My name is Lizzy Vartanian Collier, but I am also known as Gallery Girl. I am a freelance art writer and curator based in London. I have been published by Canvas, the Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Hyperallergic Ibraaz, Jdeed, Suitcase and Tribe amongst many other publications.
My first exhibition, Hidden Visions, took place in April 2015 in Chelsea Old Town Hall in London. Supported by O2 Think Big, the show used contemporary art as a tool to address the stigma surrounding mental illness in young people. In March 2018 I curated Perpetual Movement during Arab Women Artists Now Festival at Rich Mix in London. The exhibition comprised the work of seven female artists with roots in the Arab region to question the relationship with migration and memory. Perpetual Movement was featured in a number of publications including, among others, Vogue Arabia and The Art Newspaper. Later, in May 2018, the exhibition travelled to the very first Armenia Art Fair in Yerevan, for whom I also run the Armenia Art Fair art blog.
The original About Me for this blog was taken from my university personal statement, which I wrote when I was 17 years old:
“I am passionate about art. Image is a huge part of our lives. Visual media dominates society, shaping our tastes and ideas. Art is a powerful tool of communication and although it is usually audibly silent, through it’s visible nature, art has the ability to speak volumes in ways the written or spoken word cannot.
I believe that contemporary art in particular can tell us a huge amount about the world around us. It is through their artworks that artists are able reveal aspects about our environment that may otherwise by ignored. A work of art is a product of its time and reflects the society it is borne out of. Sometimes a visual object can say something that words cannot. We react immediately to images all the time without even thinking, reading or hearing.
In a globalising artworld, I am becoming increasingly more interested in how arts outside of Euro-America are being presented on the world stage. Should art from outside the West be considered different at all? As humans we are fascinated by culture and exploring the unknown. We are always going on holiday, watching travel programmes and eating different cuisines, yet, when it comes to art how should it be presented and understood? It is often shown as the primitive or the unknown. Should work from a different culture to our own be written about as foreign? Should it be written about by critics from a different background at all?
It is also worth considering how art is displayed. From whatever circumstance an artwork came from, it is usually displayed from the viewpoint of the educated gallery-goer. While art is becoming more accessible, the artworld is still somewhat exclusive. As well as reviewing shows from my favourite artists and genres, I am also attempting to answer these questions.”