Ben William Harris joined LADA as Events & Operations Manager in March 2019. As an independent curator, Ben has programmed events and exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (ICA), Chalton Gallery and Painel Gallery, Porto, among others. Ben was previously the Events and Programme Assistant at Gasworks alongside his role as a Public Advisor at the ICA. Graduating with First Class Honours in Culture, Criticism and Curation from Central Saint Martins, Ben is currently studying MSc Education, Power and Social Change at Birkbeck College, London; Ben has also lectured at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and worked with Block Universe, Kingsgate Workshops and Slate Projects. Ben continues to research performance art, socially engaged eco-practice and is strongly concerned with Climate Justice, education and social change.
- MISOI assisted an inspirational and incredibly talented international artist, MISO, hang her first major solo exhibition at the Backwoods Gallery in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia. This included curating, hanging artworks and creating a site specific temporary wall! This also ended in a joint design which was personally tattooed on me.
- Family PortraitIn 2011 I held a solo exhibition called ‘Family Portrait’. This exhibition was a fun and immersive interactive photography piece. I have always been intrigued by family portraits from a very early age. The idea we can capture an ephemeral moment and incapsulate this, a part of our memory, has become vital to our culture today. I feel this is an integral form of material culture, going through the ritual of displaying who is married, what clothing you wear, even to what race you are in this rare and exclusive event. The family portrait displays hierarchy and is something to be proud of, akin to the dated periodic paintings originally hanging in their castles. I asked the public entering the exhibition to physically take part within my own family portrait. I recreated an old portrait taken of my family when I was in my early teens, including surroundings and family members. People came in having no previous conception upon the photograph being taken, or the gravitas of the event at hand. Did they feel like they where taking something special away from me? Had the participant simply adjusted to this contemporary ceaseless photographic opportunity? I wanted to challenge the value of contemporary family portraits, the use of photography in our generation and the onslaught of senseless photographs attacking our senses in the digital realm. From the obscene to the mundane, these photos are disjointed and have lost connection to their original purpose. It was bizarre for me to see not only strangers sitting with my family, but for people to be experiencing a memory that was once solely just my own. I asked if people cared that they where in my family portrait, or of the values that my family held. Did they just relish this perpetual activity of fun?
- 30.04.27'RTIST Gallery would like to announce the launch of its new exhibition ’30. 04.29.’ Featuring 30 Artists, launching on July 4 at 29 St Edmonds Road, Prahran.' 30. 04. 29 showcased some of the best in Melbourne art. Names like Gavin Brown, Jasper Knight and Maurice Golotta. The infamous gallery is well known for hosting coveted art shows in Melbourne. It is renowned for discovering unique talent, notably Australian street artist Sofles in his first Melbourne solo show. The exhibition was intended to show the agency’s commitment and passion towards its artists in a professional and dynamic space, previewing the RTIST Agency whilst celebrating local artists. I solely curated and hung over 40 pieces of artwork for the exhibition. I was also in charge of the advertising, press release, invites, catalog and most of the project managing.
- FLEE MarketThe FLEE Market entailed a fine art flea market cross pop-up gallery space. It ran in London for several months during the course of a summer that held artists selling a wide range of pieces from sculpture to painting and screen prints. The pop-up exhibition space, which I personally ran and curated, held a range of instillation's from live VJ'ing, a design collective showing screen prints culminating on the final exhibition in an ethological discussion involving live participatory taxidermy. I was also responsible for everything behind the scenes; including the logistical and technical side of running the actual space, to the finer details of marketing and promoting the project itself. I was personally responsible for creating the logo, branding and advertising for the whole event including running the online blog and weekly newsletter in which details of exhibitions, artists and events were sent to a mailing list of over ten thousand.
