dog Publishing. Aimed at a general interested-in-art audience, it will be packed with contributions from a very interesting range of artists, curators, academics and, er, me. It will include audience voxpops, so if you are a gallery keen to facilitate this, or a gallery visitor and fancy getting your quote and picture in the book, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you work at a gallery and want to get involved? There are two ways to do this:
First, if you are interested in gathering honest and unselfconscious feedback from your visitors, please do contact me for a display poster, and the Interpretation Matters Call to Action for your website.
Second, if you want to review your own process of producing written interpretation, Alistair and I have developed a workshop programme that facilitates this in an effective and painfree way!
We’re also looking for destination marketing and local authority websites who would like to upload the Interpretation Matters Call to Action on their visual arts page.
Finally, we are always looking for more resources, whether in the form of guides, discussion of models, personal or organisational experience, or simply an interest and informed knowledge in this area. Again, if you would like to contribute, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com
I hope to hear from a lot of you over the coming weeks and months, and I thank you for your continued support and interest.
Interpretation Matters is all about the written material found in galleries - the text panels on the walls, providing context for the work on show, and the printed booklets that describe the works or overall programme. Usually "under-the-radar", the aim of this site is to highlight this important area of gallery practice.
Interpretation Matters is conceived and directed by arts writer Dany Louise.>