Jade French is a researcher and museum professional based in Liverpool, UK
Dr Jade French is a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. She has worked extensively alongside community groups to explore the intersection of curating, participation and social change, with a focus on issues of intellectual access and inclusion within museums and galleries. Jade's research currently explores inclusive and accessible curating and its role in initiating broader conversations around democracy and diversity in cultural spaces
RESEARCH ON INCLUSIVE CURATING
Art as Advocacy was a 3 year research project exploring the potential for curating by learning disabled artists to act as a site for self-advocacy. Via a practice-led research approach, it brought together members of self-advocacy group Halton Speak Out and members of Bluecoat's inclusive arts project Blue Room, to curate a visual arts exhibition titled Auto Agents. These curators developed an exhibition theme, collaborated with artists, commissioned new artwork and designed accessible interpretation for audiences. This attention to the curatorial process resulted in curating not only becoming more usable by more people, but also more transparent and rigorous. By achieving this, this research delineates to understanding the processes and practices by which our cultural spaces can be democratised READ MORE
ASSOCIATE ARTIST AT THE TURNPIKE
In March 2018 Jade was appointed as an Associate Artist at The Turnpike, a new, independent arts organisation. Since January 2017, it has occupied the first floor of an iconic 1970s brutalist building in the centre of Leigh, Greater Manchester. Jade will be working with The Turnpike to develop opportunities for local disabled residents, as well as working with artists to develop an inclusive and accessible gallery space.
Image of The Turnpike
MUSEUM ACTIVISM BOOK...COMING SOON
"Only a decade ago, the notion that museums, galleries and heritage organisations might engage in activist practice, with explicit intent to act upon inequalities, injustices and environmental crises, was met with scepticism and often derision. Seeking to purposefully bring about social change was viewed by many within and beyond the museum community as inappropriately political and antithetical to fundamental professional values. Today, although the idea remains controversial, the way we think about the roles and responsibilities of museums as knowledge-based, social institutions is changing. Museum Activism examines the increasing significance of this activist trend in thinking and practice."
I am delighted to contribute a chapter to this book, edited by Richard Sandell and Robert R. Janes.