Events & Operations ManagerLive Art Development Agency
London, United KingdomFull Time
As Events and Operations Manager, my principle responsibilities are to maintain and enhance the strategic development of LADA’s space at The Garrett Centre, and oversee the effective management of LADA’s office, operations, Study Room and programme of events. I lead on the development of new local partnerships, with a focus on the Tower Hamlets area, and work closely with colleagues to achieve the effective realisation of LADA’s mission and ensure its sustainable development. I take great pride in my responsibility to: run LADA’s public and invitation-only events and other activities, such as workshops, residencies, and educational groups; liaise with artists/presenters during and post-events, including facilitating the necessary technical requirements; I coordinate and ensure appropriate staffing is implemented whilst also playing an active role myself, including for example providing introductions to events, and being LADA’s public representative and advocate to audiences. My responsibilities also include the coordination of social media at/of events, documentation (audio, stills, video) for archival purposes, book sales, as well as being responsible for the day-to-day running of LADA’s Study Room. This entails guardianship of over 8,000 items, coordinating the bookings and calendar, welcoming and monitoring Study Room users, contributing to the curation and content of the Study Room, and welcoming educational groups from younger learners, PhD academics to lifelong learners. From an operational perspective, I am responsible for the efficient running and maintenance of LADA’s office, maintaining equipment, developing operations strategies, and overseeing the office calendar. I ensure staff and contractors adhere to LADA’s policies and procedures, as well as developing and updating the procedures annually. This may include for example conducting event-specific risk assessments. My responsibilities also include being LADA’s main contact with the landlords, the council, whilst also coordinating interns, placements and volunteers. I relish the opportunity to develop LADA’s space at the Garrett Centre having expanded and strengthened a diverse range of partnerships, from artists to schools to social action groups and local authorities. Although this includes national and international partnerships, this work is mostly focused on Tower Hamlets, and the close connection to the locale of the space is of the upmost importance to me. Other responsibilities of my role include providing support for the administrative coordination of LADA’s Board of Directors including scheduling quarterly Board meetings and papers, developing monthly email updates for the Board and Patrons with LADA’s Director; As well as supporting LADA’s financial bookkeeping, collating invoices, receipts and other financial paperwork, following petty cash transaction procedures, and bank deposits of cash/cheques. Other notable achievements while in my current role include: • Being LADA’s environmental green champion, including leading on an international partnership between Live Art UK and The Triangle Network as part of Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle Accelerator Programme; Facilitating the ‘Garrett Centre Commission’, an annual commission focusing on local engagement; • Becoming a representative for LADA within local networks such as What’s Next? and the East End Trades Guild; • Successfully delivering LADA’s 20th Anniversary sold-out fundraising GALA, which included artists such as Ron Athey, Victoria Sin, Travis Alabanza, Rocio Boliver, and Jade Montserrat which raised over £11,500; • Delivering PLAYING UP, a participatory artwork bridging the gap between adults and kids, which was held within institutions such as the Tate Modern to Norfolk & Norwich Festival, I provided training to volunteers at N&N Festival as well as facilitating a 3-day ‘play in’ in the Wellcome Collection entrance foyer. • Raising money for non-profit organisation Positive-East, as part of LADA Screens for World Aids Day; Selecting, hosting and undertaking an artist film and Q&A with community/participatory artists Rosalind Fowler and FOURTHLAND, initially commissioned by PEER gallery.
Exhibitions & Residencies AssistantGasworks, London
London, United KingdomPart Time
This role supported Gasworks’ Curator & Head of Programmes, Programmes Manager and Head of Communications in the timely and efficient delivery of all the Exhibitions and Residencies programmes. This included but was not limited to; Delivery of the Exhibitions Programme, assist with email and phone enquiries about the Exhibitions programmes, support the Programmes Manager with exhibitions logistics including loans, transport, insurance and condition-checking artworks, assist with installations and de-installations; Support the Curator and Programmes Manager’s research into artists, institutions and funders, support the Programmes Manager with the administration of open calls and applications, help to organise artists’ visas and travel, support the Programmes Manager to arrange and maintain accommodation for residency artists, help to provide visiting artists with practical and administrative support, facilitate access to resources and other research material as required by visiting artists during their residencies, support the organisation of open studios and other residency events, liaising and coordinating use of the Participatory Space which included local community use such as workshops, lectures and film screenings. Communication and Audience Development: proofread texts for the gallery, website and other marketing purposes, contribute to maintaining the relevant sections of Gasworks’ website, assist with social media, contribute to maintaining Gasworks’ mailing list, documentation and storage of media from all activities, supporting the Communications Manager to action any journalists’ requests for information, images, interviews, etc. Lastly, contribute to and participate in a collaborative working environment, including weekly team discussions and other conversations.
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- Fine Art
- Creative Event
- Social Event
- Project Management
- Event Execution
- Event Organisation
- Event Planning
- Temporary Displays
Master of ScienceBirkbeck College, University of London
London, United Kingdom
MSc Education, Power and Social Change
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