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  • Writer's pictureSegolene Py

A Presentation of who is behind Exhibition Crave

It is time to put a face and a story on the name of Exhibition Crave. For this week's post, I will be talking to you about my journey through the world of art.

Photo: by Zerrin Azir

My name is Segolene Py, I am an independent curator, and art writer. I started this website around 2018 in the goal to share my discoveries of exhibitions around London but also to discover and engage with artists, especially artists of colour. I have been interested in art for a very long time and have studied it in school and university in France and Wales (UK). My first real encounter with art was at the Musée des Beaux de Nancy, where I am originally from, during a school trip. They have an amazing collection and one Yayoi Kusama room where I loved spending time in as a teenager. Back in the days, I was mostly loving something that looks like something it is not: hyper-realistic styles or trompe-l'oeil. One of my favourite painter, originated from my region in France, is Emile Friant who's incredible oil paintings still amaze me. My favourite being The Lovers, staging two young people looking over a bridge. It is as though we are just standing behind them, ready to listen to their conversation. The softness and the realistic brushes would catch my eyes and I could stare at the oeuvre forever. Nancy is also a city of art, in its architecture as well as in the number of artists it has seen emerged from (for example Louis and Victor Majorelle, Claude le Lorrain or Gellé, or again the brothers Daum), especially with the prestigious Ecole de Nancy which was one of the birth places of Art Nouveau.

The Lovers, Emile Friant

I had this dream to go and live in London and get my career to flourish there. It was a decision taken on the bench of fast food restaurant with a friend of mine, I asked her to accompany me, just like that, and she said yes, just like that. It was a bit of a rushed decision but a long-time desire finally reaching its realisation. I landed in London in 2015 in the goal to start a career in the arts and worked hard to find myself where I am today.

I started my journey simply as visiting exhibitions and following what caught my eyes. I was first interested in the classical and mainstream art but later developed my own taste. The evolution and understanding of myself and my heritage strongly influenced the fact that I gravitated my interest towards Caribbean and African art. It opened my eyes and a new world that I had not yet explored.

I started working at the Tate shop in 2016 and met incredible artists whom I collaborated with on different projects later on. My job at Dulwich Picture Gallery as Gallery Assistant also helped me a lot on this matter. Integrating the art world is extremely difficult if you don't have any strings to pull so it is very important to talk to everyone you think will benefit your future career and business. Networking is crucial in the art world, aside to your luck and taste. Art fairs are one of the very important event I would recommend anyone to visit or best to work at. The whole art world is gathered in one place, and everyone is here to talk. I had the chance to work at the Frieze art fair in the VIP section and also at the 1-54 Art Fair to represent the amazing Afriart Gallery, based in Uganda. 1-54 definitely push me forward and allowed me to meet incredible people and to get in the position I am today. I am working in a private Gallery in High St Kensington, learning the tricks of the art market and building an even stronger network.

To this date, I organised and held 2 group exhibitions in London, giving exposure to 13 artists based in London and the US:

The first one was Nature Encapsulated at the Lewisham Arthouse, London (UK), from 16th September 2020 to 21 September 2020. This exhibition aimed to explore the difficulty of defining wilderness in our current world and our ways to live within it. We aimed to bring an optimistic perspective on the preservation and utilisation of nature and hope to inspire and incite positivity. This exhibition was a recognition of the crucial importance of wilderness left on earth; the power of nature on the mind and emotional reactions to it; the possibilities of ethical utilisation of nature; and the positive impacts of protected areas on nature and the animal world. Nature Encapsulated is an invitation to think more about wilderness and our way to interact with it. We wanted to question thoughts and feelings about it, where do we stand and how do you help sustain it, if you do.

Find more info on this link:

My second exhibition titled After Isolation: a Future Imagined/Predicted was a show centred on isolation and how the artists involved saw the future post-pandemic. After Isolation aims to explore the theme of life after the pandemic through different angles: mental health, social and environmental issues. This will study the behaviours of human beings: our capacity to be adaptable and the possibilities of change we can bring to a world that needs so much of it. Artists are sharing with us their vision of a future imagined: a time that brought us to explore outside more, learn and understand each other, from each other, and also understand ourselves.

Find more info on this link:

Today I aim to organise more exhibitions and have more Caribbean based artists to collaborate with. Before engaging myself in this, I want to meet and interview artists from the Caribbean, and build a true connection and relationship to go forward together. In the future, I aim to own my own Gallery and be able to build a conversation, a bridge with the Caribbean and the Western World.

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