Mollie E Barnes fell into the artworld very young exhibiting for the first time at 15. At 23, she’s a busy young lady and a very active member of the London art community with multiple hats : she’s an art curator, art historian, arts host and gallery consultant.
In 2020, she founded the platform She Curates to champion and celebrate womxn in the arts, artists and art professionals. She’s a Patron member of the Christie’s Education Young Collectors Club and her most recent project is co-founding and co-designing a course with The Fundamentals of Art Business at Christie’s Education.
At only 23, you already have several hats: writer, curator and advisor. Can you tell us about these different projects ?
Yes! Loads of hats. Thank you. So yes, I work primarily as a Curator. I work Freelance in many galleries, and with artists to produce exhibitions and shows. This is really fun! And yes, I do a lot of Art Writing, Gallery Advisory, Events Management, Marketing, Artist Liaison Work and more.
It really is the best job in the world.
It can be quite tricky fitting everything in, but I am just the most organised person – I hope! – and I can adapt well to new circumstances.
Being in the Art World, some things can change at quite a pace!
What attracted you to an art career?
It was never a question for me really. I grew up surrounded by strong feminist painters, and so it just was my life. I was very lucky to grow up in such a creative community. My love came from the art world, and so it seemed the right fit for me. Those amazing womxn that supported me are my closest friends even now.
I am still very attracted to the art world because of what I believe I can do in it, and what I believe I can change for the better. I love having a platform to champion other people’s voices.
What motivated you to found your platform She Curates ?
For a similar reason to what I was saying above, I love championing other people’s voices. My account isn’t about me so much as it is about the phenomenal talent out there!
I am particularly passionate about genuine inclusivity and true feminism. Everyone is welcome and everyone is valued equally.
I wanted the platform to be a voice for many, and also a place to speak to me confidentially. I have artists coming to me every day for advice, telling me about their practice, but also for personal reasons, which is really lovely to be able to be that person for someone.
Instagram is now key in sharing a message in the arts and you do that well on your account @she_curates_. You advise some artists and see many different accounts. What is the most common advice you give to artists to use Instagram?
Thank you very much that’s very kind!
I give this piece of advice all the time, and recently gave it on a fabulous IGTV piece, where the fabulous presenter (from LA) said she was surprised to hear a British person say this:
my biggest piece of advice is BE CHEEKY. Ask for those collaborations, approach those curators and galleries. Be cheeky and good things will come out of it!Mollie E. Barnes
If you’re looking for a sign to message anyone, including me, this is it! Do it.
Can you share about your recent project with Christie’s Education ?
So I approached Christie’s Education during Lockdown, and I believed there was a genuine gap in education for Early/ Young Career Professionals in the Arts. For the basics of Business and Law. The groundwork for everything important that goes around them. You need the building blocks to start with.
Every course that had these modules was thousands and thousands of pounds. So we produced this course for under £1,000 at a time of day to best fit both UK and International Students, while paying lecturers fairly, with a sense of community, not strictly academic and payable by instalments. All to make it as accessible, and welcoming as possible to everyone we could. The course is called The Fundamentals of Business, and I’m really proud of it.
The course starts July 14 actually – and I’m so excited.
What is your dream project?
*Whispers* I am currently working on my dream projectS! And they will be coming to you all soon!!
Know more and Follow Mollie E Barnes