Courtauld Institute of Art Podcast – Blog Post

Emma Thompson, London.

On 2nd June I arrived at Somerset House for a meeting with the students and course director of the Courtauld Institute of Art’s MA Curating the Art Museum programme. As part of their masters’ degree, the students curate an end of year exhibition and this summer they asked Imagineear for help in producing a podcast to accompany their show.

The 2015 exhibition, The Second Hand, Reworked Art Over Time, was in the final stages of production. Various artworks from different periods (paintings, drawings, wood etchings, a video, even a vase) that had been reworked by a ‘second hand’ were already selected and the exhibition space had been painted in readiness for hanging. We didn’t have long to produce the audio.

We decided the best way to forward was to record the students in small groups or pairings. Each student would talk in conversation about one specific piece. This would allow them to describe the work within the context of the exhibition. We agreed the pairing or group could decide whether to script the conversation or not.

For example, Amy and Rose explored the juxtaposition of two paintings by the Chapman brothers from the series “One day We Will No Longer Be Loved” (2010), with two paintings reworked by Peter Paul Rubens from the 17th Century.

A week later Andrew and I returned to the Institute armed with recording equipment. The student curators had thoroughly prepared for the session and with consummate ease they recorded audio packed with information, detail and high level of understanding. We raced through the session with almost no retakes.

With a deadline of 17th June, the private view, we started editing straight away. In consultation with Ola, the spokesperson for the group, we agreed to include images thereby turning the MP3 file to MP4. It was a good decision. The end production is professional and authoritative, and the corresponding images compliment the students’ knowledgeable analysis.

The group asked the Courtauld Institute to host a link on their website. We finished the project in time for the podcast to be printed into the exhibition catalogue. Most importantly, we finished in time for visitors to download and listen to the podcast from the opening day of the exhibition.

This was a very enjoyable project. It was a privilege to work with such a talented bunch of future curators, and to start what I hope will be a continuing relationship with The Courtauld Institute of Art and The Courtauld Gallery.

Emma Thompson, Creative Development Manager

Producer for ‘The Second Hand, Reworked Art Over Time’ podcast