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Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Appoints New Director

19 April 2006


Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Appoints New Director

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and New Plymouth District Council are pleased to announce the appointment of Rhana Devenport as the Gallery’s new Director.

From Australia, Ms Devenport has extensive experience curating contemporary art of the Pacific Rim, holds considerable knowledge of international exhibition making, and has worked with New Zealand artists for over a decade, which has enabled her to develop an impressive knowledge of New Zealand contemporary art.

“I am thrilled that Rhana will be joining the gallery as Director,” says New Plymouth District Council General Manager Customer Services Barbara McKerrow.

“The breadth and depth of her experience in the international art scene will be of significant benefit to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and will further develop the vision of this leading edge contemporary art museum.”

Ms Devenport is the second Australian to head the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery; the first being John Maynard, appointed in 1967 as the gallery’s very first Director. Her full-time start date will be 4 September, and until then she will be the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s Director Designate.

Between now and September, Ms Devenport will work with the gallery’s Acting Director and curatorial team to plan the gallery’s future exhibition programme and other matters of strategic importance.

“I am very much looking forward to taking up my position as Director and continuing the legacy of outstanding curatorial, publishing and professional practice achieved by the gallery and its current and former staff,” says Ms Devenport.

An independent curator and writer, Ms Devenport was a Co-curator and Senior Project Officer with the celebrated Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane from 1994 to 2004. She has also worked in New Zealand as the International Curator in Residence at Artspace in Auckland in 2005. Ms Devenport is currently the Manager, Public and Education Programs with the 2006 Biennale of Sydney.

Says Mrs McKerrow: “Rhana’s involvement with the Biennale of Sydney is advantageous for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and her extensive experience in developing innovative public and education programs will open up opportunities for the gallery at this year’s event.”

Ms Devenport’s most recent curatorial projects include Slow Rushes for Auckland, Uncanny (the unnaturally strange) and Compelled: Annual New Artists Show 2005. Other recent projects include Rapt: Austral-Asia Zero Five at Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2005; Slow Rushes: Takes on the documentary sensibility in moving images from around Asia and the Pacific, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2004; and Nam June Paik at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004. Devenport was also Australian curatorial advisor and essayist for the 8th Bienal De la Habana in 2003.

Over the past year, Ms Devenport has been Guest Editor of Object magazine in Sydney, leading the journal through a significant and successful repositioning. She regularly writes for Australian and international publications. She has also been selected as a speaker at numerous symposia throughout Australia in addition to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London, Vancouver, Havana and Vilnius. Devenport has also represented the Biennale of Sydney at the 2005 Yokohama Triennial.


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