The Courtauld is often described as a maze by visitors and students alike, with its never-ending staircases, quirky spaces and winding corridors – one may view this as a curatorial nightmare or an exciting mission and, needless to say, we chose the latter. At first sight, the exhibition map seems slightly confusing, and even daunting, but On Time is split into different sections – MicroMacro, Bodies in Time, Flux, The Paradox of Decay, The Second Sex and Nostalgia – meaning visitors can follow a series of different routes around the exhibition. One of the exciting elements of working with a non-conventional exhibition space is that there are no ‘rules’ (aside from the restraints of working within a listed building that is used for teaching and events at all times) and no set routes.

We confronted the often ignored back staircase concentrating on development and growth – beginning at the bottom with the overlaid industrial photography of Idris Khan, continuing to the works of Miltos Manetas and Charlotte House both of whom look at the shifting images and constant flux of the internet, contrasting with Lisa Byrne who, using pinhole photography, compresses time into an image. The work of Aisling Hedgecock, enabled us to transform the staircase into an evolving inorganic-organic object where her works seem to grow from the walls before finally reaching Su Blackwell’s While You Were Sleeping, an antique dress appears caught in a moment of ethereal transition, the mind’s eye in the corporeal world.

The staircase is just one element of a unique and thrilling show. For the first time, we have been able to extend the collection into the lobby with Philip Jackson’s Don Ottavio as a striking and enigmatic figurehead for the collection – the figure’s expressive and deathly pose introduces an exhibition that, in part, questions life, death, and transience. The sheer variety of works (from 3D lace installations, photography, painting, video installations, sculpture to plaster casts), together with famous names, such as Mark Wallinger and Antony Gormley, alongside up-and-coming artists, are all drawn together by the theme of time. East Wing VIII: On Time is a scintillating show to explore and working on it has been a wonderful experience.

Chloé Nelkin and Chris Craig,