The Art Trade Forum offers emerging curators, arts professionals and researchers the chance to see the London art trade at work and explore the practices and processes of acquiring art for public collections

2023 Programme

The second instalment of the Art Trade Forum programme brought together another twelve participants from a variety of backgrounds working across the UK.

Day One of the programme began with an introduction to the Paul Mellon Centre’s Library and Archives. This was followed by a session about collections and acquisitions development with speakers from Arts Council England who work with collections, cultural property and museums. The group then visited Mayfair-based art dealers. Both sessions worked towards highlighting how art dealers work and interact with institutional collecting policies.

Day Two considered the different ways curators work with auction houses, the processes by which auction houses interact with governmental agencies and institutions to facilitate Offers in Lieu, and the role which Art Fund can play in facilitating these acquisitions. We then spent time at Christie’s and Sotheby's where sessions on research, attribution and commerce were led by senior staff.

Day Three took us to Tate Britian, where curatorial staff discussed the museum’s collection strategy, the challenges major museums face when acquiring artwork, rapid response collecting and working with artists. This was followed by a tour of the key examples of the collecting strategy that had also informed the Tate rehang earlier this summer. This outing was followed by a trip to the Tate Stores, where we saw the systems used to administrate the storage and transportation of works.

On Day Four we visited Strawberry Hill House, where we were able to see how a museum can utilise the strategies discussed in the previous days of the Forum. Opportunities to network and connect were prioritised throughout the programme, with discussions happening over meals and mixers.

More details about the 2023 programme can be found in the PDF document at the bottom of this page.


Stacey Clapperton

Stacey is currently assistant curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection at the UK Parliament. She was previously assistant curator at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village where she led on the redisplay of the Mary Watts Gallery and permanent sculpture collection. In 2022 she curated the summer exhibition A Fragmented Legacy: G.F. Watts and Sculpture. Stacey completed her PhD in the history of art department at the University of Glasgow in 2019, with her thesis titled: “Making It Real: Methods and Materials of British War Artists, 1914–19”.

Eduardo De Maio

Eduardo De Maio is a PhD candidate at the University of York. His research investigates the phenomenon of cultural interchange between Britain and Italy at the turn of the twentieth century. His interests include curatorial and museum studies, history of art magazines, history of art trade, cultural internationalism, futurism, and social and political engagement in art. Eduardo was a research fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York in 2022 and an associate editor of the University of York’s history of art department journal Aspectus: A Journal of Visual Culture in 2019–21. Eduardo is also a graduate teaching assistant at the University of York and has collaborated with cultural institutions (Henry Moore Institute, 2019; York Museum Trust, 2020) and in cultural projects in Italy. Eduardo contributes to art magazines and is a member of the British Art Network and the PMC Doctoral Research Network.

Cait Heaney

Cait Heaney’s curatorial practice began at Vane gallery in Newcastle in 2017. Her ongoing curatorial focus and subsequent exhibition series, 14 Glasgow, was formed during studies of MLitt curatorial practice at the Glasgow School of Art in 2021. The series constructs a space in which to hold and discuss concepts of the home within contemporary art, the house as a symbol of the self, and to contemplate the subsequent impact of dereliction on the psyche. 14 Glasgow is informed by archival research of the temporality and placemaking within pavilion structures created for the 1911 Scottish National Exhibition and the postcard as ephemera-tangible correspondence between homes. Cait Heaney currently works at historic house museums for the National Trust of Scotland, with previous and ongoing roles at the Glasgow School of Art exhibitions, the Glasgow Art Club and Glasgow International.

Miriam Mallalieu

Miriam Mallalieu is an artist-curator based in Dundee. Her current research interests include the care and organisation of collections, particularly relating these to interpretation, knowledge and structures of power. Miriam was awarded a Queen’s College scholarship and recently completed a practice-based PhD at the University of Dundee titled, “What Does a Museum Think It Is? Research and Practice at the Intersection of Organisation, Interpretation and Knowledge

Until recently, Miriam was the exhibitions officer for Culture Perth and Kinross where she curated the project Kill Your Darlings with artist Anthony Schrag (2021) and produced Mis(sing) Information curated by Saoirse Amira Anis (2021). Miriam is currently a committee member at GENERATORprojects, an artist-run gallery in Dundee. She has a broad artistic practice based on critical examination of collections through art writing, sculpture and print. She has won several awards for her work including the John Kinross Scholarship (2017) and the Watters Maclane Medal (2013), both from the Royal Scottish Academy. Miriam studied art, philosophy and contemporary practices (2012) and MFA art and humanities (2017) at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.

