Beth Hughes pictured at Southbank Centre, London.


Transcription of the conversation available here.

Episode Two

In the second episode of The Decorating Dissidence Podcast, Suzanna Petot speaks with Beth Hughes, Curator at the Arts Council Collection based at Southbank Centre. Originally recorded in May 2020, this conversation centres around Hughes’ entry into the art world, her experiences curating craft, debates about the craft object in contemporary art, the importance of access and working with a public collection, as well as how she herself was making during lockdown as a means of support for the community, healing and joy. 

“The way I see sowing now is almost similar to how I see what I do when I’m trying to think about our collection and the fact that I’m trying to work my way through things, work out the context of different decisions that I might make or how these things come together and be very conscious of those decisions.”

– Beth Hughes

Grayson Perry and Beth Hughes in conversation for an event around Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences touring exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, December 2020.

Beth Hughes is Curator at the Arts Council Collection based at Southbank Centre. Beth’s curatorial practice is centred on the principle that everyone has the right to enjoy and participate in art. She balances the fundamental belief in the importance and power of collections with a dedicated commitment to collaboration, access, equality and diversity. Since joining the Arts Council Collection Beth has curated the touring exhibition, Criminal Ornamentation: Yinka Shonibare MBE curates the Arts Council Collection as well as Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences, alongside advising on a number of exhibitions across the country as part of the exhibition loan programme. Prior to this Beth was Curator at Lakeland Arts over two venues, Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, where she curated Barbara Hepworth: Within the Landscape, Patrick Caulfield and Emilie Taylor and Bodil Manz.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @decoratingdissidence and Twitter @decodissidence for new episodes every other Tuesday.

This Podcast series was produced by Decorating Dissidence with support from Queen Mary University of London Centre for Public Engagement. Leo Garbutt is our sound editor and music producer.