Job title: Director, Talbot Rice Gallery

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2359


Professor Tessa Giblin is the Director of Talbot Rice Gallery and holds a Personal Chair in Contemporary Curating with Edinburgh College of Art.

At TRG she has recently curated solo exhibitions of Emeka Ogboh (Nigeria), Angelica Mesiti (Australia), Céline Condorelli (UK), Samson Young (Hong Kong), Lucy Skaer (Scotland) and Jesse Jones (Ireland) – with whom she was also commissioner and curator for Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2017. Their exhibition Tremble Tremble later toured to Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao and SAMSTAG / Adelaide Festival, and was the subject of an Impact Case Study for REF 2021. Recent group exhibitions have included ‘The Normal’ (reflecting on the impact of the pandemic); ‘Borderlines’ (art in the age of Brexit), ‘At the Gates’ (on women and power) and ‘Riddle of the Burial Grounds’ (art in relation to the Anthropocene and nuclear waste burial). She was part of the acquisitions committee for the Frac Bretagne 2020-22, and in 2015 curated the steirischer herbst festival exhibition in Graz, Austria.

From 2006-16 she was Curator of Project Arts Centre in Dublin where she made commissioning new work a hallmark of the visual arts programme, with artists including Mario Garcia Torres, Núria Güell, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Barbara Bloom, David Claerbout, Eva Kotatkova & Dominik Lang, Jennifer Tee, Mikala Dwyer, Forerunner, Geoffrey Farmer & Jeremy Millar, Ceal Floyer, Sung Hwan Kim & David Michael DiGregorioLonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Seamus Nolan, James Coleman and Aurélien Froment. Within the busy multidisciplinary arts centre she also developed group exhibitions that used the apparatus of theatre to create durational exhibitions, including Riddle of the Burial Grounds, Conjuring for Beginners, as well as exhibitions engaging with the national conversation, Prehistory of the Crisis I II, and exhibitions focussed on the mysteries of art, exhibitions and knowledge, including Nonknowledge, Blackboxing, Every Version Belongs to the Myth (co-curated with Amalia Pica) and Exhibitions. While in Dublin she contributed to teaching on various programmes, including being Curatorial Seminar Leader of the MA in Visual Arts Practices, IADT from 2007 – 09, and co-created the Visual Arts Workers Forum.

She took part in De Appel’s Curatorial Training Programme in 2005/06, and was then Head of Exhibitions of Smart Project Space, Amsterdam. Before moving to Europe, she was Assistant Curator of Artspace, Auckland, and is originally from Aotearoa/New Zealand, where she received a BFA (Painting) from University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, and emerged as a curator through the network of artist-run spaces across Aotearoa.

With a 19th century former natural history museum and a contemporary white cube to fuel its engine, Talbot Rice Gallery is exploring what the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art can contribute to contemporary art production today.