Govett-Brewster Co-directors heading back home to Canada

Arts Local News

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre co-directors Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh are taking up a new role in Canada.

In the midst of the global Covid-19 crisis, the pair are returning to Aileen’s homeland to be closer to family.

Their time at the NPDC-owned gallery has been capped by a highly successful 50th anniversary exhibition and the couple, who have a young daughter, are reluctantly leaving after making a big impact since moving to Taranaki in January of 2019.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to have been the co-directors of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre. The chance to lead the Remai Modern gallery in Saskatoon, Canada, was too good an opportunity to turn down and it will be wonderful to be close to our family, especially during these difficult and unprecedented times,” they say.

NPDC’s Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says the co-directors have left the gallery in excellent shape and have done a great job in helping engage the local community during their tenure.

“We were very lucky to get such a dynamic duo at the gallery and while we’re sad to see them leave, they have done a superb job and we wish them the very best for the future,” says Ms Turner.

The Covid-19 situation will mean the gallery will look to appoint a new director towards the end of the year.

While the gallery, which added $5.6m in GDP to the local economy in 2016 (Source: Berl), remains closed during the national emergency, it is bringing art and other cultural content to audiences online. It has teamed up with Pop-up Poetry Taranaki to launch ‘The Art of Poetry’ -  a weekly open call for poems about art on Instagram and the website and is also working with the Taranaki Arts Trail on the ‘Window Gallery’ programme, to bring art to the streets.