The Foundling Museum is delighted to announce that we have appointed Laura House to our Curatorial Fellowship. Laura is also Museum Administrator at the Royal College of Music Museum, supporting their major redevelopment. In 2019-2020 she guest curated Beyond the Horizon, an exhibition of contemporary Nordic art for SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway.
The Fellowship is in partnership with Artisa Foundation, an incubator for creative and professional development in the visual arts. This is a mid-career Curatorial Fellowship providing an opportunity for an experienced curator to develop their practice through creating an international touring exhibition on an engaging and important subject. Laura will be researching and developing an exhibition exploring the representation of orphans, foundlings, adoptees and foster children in comics and graphic novels to be shown at the Foundling Museum in 2022, with the aim of then touring internationally. The idea is inspired by Lemn Sissay’s Foundling Fellowship project Superman was a Foundling.
The project will provide organisational learning and establish partnerships which will grow the Museum’s capacity to generate future touring exhibitions. Laura will share her learning and experience in a variety of ways, including meeting with other Artisa Foundation fellows as part of the Foundation’s programme.
The aim of the Curatorial Fellowship is to explore the most effective way to train curators in the current cultural context; where this role has evolved beyond its original custodial imperative to embrace interpretation, education and the need to attract new audiences. The Fellowship offers a substantial development opportunity for a mid-career curator, to break new ground, lead or develop a project at a more ambitious level, and take their career forward, perhaps in a new direction. There are few opportunities of this kind, where experienced curators can be embedded within an institution and be supported to take on a new challenge, offering learning for both curator and host organisation. This initiative seeks to bridge the gap.
The Artisa Foundation acts as an incubator for professional development within the visual arts. It provides support – funding and mentoring – for creative professionals to help bridge the gap between different stages in their careers: from graduation, through to establishing a sustainable practice and onto mid-career growth. Artisa funds individuals through institutions in the forms of various awards and initiatives. It works with Museums, Universities and other Cultural Bodies to explore opportunities for professional development within their communities. Sometimes it funds existing initiatives, such as Crafts Council’s Hothouse Programme, but on the whole, it works with cultural institutions to identify and develop new areas for professional growth in the visual arts.