Camden Close-Up: Charlie Levine
Love Camden loves its local talent. We aim to celebrate everything cultural in the borough, from Hampstead to Kilburn, from the British Library to that little café around the corner - we are always out to show what Camden has to offer. As part of this we launched our Camden Close-Up series: interviews with artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and downright interesting figures that live, work or are inspired by the borough.
This month we interviewed Charlie Levine, the curator of the 2018 Camden Art Collection exhibition at Swiss Cottage Gallery. This year’s show focuses on some of the women in the collection to tie in with Camden Vox, our arts and engagement programme that celebrates the centenary of the Representation of the Peoples Act (some women in the UK getting the vote).
- What would you would do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?
I would hope my parallel life would be pretty similar, as I can’t imagine a life where I wasn’t being creative somehow, or surrounding myself by creative people and ideas. I have often thought what it would be like to work in the music industry - I am not a music specialist at all, but I can always pick out the chart hits from an album.
- What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?
Probably a combination of all four, but opportunity would come top for me, followed by hard graft and luck, then chance. If you are able to seize an opportunity positively, it’s important to pay that back and create one for someone else.
- What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?
I used to run a gallery in Birmingham called TROVE and it has definitely defined my career, style and approach. I learnt so much over the 3 and a bit years running the space and programme and it set me in good stead for what I have continued to be passionate about – work with early / mid career artists, work site responsively, build on my love of connecting communities and ideas, being a feminist, and creating opportunities and platforms for creative’s and audiences to try / see something new.
- What are you most proud of and what are you least proud of……and why?
I am most proud of the arts community I have been able to help in some way, whether that be through an exhibition or engagement opportunity, commission or job, I love seeing smart and creative people excel. I have always thought of my role as a curator as someone who creates a platform or forum for someone else and who can help translate their ideas to audiences, to further opportunities or funding and to continue to grow. I am least proud of my inclination to worry about criticism and that sometimes I have not taken bigger more confident strides because of a fear of other people’s opinions.
- Tell us a secret
When I’m stressed I like to bake.
Charlie Levine is an art director, independent curator, project manager, lecturer and consultant. Between 2009-13 she founded / managed independent art gallery TROVE in Birmingham, UK.
Levine’s curatorial practice centralises on in/visible networks, creating and bringing together communities, working site responsively, postal art, creating platforms for early career artists and developing diverse creative industry opportunities.