Summer in London is a great celebration of Art exhibitions, live performances and music. Among those, “Daze Exhibition” at Shapes Gallery: intense and fascinating, this installation has brought together works of different artists and designers interested in space, sense and interaction.

Here is our Q&A with the young and talented Joanna Penso, curator of the show.

1. How did you get started into light installation art? How have you and your work evolved and changed over the years?

I began using light last year when I became interested in how it can change how you experience a space, however light has been important for me in my work for a while beforehand. I have become more focused on changing spaces so that the light source is the immediate center-point since starting university. Changes in lighting and colour can affect our mood and behavior, and I'm interested in drawing attention to this fact; in making the viewer aware of their own methods of perception.  

2. Let's focus on your last show, "Daze Exhibition". How would you describe this exhibition?

The starting point for DAZE exhibition was born out of a piece I made in a previous exhibition. I used sheets of tracing paper in front of the gallery windows to control how much passers by would be able to see the work from the street. I wanted to expand on this idea by curating a show which would immerse you in a maze of paper and other materials, which would lead you from one piece to another. It was important for me for the show to be cohesive and have a back-bone as an idea before I looked for artists to take part. I would describe it as a show designed to immerse the viewer in the works as a whole experience, rather than isolated pieces to be contemplated on their own. 

3. In Daze Exhibition you have showed your work alongside six other artists. I personally found very interesting the idea of "blurring the lines of authorship" - how did this idea start?

From past experience of taking part in art exhibitions, I have found that unless you begin with an idea before you choose the work, the whole show is only loosely tied as one experience. By separating the space with sheets we could control how the viewer experiences any one piece with lighting and space around the piece. Blurring the lines of authorship was achieved by using different materials to create the walls of the maze, and lengthy discussions on how this would affect the art piece in question, and the exhibit as a whole. The installation of the show was a huge task to take on itself, and although the initial idea was my own, the group took it on and made it work for them. We were all involved with installing the whole show, and we decided not to use any name tags on the work as the ideas were formed together, not in isolation. 

 4. What are your plans for the future?

At the moment I have one more year to complete my fine art degree at Chelsea College of Art, but I am hoping to carry on with a heavy focus on curating. I have a strong interest in the cross-over between artist and curator, in the sense that the artist can become the curator when working together in a group to realise a concept as a whole, and the curator can become the artist when deciding which artists, venues and works to use. 

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