The role

For the third year, Barbican and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) are recruiting for their joint curatorial Traineeship programme. This is an opportunity to gain an insight into working for two arts organisations of different scale with separate programmes, where you will acquire practical skills to support your qualifications and inform future career choices. There will also be the opportunity to spend one month on secondment with the Arts Council Collection towards the end of the Traineeship, learning about their collection and touring programme.

You may also be interested in attending a free event about Curatorial Practice which will be held at the Barbican on Monday 11 March. To apply to attend the event and for a place please click on the RSVP link here.


The Trainee will spend four days per week at Barbican and one day per week at Iniva, with some flexibility according to project requirements.

At the Barbican, the Trainee will gain an overview and understanding of the process of developing and presenting temporary exhibitions and commissions, and the development of events to complement those exhibitions. The Trainee will gain practical experience on specific exhibitions, including conducting research, liaising with key contacts and artists, exhibition administration and archiving. The Trainee will have an opportunity to work on installations and de-installations and to assist with the delivery of private Views and public programme events.

Tasks may include:

  • Subject and exhibits research on a particular exhibition as directed by the curator
  • Analysing exhibits / collection information and data, and related data entry
  • Contacting lenders, artists and their galleries, specialists and other advisors as directed
  • Filing, updating Gallery records, archiving and administration
  • Support on installations and de-installations as required
  • Assisting at Private Views and public programme events

At Iniva, the Trainee will gain an understanding of how to deliver a regular events programme and the skills required to do this effectively. There will be opportunity to encounter curators, artists, academics and researchers working in areas related to Iniva’s artistic programme and the collections of the Stuart Hall Library. There will be opportunities to get involved with delivering a monthly public programme in the Library and work directly with resident artists, researchers and curators. You will also be involved in research towards fundraising bids related to delivering the artistic programme alongside experienced staff.

Tasks may include:

  • Researching and liaising with speakers, supporting technical and logistical requirements for each event as required
  • Providing support to resident artists, researchers and/or curators on outputs of various residencies
  • Providing practical support in the organisation of the programme including, for example, curatorial forums and master-classes which will take place in the library.
  • Undertaking initial research on fundraising bids with the Development Manager

The successful candidate will be provided with day to day curatorial mentoring, supervision and opportunities to shadow more experienced colleagues. As part of the Traineeship there will also be a training and development allowance to pay towards attendance at conferences, networking and other development opportunities.

About the employer

About Barbican Visual Arts
Barbican Visual Arts present a highly distinctive programme of twentieth and twenty-first century art, photography, design and architecture; each of these strands informed by our iconic building and increasingly drawing on the wealth of possibilities afforded by working in close dialogue with each of the other art forms – theatre, music, cinema – presented at Barbican. Their mission, working across the Art Gallery, the Curve and off-site is guided by the overarching vision of Barbican Centre to be an exemplar of ‘world class arts and learning’. The aim of the Barbican Traineeship is to provide an overview and thorough understanding of the process of developing and presenting temporary exhibitions and commissions, and the event programmes that accompany them.

About Iniva

Established in 1994, Iniva is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. With the Stuart Hall Library acting as a critical and creative hub for its work, Iniva collaborates with artists, curators, researchers and cultural producers to challenge conventional notions of diversity and difference. The special collection in the Library focuses upon contemporary art from Africa, Asia, Latin America and European artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and holds over 10,000 volumes of exhibition catalogues, artist monographs and critical theory as well as over 200 periodicals and 200 zines. Through its public programme, Iniva engages a wide audience, particularly young people, in discourse and debate on issues surrounding the politics of race, class and gender.

Person specification

Personal Qualities

  • A positive and flexible approach to work
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to build relationships with a range of people at different levels of the organisations
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Able to work as part of a team as well as on your own
  • Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Access
  • Able to prioritise and manage time effectively
  • A willingness to learn and get involved in a variety of tasks
  • A genuine interest in visual arts, and particularly the programmes of both organisations
  • Previous office experience preferred but not essential


  • Undergraduate degree in Art, Art History or related subjects (e.g. Film Studies)

Black, Asian and ethnic minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply for this placement. We are committed to increasing diversity of staff within the Barbican Centre and within the Arts Sector as a whole and it is recognised that Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups are currently under-represented within Barbican Art Gallery. We welcome applications from everyone who meets the requirements of the Person Specification.

How to apply

To be considered for this role, please complete an online application form via the City of London recruitment portal at You will be taken to the Current Vacancies page, where you need to click on ‘search’ and then scroll to the ‘Curatorial Traineeship’ advert.

Prior to completing your application form, please ensure that you read the guidance notes on ‘how to complete your application form’ which can be found here.

The Closing date for applications will be Midday, on Monday 25 March 2019.

Interviews will be held on Thursday 11 April 2019, at the Barbican Centre.

If you wish to discuss the details of this opportunity in more detail, please contact Katrina Crookall, Senior Manager at the Barbican Visual Arts team on 020 7382 7382, or Tavian Hunter at Iniva on 020 7630 1278 to arrange a time to speak.

Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding your application form, please contact 020 7332 3978 (24hr answerphone) quoting reference number BC791. A minicom service for the hearing impaired available on 020 7332 3732.