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Svetlana Kondakova, Black Cube Collective

Can you tell us about yourself and your creative background?

Black Cube Collective (BCC) is a contemporary art organisation promoting emerging artists in the UK and internationally. There are four of us on the team: Ronald Binnie, Svetlana Kondakova, Leo Starrs-Cunningham and Piotr Skibinski, and we are all graduates of Edinburgh College of Art. We create new opportunities for artists who are in the early stages of their careers, our process is inclusive and accommodating. We are also building up a platform of support for artists via useful resources and knowledge share. Our opportunities and support are there for artists who need them as we understand that the art world can often be a challenging one for many talented and dedicated artists to establish themselves.

Can you tell us about the Black Cube Collective and what you have planned for this year?

We kicked off our 2013/2014 program with our first Annual Show, exhibiting the works of emerging artists from all over the world across two galleries in Edinburgh (opened 13th September). Other exhibitions that we have planned include a print exchange and a large-scale artist rooms project at Cockenzie House near Prestonpans in the summer. We also may return to Russia to take part in their international Biennale again at St Petersburg's State Museum of Urban Sculpture, as we did in the summer past, but on a bigger scale and with more artists. In the meanwhile, we will continue working on a major project connecting arts and technologies with partners from across Europe, titled Art & ICT Connect. We are due to start another art & ICT project in October with a bigger consortium.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Working with incredibly talented and committed artists and creative individuals. Equally, collaborating with other organisations such as Creative Edinburgh who dedicate their time to helping creatives to achieve their potential for success and promoting creativity. And finally, curating challenging shows that bring together a variety of contemporary art practices with an international perspective.

What made you set up the collective and when did it all start?

Being all art school graduates ourselves, in the beginning (around May 2012), we set up the Collective out of a direct need for more inclusive opportunities for emerging artists in Edinburgh. Now, we see more and more a need to go beyond the UK and establish international links for artists here and while we try to exhibit alongside others in our exhibitions, we give priority to other artists.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting up a creative business or project?

It is important to know what you are aiming to achieve and constantly keep it in mind in order to help your long term goals become a reality. Most importantly, you should never feel like you are starting from scratch as there are many people willing to help and advise you who share your vision. Finally, to let creativity dictate the rules, not paper work!

For more information please visit http://www.blackcubecollective.org/

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