Grace Beaumont is a writer based in Nottingham, UK. She studied Fine Art at Leeds Arts University and has since worked in a range of roles at organisations including Nottingham Contemporary, Royal Academy of Arts, and Hayward Gallery. Before joining the MA Writing programme, she was Acquisitions Coordinator for the Arts Council Collection. Writing about contemporary art has played an integral role so far in her career; she has written numerous interpretive texts on artworks which have appeared online and in print. She has also contributed exhibition reviews to Artforum.
During my time at the RCA, I have experimented with dialogue, merging fictional and non-fictional narratives, and fragmentation. My writing is characterised by playful moments, serendipity, and jokes that often make only me laugh. I have begun to explore the potential of first-hand encounters, and how these may sit within my practice as acts of collaboration.
My Independent Research Project, In Spirit, is a muddled exchange between me and a trance medium. It began with a fascination with artist mediums, particularly the overlooked British spiritualist, Georgiana Houghton (1814–1884), whose séances played an integral role in her creative output. Georgiana’s activities are illuminated in her memoir, Evenings at Home in Spiritual Séance (1881), which details how she produced her artwork under the guise of her ‘invisible friends’.
This is a collection of inspired ‘automatic’ writing, vignettes, and short texts, which materialised from interviews, archive visits, and a workshop with my RCA peers. It takes the form of a séance in itself, an allegorical round table, which attempts to make contact with Georgiana. The project has become about searching – for words, for answers, and for spirit.