Dr Zara Stanhope
Dr Zara Stanhope is a curator and director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre.
Dr Zara Stanhope is a curator, writer, editor and an adjunct professor at Auckland University of Technology School of Art and Design and RMIT, Australia. She has curated over 50 exhibitions and managed art galleries in Australia and New Zealand, including Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2013 to 2017) and Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery (1999 to 2002). Since 2021, Zara has been the director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth.
Zara has a particular interest in contemporary art in the Southern Hemisphere. She was involved with The South Project, which brought Southern-Hemisphere visual artists together between 2004 and 2013. While working as a senior curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Zara supported the project’s first forum. This attracted artists from 16 countries. The artists explored how cultural activity in the Southern Hemisphere has been affected by shared histories of struggle and displacement, and shared information about their current programmes and ideas for working together.
At The South Project’s third forum, in Santiago in 2006, Zara co-curated the exhibition TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South with Danae Mossman. This exhibition featured the work of 13 artists. The art reflected the historical, geographical and botanical similarities between Australia, Chile and New Zealand, which all have a Pacific Ocean coastline and were colonised by a European country.
In 2016, Zara co-curated Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America with Beatriz Bustos Oyanedel. This was the first major exhibition in Australasia to show contemporary South American art in such depth. The exhibition included 100 diverse and innovative pieces of major work and new commissions by 41 artists and collectives from 6 South American countries.
Zara’s most recent Southern-Hemisphere collaboration is Te Au: Liquid Constituencies, which she co-curated with Beatriz at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. This was an exhibition of artwork by 10 artists from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Latin America, whose work is influenced by water.
Published 02 November 2023
“I hope that the art in Space to Dream raises awareness of the histories and cultures of South America, takes you on a journey from tragedy to humour, and shows how creativity is a space that opens up new possibilities.”
New Plymouth, New Zealand