Elevation

Welcome to the Artist Mentor blog, which aims to share creative ideas, knowledge, skills, and insights from experienced arts insiders. This blog is called ELEVATION because art lifts us up and hopefully shares illuminating interviews, advice, and tips from contemporary creatives, who question the status quo and are committed to exploring new ways to communicate, connect and challenge our perceptions. I have invited a range of extraordinary creatives to share their ideas, processes, values, career highs and lows, motivations, risks, and key learnings. I have selected people that inspire me, through their work, their ideas, their bravery, and consideration of others. I hope you will find their work, experiences and recommendations as interesting and useful as I have. All feedback, recommendations, links, and ideas are very welcome!

Please email me or find me on socials @cerihand on Instagram and Twitter, I’d love to hear from you.

Let's learn from each other

Listen to Ceri Hand explain why she established the Elevation blog and her hope that the insights and experiences that creatives share here, will encourage and inspire others.

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Artist: LUKE JERRAM

I admired Luke Jerram’s spectacular public realm work way before ever meeting him. Indeed, he often jokes that Bloomberg Television described him as “probably the most famous artist you’ve never heard of”. Luke has an incredibly diverse, seemingly boundary free creative practice. I'm amazed by the range and scope of his ideas, the scale of ambition, […]

Senior Content Designer: ROSIE WANEK

I had the pleasure of working closely with Rosie Wanek at Somerset House, London. Rosie was Head of Exhibitions Management and together we worked on an ambitious programme, delivering large and mid-scale ticketed and free exhibitions, installations, and events, across the whole site. Rosie is blessed with being a curious, surprising, compassionate creative, able to […]

Creative Director: GAYLENE GOULD

Artist Zak Ové introduced me to Gaylene Gould in 2018, whilst we were working together on the exhibition Get Up Stand Up Now at Somerset House, London. Gaylene was Head of Cinemas and Events at BFI Southbank at the time, and we met to discuss joint programming a public event, showcasing key films by Zak’s […]

Curator interview: MATTHIEU LELIÈVRE

I first met the dynamic art historian and curator Matthieu Lelièvre when we found ourselves stationed in neighbouring gallery booths at an art fair in Basel in 2009. I was representing Ceri Hand Gallery alongside my wonderful Gallery Manager Lucy Johnston. Matthieu was representing Hamish Morrison Galerie, alongside the lovely and charming Founding Director Hamish. […]

Producer Interview: ZERRITHA BROWN

I was introduced to the inspiring change-maker Zerritha Brown by Dhikshana Pering, Head of Engagement and Skills at Somerset House. I was immediately struck by Zerritha's creative vision, her genuine desire to create opportunities for others and to platform the contribution of creative pioneers. She has a passion and commitment to effecting long-lasting social change […]

Curator interview: KATHLEEN SORIANO

I first met the wonderful Curator and TV presenter Kathleen Soriano on a group excursion to China in 2007. The trip was an international exchange organised by the British Council for UK Curators and Directors to learn and develop new connections and potential partnerships. It was an extraordinary 10 days, spent with an amazing, inspiring […]

Curator and Collector interview: MARCELLE JOSEPH

I was first introduced to Curator and Collector Marcelle Joseph by artist Charlie Billingham, at a preview at the Tate in 2012. We both exhibited Charlie's work, and our interests and enthusiasms for artists and ideas continue to connect. I have enjoyed following Marcelle's curatorial and collecting initiatives and really appreciate her holistic support of […]

Artist-Curator Interview: GAVIN WADE

I first met Gavin Wade in 2002, when I was working at Grizedale Arts and toured the artist-extravaganza Roadshow to Lickey Hills and the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. I have been consistently bowled over by his ideas, commitment, entrepreneurialism, energy and determination ever since. He has devised and delivered some incredibly exciting and ambitious projects […]

Artist Interview: TROIKA

I was first introduced to super-group artist collective Troika around twelve or thirteen years ago, by Keri Elmsly (Senior Vice President, Immersive Development and Production, Madison Square Garden Company). I was excited to see their show Decode in 2009 at the V&A and have followed their work ever since, and most recently enjoyed seeing Borrowed […]

Interview: SARAH COOK

I first met curator, writer and academic Sarah Cook when I was Director of Exhibitions at FACT in Liverpool, in 2004. Sarah was, at that time, engaged in pioneering work, establishing CRUMB (Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss), with co-founder Beryl Graham in Newcastle and Gateshead. Together they hosted workshops and courses worldwide and CRUMB […]

Interview: LOU MENSAH

I have listened to Shade Podcast religiously since writer and photographer Lou Mensah launched it in the summer of 2019. I find Lou’s transparent, no nonsense attitude and genuine curiosity in learning and engaging with her guests refreshing. The range of pro-active, inspiring guests combined with a familial generosity, clarity of ambition and desire to […]

Interview: CHRISTIAN VIVEROS-FAUNÉ

I first met Christian Viveros-Fauné in 2004, when I was Director of Exhibitions at FACT in Liverpool and we were launching Bjørn Melhus’ first UK solo show. Christian represented Bjørn at the time through his gallery, Roebling Hall, (based in Brooklyn, New York). At dinner together, with Bjørn’s German Gallerist, Anita Beckers, I was struck […]

Interview: ALKISTIS TSAMPOURAKI

I first met Alkistis Tsampouraki in 2015, when we both worked at Simon Lee Gallery in London. We shared a passion for learning, of facing fears, of not taking ourselves too seriously and to having fun, whilst making weird(er) things happen in the world. Alkistis is kind, considerate, loyal, and often hilariously honest. She has […]

Interview: CONNAL ORTON

I was introduced to Connal Orton around 2008/2009 by Mark Doyle, who was running the North West Collector Development scheme for Contemporary Art Society. Connal was very supportive of my gallery programme, attended shows, visited artists studios and bought work, including by Matthew Houlding (see below). Connal is an award-winning creative, most recently at the […]

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