I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Zara Stanhope to the new role of Principal Curator at the Gallery. Zara holds an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (Art in Britain 1840-1966), a BA (History of Art), University of Reading, (majoring in Twentieth Century Art), and is currently in the final stages of completing her candidacy for a PhD at the Australian National University, Canberra, which she commenced in 2009. The subject of her thesis is contemporary social art practice in public spaces.
In her pre-art museum life, Zara also worked as an Audit Manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne and London, is a Chartered Accountant (ACA), and holds a B Comm (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.
Concurrent with her present studies, Zara chairs the National Exhibitions Touring Service in Victoria (2012-) and before that was a member of its board (2009-12); she is teaching Art Theory at the School of Art, ANU (2012-); is a Guest Curator at the Bundanon Trust (2012-); has organised The World and World-Making Conference at ANU (2011); and is an Advisor to RMIT's University School of Art Galleries Board, Melbourne (2010-).
She was previously Deputy Director, Senior Curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, in Melbourne, from 2005-2008 and, prior to that, was a Senior Curator there from 2002-2005. As part of her latter role, she helped to reshape the organisation's vision and established a programming team that brought curatorial, collection, public and education staff together with a focus on innovative, audience-focused programming and operations.
From 1999-2002, Zara was inaugural Director of Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University in Wellington, where she developed a strong reputation for research and for delivering educative and accessible programming. Before that, from 1993-1999, she was Assistant Director of Monash University Gallery (now Monash University Museum of Art), Melbourne, and Gallery Assistant at the Wapping Arts Trust, London.
Zara has an extensive background as a curator and art writer. She is currently working on Arthur Boyd: art and empathy for the Bundanon Trust (2013); curated The world in painting for Heide MoMA (2009); We know who we are for Gertrude Contemporary Art Space (2006); Three Colours, Gordon Bennett and Peter Robinson for Heide MoMA (2004); and Co-Existenz: Parallel worlds and Botanica for Adam Art Gallery (2001).
She is also currently co-editing the Humanities Research Journal, World and World-Making in Art (2013) and Asian Connectivities (2013), and edited Les Kossatz: The Art of Existence in 2008.
Other projects include The Persistence of Pop, Monash (1999) and The Body Remembers: Jill Scott, ACCA (1996). Among her co-curated projects are TRANS VERSA, artists from Australia and New Zealand, with Danae Mossman, which toured to Chile (2006); Heide: Future, Present, Past with Kendrah Morgan (2006); and Close Quarters, Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand with Christina Barton and Clare Williamson, Monash and ACCA (1998-2000).
Zara comes to this new role as a highly qualified and very experienced art museum curator, art writer and gallery programme manager, who I am confident will make a positive impact on our collection development, exhibitions and research activities. She is very much looking forward to returning full time to the art museum sector.
Zara will commence work at the Gallery in March 2013.