|Dali Lobster Dress, February 1937, Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973), Salvador Dali (1904–1989) Printed silk organza and horsehair Gift of the designer 1969 to Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA © The Bridgeman Art Library
Susanna Greeves, the curator behind Britain Creates: Fashion + Art Collusion, has almost twenty years experience in the art world. She was Director of Exhibitions at Anthony d’Offay Gallery, at that time one of the world’s most influential dealers in contemporary art, where she looked after a roster of artists including Maurizio Cattelan, Richard Long, Lawrence Weiner, and Rachel Whiteread.
She also managed large-scale public projects such as the commissioning of Ron Mueck's Boy for London's Millennium Dome, and Rachel Whiteread's Monument for Trafalgar Square.
Moving to New York, she took up the role of Director at Andrea Rosen Gallery, a cutting-edge commercial gallery for contemporary art, identifying emerging artists and organising exhibitions internationally for artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans and Andrea Zittel.
She now works as an independent curator and consultant to museums and galleries in London and abroad.
Educated at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute, Susanna has contributed catalogue essays to publications by the National Gallery; MUSAC and CAC Malaga in Spain; and the National Gallery of Victoria, among others. She has been a visiting lecturer at The Royal Academy, Edinburgh; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.
Her introduction to the book, an extract of which is below, gives real insight into the collaborations and their development over the last year.
The Britain Creates project set out to add a new chapter to the long story of fashion and art’s special relationship. By pairing artists and fashion designers, the ambition was to foster a whole series of fresh collaborations between the two disciplines, and out of them a body of work, in less than a year. The two worlds have intersected in a myriad of different ways before now, and yet in all that history it is hard to find a single example of exactly the kind of collaboration that this project was conceived to nurture. Designers and artists have influenced and inspired one another, artists have contributed prints and designs for garments and accessories, plenty of individuals have defied the boundaries between fashion and art. It is very much rarer to find genuine and equal shared authorship, or what we have here: the joint conception and execution, not of a spectacle or a dress or a handbag, but of a work of art.
It has been fascinating, and a privilege, to be involved in some of the conversations where these ideas were conceived. Despite the challenges, the artists and designers have seemed to relish the novelty of the experience and have enjoyed exploring the similarities and differences of each other’s process, and have even found fresh inspiration to take back to their own practice.