© HANNA PUSKARZ
© HANNA PUSKARZ
6 March 2018
The London College of Fashion is one of the six organisations awarded the British Council Art Connects Us research grant, which supports our vision to develop stronger creative sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and connections with the UK.
Alison Moloney is leading on the London College of Fashion research project, focusing on South Africa. Find out more about her work in fashion curation and her ambitions with this opportunity to connect the UK with South Africa's fashion scene.
Please tell us about you and your work
I’m a Curator and Research Fellow at the London College of Fashion where I develop exhibitions and partnerships with museums and galleries in the UK and internationally. Partnerships have included the Barbican Art Gallery, RMIT Australia, MoMu Antwerp and the V&A. As a nomadic curator I develop collaborative exhibitions which experiment with the presentation of dress and contemporary craft, and present them within diverse exhibition contexts in order to reach new audiences. As part of these exhibitions I often commission objects, rather than working with existing artefacts, and work with artists and designers outside of fashion to explore new media outcomes. Recent projects include Cabinet Stories; a touring exhibition which took work to audiences who have little access to the arts and included a women’s prison, an NHS facility and a home for older people and 1914 Now, a film-based exhibition which launched at Spazio Punch in Venice and toured internationally.
Why did you apply for Art Connects Us?
I applied to gain the opportunity to meet with artists and designers in South Africa whose work I have been following and have seen within exhibitions in the UK. I also applied because I have been in touch over the last few years with Erica de Greef, a PhD scholar based within the The Centre for African Studies at UCT. Erica’s work focuses on the constructs of race, class and gender in South Africa and representations thereof and I am interested in her work and to see if there are opportunities for collaboration.
Where you going and what are you researching?
I’m going to Cape Town and Johannesburg and meeting with cultural and educational institutes as well as independent artists and designers who work with fashion.
What are you looking forward to most about your trip?
I am working with Erica de Greef and Heinrich Groenewald and Keely Shinners at Gallery MOMO Cape Town (they have a branch in Johannesburg also) on an event for colleagues working within the fashion and cultural industries in Cape Town. Gallery MOMO showcases renowned visual artists and is also dedicated to promoting video art from both local artists as well as showcasing work from artists abroad through its dedicated video room. Our event will explore how social media technologies provide a platform for new audiences to intervene in fashion curation dialogues. Five young creatives spanning many disciplines - fashion, design, performance, art, photography - will discuss how they use Instagram as an accessible space for experimentation, expression, and radical self-representation. Confirmed speakers include Quaid Heneke, Unathi Mkonto and Sarah Hugo Hamman.
What impact do you hope the research trip will have?
I hope that this research visit will enable on-going conversation which would lead towards an exhibition either in the UK or South Africa. This research visit will undoubtedly have a long-term impact on my perspective to fashion curation and how my work and that of local designers’ work could be translated internationally.