Making the workplace an art place: London exhibition by Curaty enters its final weeks

Making the workplace an art place: London exhibition by Curaty enters its final weeks
Anthony Hensman, 'Field', 2018, installation view at Trivandi. Courtesy Curaty.
Leading lights  -   Curators

In just a few weeks, a unique exhibition of works will wrap up at Trivandi, a company founded out of the organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics. Their office, near London Bridge, isn’t the first place you’d think of for an exhibition of up-and-coming artists, but thanks to Curaty, a London-based start-up, it is.

Founded in 2018 by Sneha Shah, Curaty has already made waves, holding international exhibitions and placing as a semi-finalist in the London Mayor’s Entrepreneur’s 2019 competition and as a finalist in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards for 2019. Shah, who received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MA from University College London, saw first-hand the lack of support for artists starting out in their careers. With a knack for business and a passion for art, Shah believed that businesses could provide unlikely gallery space for new artists while inspiring workers in their office space. Thus, Curaty was born.

Melissa Hartley, ‘Follow,’ 2019, installation view at Trivandi. Courtesy Curaty.

The exhibition is Curaty’s first time working with Trivandi. The works on display through December 18th went through a unique process before finding their place on Trivandi’s walls. With Curaty, curating is collaborative. After having moved into their new offices, Trivandi was looking for ways to engage and inspire their employees. When they turned to Curaty, Shah worked with them and a number of artists to find works that best represented their employees and their company. Artworks by Michal Raz, Harry Rüdham, Ben Mosley, Jean-Baptiste Lagadec, Anthony Hensman, and Melissa Hartley were chosen by members of the Trivandi team. Each work was included because Trivandi felt a connection with the work – and it wasn’t always what the artists saw, themselves. ‘Meeting the Trivandi staff and chatting about art with them was a great experience,’ said Raz in a statement to Art Critique. ‘I find that so many times the most interesting comments about art come from people who don’t have an art background and are not too much into contemporary discourses of the art field. It’s just more honest, direct and simple.’

Artworks were shown alongside items belonging to Trivandi, including a pair of Usain Bolt’s running spikes and the Olympic torch, merging the company’s treasures with artists’ works. The exhibition also gave the artists involved a one-of-a-kind environment where they heard what Trivandi team members, those who are working literally next to the artworks, thought of their works. ‘I have had my paintings in many different spaces but with Curaty’s Trivandi exhibition it was actually the first time I saw my work in an office environment and it gave it a whole new energy,’ continued Raz. ‘Alongside the works of the other artists, a beautiful synergy between the space and the art was created.’

‘[It] is always remarkable,’ commented Hensman, ‘how people who have doubts about art are able to relate to the most abstract of things when you get them into convocation about it.’ Thus, with their premier show about to wrap up, Curaty’s mission to connect artists just starting out with unlikely art-lovers is off to a running start.

Edit: Updated November 27th to clarify the foundation of Trivandi.