Tom Trevor has extensive experience in the art world. As an independent curator from 1994 to 1999, he curated context-based projects for the Institute of International Visual Arts, the Wellcome Trust, Camden Arts Centre and the Freud Museum, among other places. From 1999 to 2005 he worked as Director of SPACEX, a key art space in the UK, where he curated over 50 exhibitions and off-site projects. In 2005 he was appointed as Director of the Arnolfini, one of Europe's leading centres for the contemporary arts.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently developing a year-long series of exhibitions, performances and events for 2012 in relation to the research theme, ‘A Parallel Universe’, exploring alternative realities and parallel worlds, imagining different versions of the past and possible versions of the future.
What first attracted you to studying the Arts?
I have always been involved in the arts, whether as an artist, musician or curator. Initially I was going to study English Literature at university but switched to Fine Art as I wanted to actively produce work.
How did you come to work in the Arts as a career?
After university I worked as an artist and musician, including composing for television. I gradually shifted, through my creative practice, to curating context-led projects and organising exhibitions, which subsequently led to my involvement in arts institutions.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about studying the Arts?
I was lucky to study Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, in the mid-1980s, when it was very experimental and open to new ways of working. To succeed in the arts you need to have real determination as well as talent. It is very competitive and so it can be hard to make a living, but ultimately you do it because you have to! In other words it is a vocation, and that is very rewarding.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?
Sometimes I think it would be useful to invent an artist persona, and to start making art again under an assumed name.
Tom Trevor is part of the public panel discussion, Art for art's sake?, concluding InsideArts at the Watershed, 7.30 pm, 20 October 2011.