My name is Emma Louise Smith and I am a postgraduate research student studying Collections and Curating practices at Edinburgh University. I will be using this blog to reflect on time spent over the next year developing a group project for the National Galleries of Scotland around the ‘Digital Pivot: Transforming the Archives into Living resources.’

My background in the arts started really at A level when I took Art&Design which lead me to apply to my undergraduate course at Goldsmiths University of London where I studied a BA Hons in Curating. I would say that my experience at Goldsmiths goes as far away from a traditional arts history degree as you can get. Our main focus lied in the public sphere and how we could combat social issues as well as historical issues through the visual medium.

My course included a lot of activism, and a lot of experimentation, more like a research degree in some extents and this lead to healthy and lively discussion and debate which ultimately shaped my passion in social reproduction within the arts sector. For my dissertation I wrote around the question of ‘How do we think from the position, who are most radically excluded from society? In
relation to cultural funding within the UK?’ after doing a placement with Louise Shelley at Cubitt Gallery, looking into the arts council funding structures.

In the research placement, I hope that I can combat the digital (It is something I have stayed well away from!) and all the challenges that come with working with such a big institution. I hope that we can implement some fun and exciting ideas that captivate and engage our young audiences and maybe even push through some of the rigid barriers of the institution that have been built by centuries of patriarchy.