Symbiosis was our first assessed curatorial project! I had been peripherally aware of Annie from Phoenix, which was a fantastic café that was really community-minded. They hired and trained up people on the coffee bar, and made space for local businesses and artists to rent a small space to showcase their work. She also installed a hydroponic salad garden to grow her food on site.
When we needed to choose a location for our first exhibition on our MA Curating course, I instantly thought of Phoenix Café.
The "Symbiotic" nature of the exhibition then ran over into the theme, eliciting work about nature, working together and community. We had amazing submissions, ranging from sculpture, poetry, collaborations and even work that reflected the café as permanent works, and "live" sculptures of moss.