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Zlatitsa Markova reflects on her internship with Coventry Biennial

by Ryan Hughes

My time doing an internship with Coventry Biennial was really enjoyable and I am pleased to now have a broader knowledge of contemporary art.

I have met numerous artists and other people involved with the biennial who are truly excited and passionate about creating a significant and meaningful festival.

I contacted Coventry Biennial after I saw the opportunity for the internship as part of a Professional Skills Module at the University of Birmingham where I am studying towards a degree in English and Creative Writing and in the first term of my second year I started my internship. From September until December I worked several days each week and my main duties included doing research on artists that are taking part in the Biennial in 2019 as well as attending meetings and studio visits.

Before having the opportunity of working on this festival I had never been this close to an artist-led environment so it was very exciting to absorb everything, it was as if I was seeing behind the scenes of all art galleries and how they work. The sort of tasks which happen have never even crossed my mind, even as an avid gallery goer.

During my internship, I developed several skills such as researching, editing and writing, which I’ve never been very confident in before. Alongside that I expanded my grasp and understanding of contemporary art which happened naturally, without me noticing until I visited Tate Modern with my aunt, the way I was thinking and spoke about art to her had changed. This was surprising and undoubtedly a result of my time working at the biennial where I spent time reading about artists and their works and acquiring a deeper understanding of contemporary art, which I have enjoyed very much.

So, what follows this?

Having completed this internship, I am sure that I would love to do something similar in a place that deals with art and which would help me to further develop my expertise. I have recently applied for a work experience opportunity at a large gallery in Birmingham, no doubt having been encouraged by my experience at Coventry Biennial. I am thankful for the opportunity to do this internship and I leave with a strong foundation of skills and interests that I will go on to develop over time.

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by Ryan Hughes


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