Stella Ioannou founding Director of Lacuna, a London-based consultancy specialising in the development and production of cultural projects. Notably, she is the co-Director of Sculpture in the City (2010-present), an award winning urban sculpture park sited amongst the iconic tall buildings of the City of London. As a trained architect Ioannou finds the changing urban context for Sculpture in the City exciting and loves sharing it with artists on site visits and showing the project to a variety of visitors. The City of London is a fascinating place with layers of time reflected in the beautiful gem like churches juxtaposed against the truly contemporary architecture of the new tall buildings.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
The young girl in me who dreamt of being a ballerina would see herself as a Degas bronze ballet dancer but as a grown up woman, I would probably choose to be collaged onto one of the Barbara Kruger works such as 'Your body is a battleground'
How will museums impact future cities?
For me it’s about using digital technology allowing museums to create a virtual platform to share with audiences internationally and make them more accessible regardless of where the people involved may be located.
I also relish the idea of cross-disciplinary collaborations being made possible between partners based all over the globe thanks to online platforms and tools. This geographical reach is enhanced then by the expansion of many leading museums to other continents and I am particularly excited by the opening of Design Society a new museum in China in which the V&A is heavily involved. I expect it will be an incredible opportunity to share different points of view on art and design but also on collecting and on cultural exchanges.
Digital technology also offers the opportunity to enhance the experience in the physical space with tools such as Smartify that we use for Sculpture in the City as it enables visitors to access additional information at each of the sites. The nature of public sculpture means that there isn't a museum attendant on site to explain things or advise visitors so Smartify provides an essential resource for us. Smartify is also used by leading museums and institutions such as Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, The Wallace Collection, The Met, Laguna Art Museum in LA and The Ben Uri Gallery.
Digital technologies offer an impressive array of tools to engage with audiences that may not be so easy to attract to museums or galleries, including younger people. As an example Tumblr provides an outlet to museums such as SF MOMA to engage with younger visitors who expect a more participatory experience and this enables them to submit their own photographs and experiences of visiting the museum.
Who do you think are the cultural innovators of tomorrow and why?
What I find most exciting is the rise of cross-disciplinary collaborations which push the boundaries of what culture is considered to be and how we (the audience) engage with it. To give a recent example Prec(ar)ious Collectives curated offsite by the Palais de Tokyo in Athens during Documenta 14 where artists and curators from a variety of disciplines came together to collaborate for this project.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it? (Please include a link(s) if possible).
Right now we’re in the final planning stages of this summer’s Sculpture in the City installation as the 7th edition will be launched at the end of June. This final phase involves confirming sites for the artworks on our shortlist and coordinating the education programme and our events schedule. It’s a very busy and exciting time of the year and at Lacuna we are also working on exciting new projects with a number of corporates and institutions.
Save the date for Sculpture in the City 2017. For information on this year's programme, invitations to tours and other events, as well as general updates, people should sign up to our newsletter on http://lacuna-projects.com/ and of course follow us on Social Media...