Chewing The Fat by James Mathews-Hiskett

Posted on 21 May 2022

Chewing The Fat is a series of discussions curated by James Mathews-Hiskett unpacking diverse curatorial perspectives from across the North-West. Each discussion brings together a small group of curators based in the region to consider how a range of different approaches and frameworks influence the way they work. These discussions form a short series of podcasts that were released throughout July.

The British Art Show 9 curatorial narrative speaks of “exploring new modes of resistance” and asking “how we live with and give voice to difference”. Chewing The Fat seeks to respond to this by applying the same line of questioning directly to curatorial practices in the North-West. The aim is to think through how the specific context in which an individual works affects how they engage with this narrative. For example, how the way they work is impacted by the communities they collaborate with or how where they work, both geographically and structurally, changes how they engage with giving “voice to difference”.

This project is supported by Castlefield Gallery and commissioned for A Modest Show; the official collateral event for British Art Show 9 in Manchester. A Modest Show is funded and supported by Arts Council England and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Episode 1: Chris Bailkoski, Laura Mansfield and Nathaniel Pitt

Chris Bailkoski is Creative Director of PROFORMA, Greater Manchester and Longsight Art Space in Longsight. Chris is also Finance Director at SOUP in Manchester. 

Laura Mansfield is an independent curator and researcher running multiple ongoing projects including FEAST Journal and Making with Mothers. Laura is also Castlefield Gallery Associates Coordinator. 

Nathaniel Pitt is director of Division of Labour Gallery, Salford and Pitt Studio, Worcester. Nathaniel is also curator of The Manchester Contemporary art fair and curator of A Modest Show, the official collateral event for British Art Show 9 in Manchester.

Episode 2: Bryony Dawson and Thomas Dukes

Bryony Dawson is an artist, curator and writer based in Manchester. Bryony is a member of the curatorial collective Soft Spot and recently curated the exhibition The Naming of Things at Castlefield Gallery. Current projects include the performance
event series BASKET and a monthly reading group focused on art writing, theory and philosophy.

Thomas Dukes is a curator based in Liverpool and current PhD Candidate working with Castlefield Gallery and Manchester School of Art on an AHRC NWCDTP supported Collaborative Doctoral Award. Thomas was previously curator at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

Episode 3: Stephanie Fletcher and Garth Gratrix

Stephanie Fletcher is an artist and curator based in Preston and Salford. Stephanie is assistant curator at The University of Salford Art Collection and also a co-founder and former director of The Birley artist studios and project space in Preston.

Garth Gratrix is an artist and curator based in Blackpool. Garth is founding director of Abingdon Studios and project space in Blackpool, is a PIVOT Artist supported by Castlefield Gallery and The Bluecoat and is a Clore Fellow 2022. Recent curatorial projects include A-N Assembly Blackpool: The Coast Is Queer.