Ben William Harris is an independent curator who has programmed across London, Portugal and Melbourne. Ben continues to research performance art, socially engaged eco-practice and posthumanism, while also holding affiliations to Block Universe, Kingsgate Workshops and Slate Projects. Having studied curating at Central Saint Martins, he continues to develop his practice while also working as a Public Advisor at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
Within this converted Victorian warehouse building I am on hand to control visitors, undertake health & safety checks, as well as providing a general information point for Kingsgate’s exhibitions programme and 4 artist residencies per year. Kingsgate Workshops entails 50 artists studios as well as a separate gallery space entitled, ’Kingsgate Project Space’.
As programme assistant, I deliver exceptionally high standards of front-line customer service, support public access and engagement with contemporary art and quality of visitor experience. My role includes being engaging, welcoming, informing and orientating visitors. Keeping up to date with current issues and developments in contemporary art, theory, education and socially engaged practice nationally and internationally. As Technician, I assist with the delivery of events and activities within the main gallery spaces, theatre, two cinemas and rooms rented out for third-party hire. I support the appropriate department with exhibition installation, de-installation, collections, deliveries and general maintenance.
As a Specialist, I help create energy and excitement around Apple products, providing solutions and getting products into customers’ hands. I thrive when interacting with customers and team members all whilst working within a company known for having the best customer service in the world.
I curated a successful and sold-out evening of performance-lectures held at the ICA as part of In Formation III. Artists included; WORM (Angela Chan), Suzanne Dhaliwal, Farah Ahmed, Dr João Florêncio and Robbie Judkins.
The Public Advisor role at the ICA deals with a busy flow of ticketing and membership queries and processes, helping visitors face-to-face and responding to a range of tasks associated with providing excellent customer service, information on the programme including cinema screenings, membership scheme and merchandise. Key tasks include; Broadly responsible for selling tickets and memberships to visitors, and providing accurate information about the ICA’s current programme, history and heritage: Working with the ICA’s Box Office Manager to upload finalised programme content to the ICA website, alter events and update changes to the programme: Provide outstanding customer care and contribute to the development of customer care policies and initiatives, particularly focussing on the conversation of visitors to annual members: Ensure the security of monies and responsibly carry out cash handling procedures and accurate till reconciliations: To be equipped with any additional information e.g. programme changes, special offers, etc., by regularly checking emails and proactively seeking or clarifying this information via the Box Office Manager and wider ICA staff, and lastly but not limited to: Process direct debit related administration for Memberships and send marketing material to members via Mailchimp.
For Block Universe’s fourth edition, working across venues such as the British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, The Store X and Somerset House amongst others, my duties included but were not limited to; Ticketing/Front of House, managing ticket service at the doors, responding to public enquiries and assisting festival events with sale of drinks and merchandise: Artist Liaison, assisting national and international artists such as Maria Hassabi during their stay in London with rehearsals, travel, and preparation for their performances: Production Assistance, I assisted in the smooth running and operations of the different performances across various locations: Technical Support, I aided the Production Manager with the technical set up of performances.
I co-curated and installed a month-long exhibition at Painel Gallery, Porto, Portugal. This exhibition included two artists; Edit Oderbolz and Laurie Kang.
I co-curated, installed and invigilated a week-long exhibition at Chalton Gallery, North London. This included two MA Slade School of Fine Arts artists, June Lam and Trent Bates.
30. 04. 29 showcased some of the best in local 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.
I assisted an inspirational and incredibly talented local artist, MISO, hang her first major solo exhibition at the Backwoods Gallery in Fitzroy.
Alongside one other, I created and ran a fine art flea market cross pop-up gallery space. It took place for several months during the course of a summer entailing over 30 stalls with artists selling a ride range of works. From sculpture to painting, culminating in the final exhibition with an ethological discussion involving live participatory taxidermy. Behind the scenes my tasks included; on-site management, marketing, promoting, logo creation, advertising as well as updating an online blog and weekly newsletter which was sent out to a mailing list of over ten thousand.
BA (Hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation. First-Class Hons.
Fda Design for Graphic Communication
Art and Design, specialising in Graphic Design.
Photography, Media Studies and Film Studies.