Nicole Stanbridge - Curator of Engagement

My alias is the 'The Engager'. I have lived in Victoria and been a visitor, on this, the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples for over 35 years. I grew up surrounded by artists and art. Every family holiday was a museum/gallery marathon. Most kids went to Disneyland, we went to the National Gallery of Canada, the Musee de Beaux Art, the Louvre, The Tate. When I was sixteen years old I saw Damien Hirst's shark tank piece, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, at the Sacchi Gallery in London and the photographs from Lee Millers War at the ICA (and the greatest hits from the western art historical canon). At the time I was more focused on getting my Doc Marten boots from Carnaby Street, but these experiences instilled in me a great respect for the courage and dedication of artists whose work reflects our world back to us in ways that propose new possibilities and new lines of enquiry. 

Victoria is a great place to call home and I love the dedication of all of the arts and culture activists here who work tirelessly, throwing down, making big things happen. Although, survival on this island does require getting off the rock when you can. Travel is a great recharger and essential to what I do at the gallery. We learn by being outside of our comfort zone. As curator of engagement I am on a constant learning curve, which keeps me moving forward and expanding my world. My hope is for people to feel that wonder and curiosity that art can provoke in us. Gallery spaces should be sites of action, spaces that invite people to connect in sincere and meaningful ways. Live big. Love big. Think big. I believe in serious rigorous play, there is much to be discovered about ourselves and our world in the process.


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