Fault Focus: ‘Human Relations’ curator Sascha Bailey and artist Mairi-Luise Tabbakh

Having recently wrapped up their successful exhibition Human Relations, curator Sascha Bailey and artist Mairi-Luise Tabbakh spoke to FAULT about their work, the show itself and their plans for the future…


Mairi-Luise Tabbakh and Sascha Bailey photographed by Chase Roberts


FAULT: Sascha, could you tell us a bit about the process of curating the show?

S: I picked the images from Mairi and Fenton [Bailey, Sascha’s older brother] that I felt would work well together, then it came down to working out the logistics of getting the work printed, framed and mounted.


Mairi, did you have much of a say in which images of yours were used in the show?

M: I just sent Sascha a bunch of my images and let him make the selection as the curator. Honestly, I quite liked the fact that I didn’t have to make those decisions, as I am very indecisive!


‘Eliane T5’, ‘Eliane T2’ and ‘Shawnee at Frankies II’ by Mairi-Luise Tabbakh


Did you have a favourite piece in the show?

S: Funnily enough I have a favourite from each artist; ‘Leyton‘ and ‘Id‘!

M: My favourite piece was Fenton’s ‘Bathtub‘. I wish I had taken that one!


LEFT: ‘Girl with Flower’; RIGHT: ‘Tokyo Sunset’ – both by Fenton Bailey


Do you feel that your personal relationship with Mairi and Fenton was an advantage in curating the show, or did it make it more of a challenge for you?

S: It did make it a bit more of a challenge. If you don’t know someone it’s easier to be more straightforward and business conscious, but when you have a personal relationship with the people you are working with, they might try and use that connection to get more involved in certain aspects of the process that normally they wouldn’t have much access to.


Sascha, did your being from a very artistic family add pressure on you?

S: It did add pressure, but most of that just came from wanting to put on a good and successful show. I didn’t really tell my dad [iconic photographer David Bailey] about the exhibition until about a month before the opening. We wanted to work independently and only consulted him when we really needed to.


And what kind of advice did he give you?

S: He didn’t so much give us advice as he told us that we were doing good and that we should carry on doing what we were doing.


‘Eros’ by Mairi-Luise Tabbakh


What have you gained from this experience?

S: It’s given me more confidence, and it reaffirmed that I am doing the right thing for myself at this point in my life.

M: Having my work put out there and all the attention ‘Human Relations’ has brought with it, I feel I’ve gained a lot more confidence in sharing my work to the public! Also, it’s great that I now have Damien Hirst and Dereck Chisora (good luck to Dereck with the Malik Scott bout in July!) to add to Lord Bath and Marco Pierre White on the list of people who own my work!


So is curating something you would like to continue with?

S: For the foreseeable future yes, but who knows? I kind of want to do everything!


If you could choose anyone to curate a show for, who would it be?

S: I would love to work with Damien Hirst!


‘Id’ by Mairi-Luise Tabbakh


Mairi, there is a distinct feeling of intimacy in your work, how would you say you achieve that?

M: Well I’m very friendly and open and people tend to feel comfortable with me. In turn I always try to make my subjects as comfortable as possible! It’s always a laugh and relaxed on my shoots!


What can we expect to see from you next?

M: I want to do more erotica shoots, definitely. Carry on in that genre. There are a couple of other things up ahead as well, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now. I don’t want to jinx it!

S: I have a couple of shows that I am planning to do in the near future. One is with an oil and acrylic based illustrator named Taline Temizian, whose work is quite fashion based. The hope is to open it in February 2014. Later on I want to do a show with my sister Paloma, featuring her paintings.


Interview by Veronica Skoglund