Gallery and Technical Manager

Andrew Shedden

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Gallery & Technical Manager, Turner Contemporary, Margate

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Ten questions for ten creatives

  1. What do you do for a living?
    I am the Gallery and Technical Manager at Turner Contemporary, Margate – a public art gallery and charity organisation, with free entry and a strong ethos for learning, outreach and regeneration. I oversee the condition checking, installation, packing, crating, shipping/transport of all artworks for shows at the gallery. I liaise with technicians, fabricators, artists, artists’ studios, galleries, and many, many other people to ensure that exhibitions onsite and offsite are planned, scheduled and installed to the highest standard, and maintained properly for the duration of each show.
  2. What was the path that led you to do what you do now?
    The biggest influence on my getting involved in the creative industries was a regular yearly evening workshop and talk given at my primary school (c.1989-91) by Peter Lord of Aardman Animation. He brought in Morph for us to play with, Wallace & Gromit – before they had done it – and the old Cadburys’ Crunchie adverts. He set up a projector, showed us the films, and talked about what they do.
    I studied Art at school in Bristol, then a Foundation Course in Art, Bristol, then an Art Degree at Canterbury. I have been a Studio Manager – Cooke Industries (Nigel Cooke Artist), Canterbury, a Learning Support Assistant, Canterbury, a Facilities Assistant, Turner Contemporary, Margate and then Gallery and Technical Manager.
  3. What did you want to be when you were at school?
    An Artist or an Architect – probably both.
  4. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
    Keep doing what your doing – it all works out.
  5. What do you like my most about your job?
    The sheer variety – constantly changing exhibitions, artists and installation challenges on and offsite.
  6. What do you find most challenging?
    Same as above – the thing I love about my job is also the thing that makes it so challenging. And so rewarding when you succeed.
  7. What’s your favourite song (at the moment)?
    I’m a bit obsessed with Frank Turner at the moment ‘Get Better’ from the album Positive Songs for Negative People.
  8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
    Inca Trail, Machu Picchu.
  9. Name three things that you always take with you to work on an average day.
    Multitool/leatherman, security pass, notebook (and pen – I know, that’s 4).
  10. Tell us a joke or a secret.
    Not a secret, not a joke BUT …. I once sat on a plane in the seats in front of Hunter, Jet and Lightening from the TV show ‘Gladiators’ on the way to America. My mum told off ‘Lightening’ for smoking (yes, you could smoke on planes then) and ended up having a row with her as I tried to disappear into my seat. Me and my sister still got pictures taken with them but it was an awkward 13hr flight……