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Where's the frame

Maribelle Bierens

April 4, 2023 10:09 AM


Angelica Jopling is the Founding Director of Incubator, a dynamic space in London that provides a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work. With a passion for democratising the often opaque artist selection process and creating a more inclusive art world, Angelica has curated a range of solo exhibitions that showcase the exceptional work of emerging artists from London and beyond. wtf? had a chance to speak with Angelica and learn more about her journey and the vision behind Incubator.

Angelica shares that she started the gallery almost two years ago. "I started Incubator in the autumn of 2021 as a pop-up gallery to provide emerging artists with individualised exhibitions that reflect the energy and culture of London in a post-pandemic moment. Since then, we have organised eighteen highly adrenalised solo exhibitions featuring the exceptional work of emerging artists from London and beyond." She explains how the success of the pop-up exhibitions showed her the growing need for a permanent space where artists at the beginning of their careers can showcase their work. “I am committed to fulfilling this need by creating a dynamic environment where emerging artists of all ages, disciplines, and nationalities can thrive."

Mary Stephenson (photographed by Abdalrahman Elkot)

Incubator's small, passionate team of two includes founder Angelica Jopling and Isabella Mackintosh. "I select the artists, curate the exhibitions as well as the rhythm of the programme, and try to get the work out into the world. The brilliant Isabella Mackintosh is Incubator’s Gallery and Sales Coordinator; working hard to execute Incubator’s mission, liaise with artists and collectors whilst ensuring every aspect of the programme runs smoothly.” She also points out that Incubator would not have been possible without the help of Clara Galperin and Taylor Zakarin, who were instrumental in setting the foundation of the gallery in 2021.

Evelina Hagglund (photographed by Abdalrahman Elkot)

Uniquely, Incubator has been using an open-call format to select artists for their exhibitions. Being asked whether she’s going to keep doing this in the permanent gallery, Angelica said, "Yes, we will definitely continue with the open call. By opening up the selection process, we hope to democratise the often opaque artist selection process and create a more inclusive art world."

Kesewa Aboah (Image courtesy of the artist)

Although it’s a very demanding undertaking, Angelica's decision to organise one exhibition per week was intentional "Organising an exhibition each week was a deliberate decision to create momentum and community around Incubator and its artists. I felt that hosting regular exhibition openings would help foster an art community in London, particularly after the lockdown period when many people were craving social interaction and cultural events." With the launch of their permanent space, Incubator has decided to extend the duration of their exhibitions to two weeks instead of one. This change will allow them to provide a more in-depth and immersive experience of each artist's work while still maintaining the momentum and sense of community that they have built through their weekly exhibitions.

Graham Silveria Martin (Image courtesy of the Artist)

Furthermore, the exhibitions will be complemented by a live performances, showing poetry, dance and music. "I believe that regular gatherings are instrumental in building and creating a dialogue around art", she explains. "The decision to include these events reflects Incubator’s commitment to fostering a creative community not limited to visual art. I believe there is exciting potential for cross-pollination between mediums – by bringing together performers and visual artists, we are creating opportunities to take risks and push the boundaries while also offering our audiences new and exciting ways to engage with art."

Looking ahead, Angelica hopes to organise the first group exhibition this summer, "I hope to open Incubator’s first group exhibition in July that will stay open over the summer that will coalesce past Incubator artists with new or even more established artists."

The first exhibition with works from Emily Wilcock will open this Wednesday April 5th, 2023. For more information, visit Incubator's website or follow them on Instagram.

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