The board of the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP) has appointed Cherie McNair as the new director. She will commence on 8 February 2017.
Since selling its Oxford Street property in late 2014, the Sydney-based institution has been in what McNair described as “a bit of a holding pattern.” But she also pointed out that the interim director Catherine Baldwin, who has been at the helm of the organisation since July 2015, “has left it in such a fantastic state to take over.”
McNair was pleased to announce that the Centre’s magazine, Photofile, will be re-launched in late February or early March. And from mid 2017, the ACP will have a new “semi–permanent” location.
“We are moving into one of the City of Sydney’s creative spaces in Foley Street, Darlinghurst,” she explained. “That will be our home for at least the next three years while we look for our next option. So people will know where to find us for at least the next three years!”
The Foley Street premises will include offices and a new ACP gallery. Workshops will continue to be held at the National Art School.
To this end, she will explore the possibility of offering workshops nationwide. And McNair will continue to work with offsite partners to tour exhibitions nationally.
McNair is also hoping to extend the ACP’s reach internationally. She will explore opportunities to tour shows overseas and she is keen to position the ACP within the Asia-Pacific photography scene. “That’s one of the things we will be looking to engage with,” she said, “how we fit in from a regional perspective.”
McNair is looking forward to her new role as the director of the ACP. She acknowledged that it is an interesting time to be involved with photography; digital ubiquity exists side-by-side with a burgeoning interest in older analogue technologies.
“Some photographers choose to convey their work only through Instagram. But we still have a huge raft of scientific photographers, photojournalists, landscape photographers, portrait photographers, and fine art photographers that have other channels. So it’s actually quite a big group and they are a really engaged stakeholder body,” she said. “So there is a balance that we have to maintain. We try to work across all areas and try not to prioritise one form of photography over another.”
McNair has previously held roles at the Queensland Museum Network; National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.