Volunteering for the Brighton Biennial

A couple of months ago I responded to a request from Photoworks for volunteers to assist with the Brighton Biennial, which runs from 28 September to 28 October, and on Tuesday evening we had our first meeting with volunteer coordinator Ricardo Reverón Blanco and programme manager Claire Wearn, where we introduced ourselves and learned about the kind of work we’ll be doing.

Our main task will be invigilating the shows taking place in the pop-up exhibition spaces, which don’t have full-time staff like the larger venues do. This will involve making visitors welcome, answering their questions, and asking them whether they’d be willing to fill out questionnaires – an important source of visitor data which is vital to support Photoworks’ funding applications for the 2020 Biennial. There will also be some office work available, mostly entering the visitor data into a database, and over the next couple of weeks there will be a few opportunities for getting involved with installing the shows, mostly in the form of painting walls.

Photoworks’ new director Shoair Mavlian, previously a curator at Tate Modern, is curating this year’s Biennial, which has the very topical theme of A New Europe. I’m excited about being involved, albeit in a very small way, and am looking forward to seeing all the exhibitions.