Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday

9 July 2020

In a new Arts Council Collection film, we go behind the scenes of the Courtauld Institute of Art MA Curating programme’s first ever online exhibition, Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday.

The Courtauld MA Curating the Art Museum programme’s annual exhibition was originally conceived as a public exhibition in Somerset House’s galleries. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, the project moved online: potentially reaching a far wider audience at a moment of immense collective digital engagement.

Organised by nine emerging curators, Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday was developed in response to the 50th anniversary of the departure of the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages from the General Registry Office at Somerset House. Such an archive records the banner headlines, the life-beginning, life-changing and life-ending moments that mark human experience. But what would an archive look like that instead recorded the fine print: the quiet, everyday moments of transformation and connection that shape human lives?

Bringing together 24 major works from the Arts Council Collection and The Courtauld Gallery collection, spanning from the 17th century to the present day, Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday explores the enduring impulse to record, reflect and connect through everyday life: its small wonders and disappointments, its intimate joys and tragedies.

In the film below, Julie Bléas – one of the student curators – guides us through the group’s experience of organising this online exhibition with the Arts Council Collection. Julie describes how this opportunity of curating the programme’s first digital exhibition allowed the curators to be more ambitious, present works that otherwise might not have been available from the Arts Council Collection, and gain experience working directly with professionals in the field.


Julie speaks to us from the Art Council Collection store in London, where Collection technicians helped to bring parts of the exhibition to life. The film captures the installation process of particular works on camera, such as Mohini Chandra’s album pacifica (1997) and Michael Craig-Martin’s Kids Stuff 1-7 (1973), for viewers to experience how these works are shown in physical space and their interactive elements.

Despite the challenges faced in this unprecedented situation, the film highlights the how Courtauld MA Curating students utilised online exhibition to bring new perspectives and help create more ways for the us to engage with the Arts Council Collection.



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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.