Siobhan McLaughlin

Siobhan McLaughlin is an artist and freelance curator based in Glasgow. Since graduating from MA fine art at Edinburgh University in 2019, she has been awarded the inaugural SSA Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Award, a film commission from the British Art Network’s Landscape Group and a Royal Scottish Academy Residencies for Scotland Award. Alongside exhibiting regularly, McLaughlin’s curatorial practice focuses on creating opportunities for sharing and connection and opening up private, inaccessible spaces to the public. In 2022 she curated a major private collections exhibition, Alan Davie: Beginning of a Far-off World, at Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, and is currently working with Dovecot to showcase the work of ten recent graduates from Scottish art schools, with the aim of providing a platform for emerging artists at the start of their careers.

Harriette Moore

Harriette is a third year AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral partnership researcher within the National Gallery and the Bowes Museum consortium. Her PhD, entitled “Caricatures and Cut-Outs: Collecting Print in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Europe”, examines the Bowes Museum’s collection of printed works, and the tastes, economics, politics and friendships that lie behind it. The thesis provides a central case study for exploring how collections of popular print were created in nineteenth-century Europe. Harriette recently curated a digital exhibition on Visions of Europe at the Bowes Museum. She has held positions at MUVE, the Venice Civic Museums Foundation and FAI, The National Trust for Italy and co-convenes a monthly work in progress seminar at the British Library and the British Museum.

Ella Nixon

Ella Nixon is a third-year PhD candidate at Northumbria University. Her thesis “Beyond the National: Gender and the Regional Art Gallery”focuses on the representation of women artists within regional art galleries from ca.1970 to the present day. Ella’s thesis is a Northern Bridge AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award, in collaboration with the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 2020/21, Ella assisted the lead curator for the Challenging Convention and WOW: Women Only Works exhibitions at the Laing. She is currently curating the exhibition Belonging to open at the same gallery in July 2024.

Naomi Polonsky

Naomi is a curator and art writer. She is currently associate curator at the Women’s Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, where she is working on a research and public engagement project titled Unlocking the Women’s Art Collection. She is also currently assistant curator (projects) at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, supporting on curatorial projects and public programming. She has written on modern and contemporary art for publications including the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, Hyperallergic and Artsy.

Angela Qin

Angela is a masters student at the Courtauld Institute of Art specialising in the technical art history of modern and contemporary painting. With a background in organic and inorganic chemistry, she is able to contextualise the materials used by artists together with their processes to further understanding of the artist’s intent. She has previously worked on curatorial projects at the University of Melbourne, MPavilion, and Sepium.

Jazz Swali

Jazz Swali is a contemporary art curator. He is currently the assistant curator of exhibitions at Backlit Gallery (Nottingham) and is an advisory board member of Eastside Projects Gallery (Birmingham). His work with contemporary art, museums and galleries is embedded with curatorial activism, cultural and equality strategy, sociopolitical focuses, and alternative Queer and experimental practices. His recent exhibitions as a curator include The Joy of Destruction (2023) and ‘in reality, these things need to be said’ (2021). Working with artists such as Rebecca Allen, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Robert Yang, De’Anne Crooks, Kim Thompson and Rene Matić, Jazz has developed projects such as the Outcome programme with Backlit Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Nottingham (2021–24). He joined the Emerging Curators Group programme with the British Art Network, Tate and Paul Mellon Centre in 2023 and has recently been awarded two Arts Council England project grants for independent curatorial programmes (2020–23).

Francesca Stocco

Francesca is a PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University. Her research investigates the socio-economic influences that have promoted a revival of fibre art and textiles in the art ecosystem in the last fifteen years. She is also the founder of Filanda n.18, a design project exploring the cultural meanings of textiles from different areas of the world. Prior to her PhD, she held positions in the luxury industry and management consulting.

Renee Xinying Zhong

Renee is an independent curator and an overseas artist liaison for cultural commerce. She has previously worked with commercial and non-profit art institutions, including Cell Project Space, Chisenhale Art Place, Misa Shin Gallery, Arata Isozaki & Associates and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. As an emerging curator, she grounds her practice on a fundamental awareness of weakening the authoritarian impositions of archaic dichotomies. She has launched an ongoing project Not to be a Singular Being in 2022. Renee holds an MFA in curating from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in art studies from Tama Art University, Tokyo.