Nae Haverin’ interviewed Profile Gallery on the 11/05/2020, available here

Profile Gallery founders and curators Grace and Beth are 2020 graduates from the University of York, where they previously managed and curated the Norman Rea Gallery, the UK’s only 100% student-led art space. 

Nae Haverin’ is a Scottish arts and culture education organisation, developed in 2020. Nae Haverin’ was created by artists Katie McGroarty and Megan B Archibald to deliver no nonsense, no BS, accessible arts ed to people via their wordpress and instagram accounts. 

Grace, co-founder of PG (and curator) begins the interview. She explains to Megan (NH) that the motive for starting Profile Gallery was isolation. In creating an online space she has herself been released from the grip of isolation - she infers that PG could alleviate its audience from their next isolated, self-loathing, doom-scrolling social media sesh.

Grace tells Megan that part of Profile Gallery's key principles is that the platform is as non-hierarchical as possible - each member of the team’s input is valued, and so is the input from the audience - as right now the platform isn't all about the money - it's about freedom, it's about creative and collaborative engagements! That’s why the site and content are freely accessible and available. 

To see art, and to understand it, has always been a privilege, but Profile Gallery and Nae Haverin’ believe in accessibility of art. Grace mentions the online degree shows of 2020, where student art was available online rather than IRL - however, we have to consider the duality of negative and positive impacts of such platforms on final degree shows, specifically on the legitimacy and the accessibility of both the art and the space. Perhaps online galleries aren’t seen as being as legitimate as IRL ones, and we should consider whether this is directly tied to the accessibility of the event - consider why we might disregard a free party for a private one with a guest list. 

Beth, PG's other co-founder (and producer), exclaims her exasperation with being online 24/7, recognising that many people will relate to the square-eye-burnout! She points out that everyone is craving a physical space; she doesn't claim that PG, or any such digital space, is a replacement for physical spaces, but rather they are an extension of them. She points out that 2020 has introduced experimental phases for galleries to consider using online spaces as an extension of their primary IRL in future. Megan adds that young artists have, will [and should] continue to push for these advances. Setting out in the opposite direction though, Beth hopes PG can move into an IRL space. She hopes that creators and contributors can meet and network in the physical setting they crave - even though their primary focus is to keep PG up and running, continuing to take the online project seriously. 

Profile Gallery exists because its founders believe that platforms which display, publish and endorse emerging artists work are important - and in turn, those online spaces should be respected and legitimized by their audiences. In my mind this is a call to us: to legitimize them WE NEED TO ENGAGE WITH THEM; we should join them, look at their content, like and share their posts, write for, collaborate with, and critique them! This is the only way that spaces like this can continue to stick around, grow and develop - no matter how much work the creators put in, they will always need audiences' feedback and attention!

This is why PG always encourages you to SLIDE INTO [their] DM's. (So do.)