Tom Trevor has been appointed our new Artistic Director.

We are delighted to announce that curator and writer Tom Trevor has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the River Tamar Project.

Tom has curated projects both internationally and within the South West. He is currently Guest Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and was most recently Artistic Director of the 4th Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Japan, taking place over the summer of 2015. Entitled Take Me To The River, this large-scale project included artists from eight different countries, with renowned figures such as Hito Steyerl, SUPERFLEX and Shimabuku showing alongside emerging artists, like Shitamichi Motoyuki, Aki Sasamoto and Yuken Teruya. One of the groups he worked with is The Play, an artists’ collective from the Kansai area of Japan formed in 1967, which Tom commissioned to reactivate a project from 1972, IE: The Play Have a House (pictured), floating down the Yodogawa river from Kyoto to Osaka.

On the news of his appointment, Tom said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role at an exciting time for the contemporary arts in Plymouth, and to be returning to the South West. My involvement with the River Tamar Project builds upon a long-standing interest in rivers and the cultural life that develops around them. I am really looking forward to engaging with the different communities based along the Tamar, and to commissioning artists’ projects in relation to this historic context and the people who live and work there. I am also keen to explore the possibilities for establishing an international network of river projects in the lead-up to the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020. There is enormous potential for projects in Plymouth and the Tamar area, and a great spirit of collaboration, so it will be exciting to work with partners in the city, as well as regionally, nationally and internationally, to develop a world-class project that is relevant and distinctive to the locality.”

Until October, Tom was also curatorial consultant to ARoS Museum, in Denmark, setting up a new triennial for Aarhus 2017, European Capital of Culture. Other recent projects he has worked on include a commission by, It’s All About the River artist, John Akomfrah at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, and the exhibition Black Sun, co-curated with Shezad Dawood, at the Devi Art Foundation, in Delhi, India, in 2014. Previously Tom was Director of Arnolfini in Bristol from 2005 -2013, Associate Curator of the Art Fund International collection at Bristol Museum from 2007-12, and Director of Spacex in Exeter from 1999-2005. He is originally from Devon, and has family roots in Cornwall.

The River Tamar Project has also welcomed back Producer, Phil Rushworth, who helped deliver last   year’s It’s All About the River film festival. As an independent curator and visual art producer based in Plymouth, Phil has a special interest in working with rural communities, particularly in delivering contemporary arts to new audiences. Since 2009 she has worked on a number of projects across the South West, initiating Confluence (2013), a public art programme for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, and 24-Hour Comic Etc. (2011), a series of 24 hour community events across Cornwall. She also produced the Falmouth Convention (2010), the Penzance Convention (2012) and the Cornwall Workshop (2013), working with the Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST), based in Helston. She is originally from Cornwall.

The River Tamar Project team are now back in the office and will be working towards future events and artists’ commissions. Tom will be leading on a six-month period of research and development. One of the first tasks will be to update the River Tamar Project website. In the meantime, please stay connected with us through social media and look out for exciting future developments in the newsletter.