Curating narrows the gap between creating knowledge and communication.

The philosophy of the Curatorial Research Centre is inspired by the concept of creating collections of things–the kind assembled by individuals with private passions, content makers and story tellers, researchers who are looking for new ways to organise ideas and knowledge, and those entrusted to the care of public organisations like galleries and museums. The act of collecting is about constructing knowledge (information and emotional) through explanation and stories. Possessing that knowledge bestows a person power. It is the curator’s purpose to share that knowledge (and its power) as widely and equitably as possible through brilliant communication and interpretation.

What is a curator?

We believe in end-to-end curating that values equally generating knowledge and communicating that knowledge.

We use the 50% model of a curator, part knowledge creator, part communicator. This equation underpins all of our educational work.

50% model of a curator, half knowledge creator + communicator = curator
50% model of a curator © Tehmina Goskar, 2017.

Power of collections

Collections, whether created from tangible objects, natural specimens, beautiful things, sounds, smells or tastes, hold up a mirror to the people and attitudes of the time in which they were created, as well as to contemporary society whose concerns and biases privilege one kind of thing over another. Whether keeper or custodian, editor or selector the curator should use their power to encourage two-way conversations that narrow the gap of understanding. Those conversations do not always have to use words. We believe that a sensory person-centred approach and experiential learning are the most effective and long-lasting ways we can make curators and curating relevant, valued and celebrated. A holistic awareness of diverse people, their learned behaviours, lived experiences and personal preferences is critical.

Power model of museums (c) Tehmina Goskar, 2017

Public museums and galleries derive their power from building and possessing collections. The collections represent a body of constructed knowledge, that knowledge is the power that museums wield, generating both trust and distrust in society at large. When viewed through a decolonial lens, the ethics and law around possession and ownership can be in conflict, as can the assumption that the museum’s authority over its collections should be privileged over others’. 

Good curating

Curate it all… food, clothes, garden, music, colours, lights, writing, your room.

What do your choices and assemblages say about you or your organisation? We believe any aspect of life and work is improved by a bit of curatorial intention. Good curating gives meaning to the choices you make when you choose, select and arrange. It determines the ideas, people and stories you really care about.

Study it, question it, curate it.

Parlophone 45rpm record of Kites by Simon Dupree and the Big Sound.
Simon Dupree and The Big Sound, Kites, on 45rpm single by Parlophone, 1967. Part of a massive vinyl collection needing curation.

We believe in…

  1. curiosity, know-how, specialism and talent
  2. independence
  3. facilitative leadership
  4. intellectual rigour
  5. communicating the big picture with the detail
  6. progressive mentality
  7. ethical expertise
  8. good design

Continue reading about our background and aims

Pebbles curated en plein air on a Cornish beach.
Containing stories of the Cornish peninsula’s northwards journey during the creation of the Atlantic in deep geological time, flint pebbles curated en plein air on a beach.