ExhibitionHerbert Read Gallery



Opening Reception | Thursday 27 February | 17:00-19:00

Closing Event | Friday 20 March | 17:00-19:00

The closing event has been cancelled due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19

Mark Selby & Rebecca Waterworth

Performance by Sam Bailey

Curated by Amy Owen & Georgie Scott

The room beyond the gallery, sometimes referred to as the ‘curator’s cupboard’, is a space that is difficult to define. It simultaneously acts as a storage space, a meeting room, an office and an archive room. It is a space that shifts its identity as different objects are pushed away from and pulled into the foreground in the various stages of exhibition making.

Due to these multiple functions, the ‘curator’s cupboard’ collects an assortment of discarded objects which accompany the permanent, fundamental tools needed in displaying works of art. These discarded objects, previously fundamental in one exhibition, can become rejected remnants by the next as the memory of their initial purpose slips away. Yet, the space they occupy suggests that the objects still have a value and will again at some point be activated. How do we assess the value of these objects? By functionality, material worth or emotional content?

In commonplace, artists Mark Selby and Rebecca Waterworth have been invited to consider the narrative of the ‘curator’s cupboard’ and the objects within it in a new piece of collaborative work. Theatrical references, such as curtains, sets and stages, have been used to transform the gallery space, create a scenario and propose an event, as they explore the way the architecture and contents perform. The potentiality of these usually unseen objects and hidden space is explored as their formal elements are re-staged in the gallery.

This evolving exhibition aims to question the recognised static exhibition format of presenting artworks as ‘final outcomes’ by displaying the continuous dialogue and exchange between the curators and artists as the exhibition develops.

During commonplace the gallery will be used as a studio space as musician and composer Sam Bailey develops a new piece of music in response to the formal qualities of the gallery and the objects occupying the space. Together, the artists will create an ordered harmony from the former chaos of the ‘curator’s cupboard’, culminating in a concluding performance at the end of the exhibition.



Mark Selby specialises in sculpture and installation art, working between automated and hand-crafted production. His practice explores issues of control, power and access to knowledge within both the hardware and software structures of technology. He is currently completing his practice-based PhD at the Royal College of Art titled, ‘Machines at Play: The Attraction of Automation’.

Rebecca Waterworth has a multi-faceted practice, working as an artist, musician/composer and lecturer, through which she explores the combination of vision and sound within performance and installation. Her visual work deals with intuitive and reflective responses to observation, history (as forms of constructed narrative around both personal and cultural memory) and the body, often through a drawing and collage process that aligns fragmented images/material into orchestrated, abstract & poetic constellations. This sense of audio ‘collage’ is further explored in music (both improvised and scored) through texture, pattern, form and loops so as to create complex soundscapes. As a musician she plays with Penguin Cafe and is part of the all female group Collectress, who are in the process of releasing their second album ‘Different Geographies’.

Together Selby and Waterworth collaborate as part of the ‘Performing Objects’ research group, exploring the agency of objects through both their function and decorative qualities.

Sam Bailey is a pianist, improviser, composer, educator and promoter. His expertise covers classical piano performance, jazz improvisation and free improvisation with a focus on collaborative performances ranging from chamber music and bands to work with dancers, poets, filmmakers, photographers and chefs. Current/recent projects include managing and performing in an award winning series of music, film and poetry events called Free Range and the year-long site-specific performance project Piano in the Woods. 

Amy Owen and Georgie Scott are Gallery Curators for UCA Surrey and Kent campuses and alumni in MA Curatorial Practice. Collaborating their research Owen and Scott are investigating the alternate role of the gallery and exhibition format. Previous collaborations include the 2019 exhibition ‘Pint Sized’ at the Brewery Tap UCA Project Space, Folkestone.



Herbert Read Gallery

UCA Canterbury

New Dover Road



CT1 3AN     


+44 (0)1227 817477