Kerlin Gallery - Friday 09-03-18
On the morning of Friday the 9th of March, Alex and I had arranged to meet with staff from the Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, Dublin 2. The meeting was arranged rather last minute due to severe weather the week before. From our email exchanges we knew that the gallery staff would be too busy to meet us from Monday 12th March. Friday morning at 10:30 became the agreed time for our meeting.
We were meeting Lee Welch, Archivist and Elly Collins, Registrar for an interview. The main goal of the interview was to gain some insight into both their roles working at the gallery. This would be quite a challenge for myself as they are roles that I had been unfamiliar with or had not given much thought to prior to the Curating Photography module. Initial research for this interview involved looking up descriptions for the role of the registrar. Descriptions online describe the job as highly skilled and challenging. The role seems to cover a lot which surprised me. Apart from the gallery’s inventory, database and condition reports, the registrar must communicate with shipping, art handling, suppliers, storage handlers etc.
Before the interview, Alex and I met to discuss the possible strategy for the task. We presumed that we would not be having two separate interviews and the meeting would take place as an informal group discussion. In that case we planned the interview as a flow of conversation rather than questions followed by answers. We decided to take notes as the conversation flowed and disperse the time between us to try and cover everything.
Having read through the information on the Kerlin Gallery website, artists such as Gerard Byrne, Paul Seawright, Sean Scully and WIllie Doherty were familiar names. I also noticed that the gallery was celebrating its 30th year since establishment. I was also familiar with the “WeChat” information on their contact page. I know that this app is essential for a Chinese market and also noticed that the gallery would be taking part in Art Basel, Hong Kong later in the month.
Lee Welch spoke about his role as archivist and how much his job is connected to Elly Collins’ job as registrar. There appears to be a lot of crossover in their work. Welch is responsible for all in house photography of artworks. Each piece is assigned a “stock code number”. The number and image then accompany each other into an “artist folder”. Citation and annotation are generated with a program called “Artform”. Artform is a database, a kind of filemaker which compiles any data inputted such as ‘provenance’ with a standardised ‘citation’ and ‘annotation’.
Another program which is essential to this work is a program called “Artbinder”. Artbinder allows a paperless way of organisation for galleries, artists and collectors using a simple interface. The user may view artworks by artist categories and easily pull up information required. Artbinder would be used in a customer forum while Artform is behind the scenes and used by galleries only. We were shown via ipad the Artbinder program which has a strong grasp of “U.X.” in its design.
With concern to ‘engagement’, we also had a brief chat with Rosa Abbott, who manages social media at the Kerlin Gallery. Rosa told us that Instagram was by far the most important platform for their gallery and their artists due to its visuality. Facebook and Twitter are also used and a “professional” tone is always maintained throughout. While the gallery has long term customers due to its 30 years in business, art fairs are a place which networking and meetings are important to build a new customer base. I was interested to hear that the ipad is the tool of choice for fairs and meetings.
Sam Keogh, "Kapton Cadaverine" at the Kerlin Gallery
Sam Keogh, "Kapton Cadaverine" at the Kerlin Gallery -----------