Office Keith Whittle works with contemporary artists’ and organisations on research, commissioning of new work, exhibitions and publications.
It has two main strands of activity; offering advisory and consultancy services for those with an interest in developing projects in Japan and Reading Room, a research collection dedicated to modern and contemporary Japanese art. Founded in 2018, it comprises copies of publications, paper documents, posters as well as other material relating to Japanese art such as exhibitions, events, and institutions. It exists to support research by students as well as individual researchers.
Our consultancy draws on the expertise developed from working with international and national artists and centres creating fundamental interconnections between process, production, participation and audiences. Our skills and experience in commissioning work give the fullest possible expression to the creative voice of the artist. While each project follows its own unique, individual course, what they all have in common is a central emphasis on high-quality production and presentation.
We facilitate and initiate projects in several ways – working on commissions and exhibitions with collaborating partners – as well as advising on such projects.
Curatorial and project management
Office Keith Whittle has excellent curatorial and project management skills and a proven track record of delivering complex touring gallery exhibitions and site-specific public-realm installations by high calibre artists to a range of audiences on time and within budget. Through involvement in numerous high-level projects, it has an excellent understanding of artists needs and requirements. This is supported by in-depth knowledge of contemporary artistic practice at a national and international level and an extensive network of international contacts. With considerable experience in managing large budgets, fundraising and procurement. It has considerable experience and skills in project management and liaising with relevant agencies and stakeholders.
Having operated between the public and private, non-profit and commercial, cultural & education sectors and communities, on projects distinguished by their high production values and a commitment to ambition and innovation.
Office Keith Whittle is adept at seeing and understanding the needs of each artist and organisation whilst being able to find workable solutions that are acceptable to all.
Working collaboratively on projects which bring together the complete life cycle of art production, from production to dissemination, exhibition and interpretation, is central to what we do. Office Keith Whittle is particularly adept and skilled at building and sustaining productive relationships, developing wider networks of influence, giving and receiving feedback, and in leading successful change in key areas. Good at influencing others both within and outside of an organisation, with a solid understanding of the critical role that collaboration, trust, professionalism, good working practice and accountability play in effective and successful project development, management and delivery.
Education and outreach
Developing and building on existing programmes, unlocking greater potential for collaboration between schools, colleges of higher education and in reaching new audiences and extending cultural opportunities. Office Keith Whittle has achieved success in building audiences with non-traditional visitors and in achieving high levels of positive identification. Projects have also been successful in attracting non-traditional visitors, and in attracting new audiences to an unprecedented degree, whilst commissioning cutting-edge work, presented in an accessible and provocative context.
Skilled in increasing public engagement and shared involvement, nurturing new talent and offering opportunities to build networks and new relationships that generate opportunities for artists, testing their ideas and working practices, often in new cultural contexts and situations.
National and International networks
Office Keith Whittle operates between the public and private, academic, institutional and commercial cultural sectors and communities to build networks and new relationships that generate opportunities for artists, often in new contexts and situations. A recent engagement has been with cultural institutions, organisations and individuals in South East Asia, where an excellent network of contacts and a track record of negotiating, curating and producing projects have been developed. Projects are designed to engage contemporary artists, curators and creative practitioners in cross-cultural dialogue, and to facilitate the exchange of ideas through production and exhibition.
We have first-hand knowledge of the importance that supportive, creative environments (and extensive technical and curatorial expertise) can bring to each new project. These skills are supported by considerable experience of working in conjunction with a diverse range of partner venues, notable for the close collaborations that are forged: with artists, and also with venues.
Creating international opportunities for showing new work, reaching new audiences, nurturing artists at early stages in their careers, supporting innovation in terms of artistic practice and in creating regional touring circuits are also its key expertise.
Fundraising and development
To achieve these mentioned aims – to undertake and manage a curatorial programme, Office Keith Whittle has to fundraise for every project. This involves considerable energies and experience in fundraising, budget management and report writing.
Our ability in securing cash and in-kind resources has been instrumental in attracting highly promising artists between early and mid-career. Projects take considerable energies and dedication to realise, maximising at times limited staffing, often working nimbly within bureaucratic environments, working to tight budgets and deadlines, always with an attention to detail and an eye to excellence.
Print, publication and editorial
Publishing provides an important accompaniment to ongoing commissioning and exhibition activities. Office Keith Whittle has worked on numerous publications including exhibition catalogues, larger-scale monographs on individual artists and a selection of books incorporating DVDs of artists’ work. As such, we have a comprehensive knowledge of the distribution of printed works such as books, digital information systems and the Internet, including electronic resources, such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micro-publishing, web sites and blogs and proofreading exhibition copy as well as essays for publication.
Marketing & evaluation
Office Keith Whittle measures the artistic and creative success of projects both in terms of audience response as well as in the critical response from the national arts press. Press attention is measured in column inches, and analysed in relation to previous coverage; we always anticipate national and regional coverage of all projects and have received international press attention. With regard to audience take-up and response, we have been involved in monitoring visitor numbers and analysing them in relation to funding bodies criteria. We have experience of collating and analysing visitor comments at the conclusion of each project, and more in-depth surveys carried out with sample groups during each project. I also have the first-hand experience of working directly with the public and reporting back on audience responses and views.
Should you require advice or assistance on a project, please do not hesitate to contact us.