On occasion of the site-specific commission ‘Choker’ by Rachel Foullon, an In Conversation took place on October 10th 2014 at the private residence of Launch Pad founder, Sarah Elson, between the artist, Margot Heller OBE, Director, South London Gallery and Valeria Napoleone, patron, collector, founder, Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Arts Society, a joint initiative to support the acquisition of female contemporary artists for Contemporary Arts Society museum members across the UK.
Rachel Foullon (b 1978, Glendale, New York) has exhibited at University Art Museum, University at Albany, NY. Group exhibitions include Sculpture Center, NY and Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK. Awards and commissions have been granted to the artist by NYFA, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Public Art Fund, Grizedale Arts/Wordsworth Trust, and the International Residency and Workshop at IUAV, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy.
Margot Heller, OBE, has been Director of the South London Gallery since 2001. Prior to this, she held curatorial and director’s posts at Southampton City Art Gallery, Antony d’Offay Gallery and the Hayward Gallery. Heller was on the British Council’s 2015 Venice Biennale Selection Committee; is currently on advisory committees for the Contemporary Art Society and Fluxus; and was on the nominations panel for the 2018 Hepworth Sculpture Prize. In 2014, she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the arts.
Valeria Napoleone is a collector and patron of women in the arts. She is Head of the Development Committee at London based not for profit gallery Studio Voltaire; a Trustee of the Contemporary Art Society; sits on the Boards of the Institute of Fine Arts in NYC; is a member of NYU’s President’s Global Council and an Advisory Board member of the Association of Women in the Arts. In 2015, Valeria launched ‘Valeria Napoleone XX’, a new umbrella platform for projects and initiatives that work towards increasing the representation of female artists in major public institutions. Its first two new initiatives: Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society is an annual acquisition of a contemporary artwork by a living female artist to be donated to a Contemporary Arts Society museum member in the UK. Valeria Napoleone XX Sculpture Center is a collaborative project that supports the production of a major artwork from the programme at the New York-based non-profit arts institution dedicated to sculpture.