Freelance Curator - Beaford Arts Hidden Histories


Hidden Histories: We Are Recruiting a Freelance Curator

Beaford Arts has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out a major conservation and digitisation exercise that will curate and publish online around 10,000 unseen images that together illustrate the late 20th Century social history of rural north Devon.

We are seeking an experienced, creative, and passionate Curator to oversee the design and delivery of a major exhibition celebrating the culmination of the Heritage Lottery Funded Hidden Histories project.

The exhibition will take place at the Burton Gallery and Museum in Bideford, during May and June 2019 across two gallery spaces, reflecting the scale and depth of over three years of exploration into the Beaford Archive collections, which include the iconic photographs of artist James Ravilious and some of the earliest work of Oscar winning cinematographer Roger Deakins.

This is a freelance post across 12 months, allowing time and space for an innovative curator to fully respond to the diverse activity and media produced by this unique project; including formerly unseen photographs by the aforementioned artists, 80 newly recorded oral history interviews, film, new work produced through 6 artist residencies, responses from 6 primary schools, contributions from 20 workshops with north Devon's Memory Cafe network, digital content co-created with users of the project website, and multi media input from a large cohort of volunteers and project experts.

The successful candidate will have a flair for producing high quality arts and heritage experiences for the public, an eye for detail and design, and will be an excellent team player.

Freelance fee: £12,500 for a 12 month contract.

The project

The Beaford Archive is a photographic record of people and community in rural north Devon containing more than 80,000 images covering the 120-year period 1870 to 1990. According to the Royal Photographic Society, it is “…a unique body of work, unparalleled, at least in this country, for its scale and quality”. However, few of these images are currently accessible to the public.

Beaford Arts has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out a major conservation and digitisation exercise that will curate and publish online around 10,000 unseen images that together illustrate the late 20th Century social history of rural north Devon.

Hidden Histories is a three-year project and will include:

Digitising, cataloguing, archiving and publishing to the web approximately 10,000 existing 35mm black and white negatives from the James Ravilious and Roger Deakins Beaford Archives

Production of a new fully searchable website to provide a showcase for existing digitised work, newly digitised images and audio, and new work as it is produced

A programme of oral history, learning and community activity which will create new work and engage people in learning and education

A project exhibition in May and June 2019 showcasing and celebrating the outputs and achievements of Hidden Histories


Person specification


Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject

Proven experience of curating high quality and multimedia public exhibitions to set deadlines

Proven experience as a creative thinker and problem solver

A good track record of professionally managing and marketing public arts events

Demonstrable experience of budget management

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Excellent IT skills including database management

Excellent team-working skills


Experience of showcasing community outputs and responses

Experience of working with photographic archives

Experience of working with innovative technologies for exhibition curation/display

Knowledge of the history and/or geography of north Devon

Timescale and fees

This is a freelance role working remotely from the Beaford Arts and Hidden Histories team, but the successful candidate will be required to work frequently from the Beaford Arts office in South Molton to ensure there is a suitable level of collaboration between the different members of the team.

Timescale and fees

A fee of £12,500 is available for this role and the work will be spread over 12 months. However we expect that the workload will increase nearer to the exhibition dates. The successful candidate must be available for the exhibition installation week (Monday 29th April 2019 – Thursday 2nd May 2019), the exhibition Private View event (Friday 3rd May 2019), and for the exhibition ‘get out’ (w/c 24th June 2019).

Please note that any additional expenses such as travel are inclusive of the above fee.

Freelance appointees are responsible for their own tax and NI contributions.

To apply, please tell us why you are interested in the role and evidencing your suitability according to the Person Specification. Please also attach your current CV, including details of two referees who we may contact if we invite you to interview, and a Recruitment Monitoring Form. For informal enquiries, please email

The closing date for completed applications is Midday Tuesday 29th May 2018.

It is anticipated that the interviews will take place on Tuesday 5th June 2018.


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