Dr Jareh Das is an Independent Curator, Writer, Researcher and occasional Florist who lives and works between West Africa/the UK. Her interest in global modern and contemporary art is cross-disciplinary although her understanding is filtered through the lens of performance art which informs both her academic and curatorial work.
Das’s most recent curated exhibition Body Vessel Clay: Black Women, Ceramics and Contemporary Art surveyed how ceramics have been disrupted, questioned and reimagined by Black women over the last seventy years beginning with seminal Nigerian potter, Ladi Kwali. New and recent works by an intergeneration of contemporary artists Magdalene Odundo, Bisila Noha, Phoebe Collings-James, Shawanda Corbett, Vivian Chinasa Ezhuga, Jade Montserrat and Julia Phillips featured in the exhibition. The critically acclaimed exhibtion was reviewed and featured in The Financial Times, Wallpaper*, The Guardian, Cultured, The Sunday Times Culture Show and Evening Standard) was on view at Two Temple Place, London (29 January – 24 April 2022) and toured to York Art Gallery (24 June – 18 September 2022).
She holds a doctorate in Curating Art and Science: New Methods and Sites of Production and Display in partnership with Arts Catalyst and Royal Holloway, the University of London funded by Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC); an MA in Curating Contemporary Art (Inspire), Royal College of Art, London funded by Arts Council England (ACE); and a BA (Hons) in Material Culture, Architecture and Museum Studies from the University of Leeds.
Das was Deputy Director of Deptford X and played a key role in maintaining the organisation’s strategic direction reporting to the Director and Board alongside overseeing all aspects of the organisation’s operations, financial, HR, and artistic programmes. She was also responsible for the curation and delivery of the 2022 festival overseeing seven new artist commissions which closed with a community-led parade by renowned Nigerian artist, Jelili Atiku. Previous curatorial and editorial roles include Camden Art Centre (2021), MVRDV, Rotterdam (2016-2018), Arts Catalyst, London (2013-2016), Etemad Gallery, Dubai (2011-2012) and MIMA Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (2009-2011).
In 2019 Das travelled across West Africa on an explorative 3-month research trip funded by Arts Council England to major cities and off-the-beaten-track where she witnessed activist-led, community-centred performance art. She began writing about contemporary art on her personal blog, Artistes Only (2008-2011) and has since contributed to a wide range of international publications online and in print including Artsy, The Art Newspaper, DOMUS, PIN-UP Magazine, It’s Nice That, Wallpaper*, Ocula Magazine, Bomb Magazine, World of Interiors, Apartmento, Bonhams Magazine, CNN Style, Frieze, Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, Leonardo Journal, X-TRA, Primary Paper, The Culture Trip, Hyperallergic, ARTNews, Burlington Contemporary, Cultured, The Fashion and Race Database, Crafts Magazine and WePresent.
Das has contributed texts for publications on artists including Theaster Gates, Ndidi Dike, Phoebe Collings-James, Shawanda Corbett, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Martin O’Brien, Sasha Huber and exhibition texts for The FLAG Art Foundation, Hayward Gallery, kó, Visual AIDS, and Maxmillian Williams Gallery/Apartmento Magazine. She has given talks at institutions including IKON gallery Birmingham, Whitechapel Gallery/Jarman Awards 2022, Association for Art History, Camden Art Centre, Chelsea College of Arts, Swansea Metropolitan University, Waag Society, The Centre for Curatorial Studies (CCS) Bard, VO Curations, The Africa Centre, The University of Arizona, The Leach Pottery and Royal College of Art.
For future curatorial projects, advisory, speaking engagements and writing commissions get in touch via the contact page.