Heather Galbraith, Professor

Heather Galbraith, Professor

Professor / Director of Doctoral Studies, Whiti o Rehua School of Art

Professor Heather Galbraith is a curator and writer who works in the fields of modern and contemporary New Zealand and international art. She makes exhibitions, writes about art, speaks in public about art and is regularly invited to sit on advisory boards and selection committees.

In 2009 Galbraith was co-curator for Francis Uprichard's 'Save Yourself' one of two artists projects presented as the national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (along with Judy Millar's 'Giraffe Bottle Gun'. Galbraith also took on the role of Deputy Commissioner for NZ at Venice in 2009, and again in 2013 for Bill Culbert: 'Front Door Out Back'. She was commissioner for the 2015 New Zealand's presentation at the Venice Biennale, Simon Denny: 'Secret Power'.

Galbraith has held senior curator roles at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and City Gallery Wellington, and was the inaugural director/curator of ST Paul St., AUT University. Galbraith has been a jury member for the Walters Prize, Judge for the National Drawing Award, Waikato Art Award, Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, and in 2013 was the judge for the inaugural Parkin Drawing Prize.

Recent curatorial projects have explored the way artists depict and interrogate at feelings of love, desire and loss, such as 'Tender is the Night', City Gallery Wellington in 2011, and memory ('reflex, figment' at the Engine Room, 2015 and 'Trigger Points' at the Palitz Gallery, Syracuse University, New York, 2016). Between 2016-2018 she was Managing Curator for SCAPE Public Art in Ōtautahi Christchurch, where she curated three six-week seasons of art in public space in October/November 2016, 2017 and 2018. Recent contributions to journals and exhibition publications include essays on Bas Jan Ader, Lisa Walker, Kushana Bush, and on the contemporary works in the 'Trigger Points' exhibition.

She led Art School of the Future, a national and international symposium which took place 9-11 July 2015, and co-led a symposium in March 2017 in collaboration with City Gallery Wellington for their large Cindy Sherman exhibition, and was on the organising committee for 'Performing, Writing: a symposium in four turns' which took place in association with the Performance Arcade in March 2017.

Currently she is engaged as a curator in a ten-year long commissioning programme of public art in the Wynyard Quarter, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau, working with Auckland Council, Panuku and mana whenua representatives to deliver three large scale permanent works during this period.

Heather currently co-supervises eight PhDs, two MFA students. She also teaches into Part 1 of the MFA programme, and guest lectures into the undergraduate programmes.

View Heather Galbraith's ORCiD record.

  • Expertise

    Contemporary art (inclusive of all media), contemporary art history and theory, public art and curatorial practice.

  • Research Highlights

    Francis Upritchard: Save Yourself, 2009, Fondazione Claudio Buziol, Palazzo Mangilli Valmarana (co-curator, publication editor and Deputy Commissioner for NZ at Venice 2009)
    As co-curator for Francis Upritchard: Save Yourself, one of two exhibitions that comprised New Zealand’s representation at the 2009 Venice Biennale, Galbraith was able to reference knowledge gained over an eight year engagement with the artist's practice to contextualise Upritchard's work in relation to international discourses in contemporary art. She also edited the exhibition publication, which featured essays by Galbraith, Francesco Manacorda and Melanie Oliver. Following the Biennale, the exhibition was presented at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (2010).

    Tender is the Night, 2011, City Gallery Wellington (curator)
    This large scale, survey exhibition included international and New Zealand art, and explored the way artists depict experiences of love, desire and loss. The exhibition brought together little known historical works, international work not seen in New Zealand, new work by emerging artists and exemplary national and international practice, and was complemented by an extensive series of public programmes.

    Telecom Prospect New Art: New Zealand, 2007, City Gallery Wellington (curator)
    As curator of key NZ survey Telecom Prospect 2007, the quadrennial national survey of contemporary New Zealand Art, Galbraith analysed current art practice in New Zealand and brought new insights and understandings through careful selection and juxtapositioning of contemporary artworks. The project brought together new and existing works, by emerging, mid-career and senior artists. Galbraith was also the editor of the companion book published by City Gallery Wellington, which captured critical analysis through commissioned responses and a lead essay, alongside a rich series of installation images.

  • Qualifications

    BFA (Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland)
    MA (Goldsmiths College, London)

  • Supervision

     

    Tim Barlow
    Caring Deception: Community art in the suburbs of Aotearoa (New Zealand)

    In-progress

    Primary supervisor: Prof. Sally Morgan
    Co-supervisor: Prof. Heather Galbraith
    Co-supervisor: Dr. Martin Patrick

     

    Susanne Bauer
    The Pollinator Crisis

    In-progress

    Primary supervisor: Prof. Heather Galbraith
    Co-supervisor: Prof. Anne Noble
    Co-supervisor: Dr. Cassandra Barnett

     

    Bepen Bhana
    Cultural appropriation and cultural hybridity in the age of globalisation

    In-progress

    Primary supervisor: Prof. Heather Galbraith
    Co-supervisor: Dr. Martin Patrick

     

    Jill Sorenson
    Engaging the languages of visual representation, written narrative and participatory practice to facilitate a radical reimagining of human/ nonhuman interrelationship that eschews Cartesian and Humanist models of co-existence with ‘nature’

    In-progress

    Primary supervisor: Prof. Tim Brennan
    Co-supervisor: Dr. Huhana Smith
    Co-Supervisor: Prof. Heather Galbraith

     

    Claire Taylor
    Implications of Reality: An Artistic Practice

    In-progress

    Primary supervisor: Prof. Heather Galbraith

     

    Sam Trubridge
    Nomadic states

    In-progress

    Primary supervisor: Prof. Sally Morgan
    Co-supervisor: Prof. Heather Galbraith