Matt Packer to take the helm of Limerick's Eva International

Biennial returns in April 2018

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Matt Packer to take the helm of Limerick's Eva International

New Eva director Matt Packer

LIMERICK based art exhibition EVA International has announced the appointment of a new director.

Matt Packer has taken over as the director of the biennial, which returns in April 2018 under the curatorship of Inti Guerrero.

A previous curator of exhibitions and projects at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC, Mr Packer takes over from the departing Woodrow Kernohan and was most recently director at the CCA Centre For Contemporary Art Derry.

“I am delighted to be announced as Director of EVA International, an organisation that I have seen transform since I first arrived in Ireland almost ten years ago,” he said.

“Now approaching its 40th anniversary, it’s remarkable how EVA has continued to set the horizon for changing ideas of artistic and curatorial practice, while also being respondent to broader cultural and political changes that have impacted Ireland and its relations to the wider world.

“Given its enormous legacy, I am very proud to be entrusted with the job of developing EVA over the coming years, strengthening its voice and deepening its impact at local, national and international levels.”

After five years in the role, Woodrow Kernohan stepped down from Ireland’s pre-eminent exhibition of visual art late last year to become the new Director of the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, UK.

Hugh Murray, Eva chairman, said the board was “very happy and fortunate to have Matt Packer as our new director”.

“His predecessor, Woodrow Kernohan, set a very high standard and we are confident that we have found, in Matt, 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,” he added.

The most recent exhibition in 2016, Still (the) Barbarians, was curated by Koyo Kouoh and featured 57 artists, with a tie-in to the 1916 Easter Rising centenary celebrations.

Eva received annual funding of €222,000 from the Arts Council of Ireland this year and annually over the last two years. It was restructured as a biennial at the State agency’s request a number of years ago.