EVA International, Ireland’s biennial of contemporary art, has appointed Matt Packer as its new director. Currently director of CCA Derry-Londonderry, Packer will take up his new role at the Limerick-based organisation in June.
He said: “I am delighted to be announced director of EVA, an organisation I have seen transform since I first arrived in Ireland almost ten years ago. It’s remarkable how EVA has continued to set the horizon for changing ideas of artistic and curatorial practice.”
Packer replaces Woodrow Kernohan, who was recently appointed director at the University of Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery. He joins the organisation in its 40th year, with plans to strengthen the biennial’s voice and deepen its impact at local, national and international levels.
EVA works with curators to create a 12-week programme of exhibitions and events that engage with ideas, people and the city of Limerick, where it works in close partnership with Limerick City Gallery of Art. Currently working on its 2018 and 2020 editions, the biennial now aims to strengthen its resources and grow new audiences.
Chairperson of EVA, Hugh Murray, said: “We are confident that we have found the right person to lead the development of Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art to even greater recognition as a cultural event of international significance.”
Packer, who was born in 1978 in Carmarthen, Wales, has extensive experience as a curator in a temporary exhibition context.
He co-curated Norway’s biennial Lofoten International Art Festival and will curate the 15th edition of Tulca Festival of Visual Arts in Galway. He was also part of the selection committee for the British representation at the Venice Biennale 2017.
Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City and County Council Arts Office, Limerick School of Art & Design and Limerick Institute of Technology, EVA works with organisations across Limerick, Ireland and internationally.
Artists’ projects are selected through an open and invited call for proposals, and exhibitions take place in both gallery and non-gallery spaces. The 2018 edition will take place from 14 April to 8 July.
Matt Packer. Photo: Deirdre Power; Courtesy: EVA International