Dr. Susan Bright is an Australian/British curator and writer. She has a specialisation in lens-based arts and contemporary visual culture with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary and international programming. She was a curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London before deciding to work independently in the early 2000s. Her professional life has brought her to live in London, New York and Paris where she has worked with many institutions on a wide range of projects. These include: Tate, Barbican, The Royal Academy, The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Saint Louis Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, and The New York Public Library.
In 2007 she co-curated the landmark exhibition How We Are at Tate Britain. This was the first major exhibition of British photography ever held at Tate. In the same year she curated Face of Fashion at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Other significant exhibitions include: Home Truths at The Photographers’ Gallery and The Foundling Museum, London (2014) and Playground at Serlachius Museum, Finland (2018). These exhibitions demonstrate her interest in alternative histories and under explored areas in art and photography. Her survey exhibition Feast for the Eyes is currently touring to seven major museums and galleries in Europe, Canada and the USA.
In 2019 she was invited to be Guest Curator at PHotoESPAÑA. Titled ¿Déjà Vu? her curatorial programme made up the core of the festival and concentrated on artists whose practice operates within the field of interpersonal relationships, often favouring processes that seek out partnerships, collaboration and sharing. The exhibitions were held at Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa, Museo Lázaro Galdiano and the Museo del Romanticismo in Madrid.
Bright is regularly invited to be a visiting speaker, critic and scholar at universities worldwide. She taught curatorial practice and visual culture to both art and art history students for fifteen years at institutions including Parsons and the School of Visual Arts in New York and Sotheby’s Institute and University of the Arts, London. She frequently writes for the international media, museum publications and artist’s monographs.
She has authored and co-authored a number of books. These include: Photography Decoded (Tate/Ilex, 2019); Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography (Aperture, 2017); Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood (Art/Books, 2013); Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography (Thames & Hudson, 2010); How We Are: Photographing Britain (Tate, 2007); Face of Fashion (National Portrait Gallery, 2007) and Art Photography Now (Thames & Hudson, 2005).
Bright holds a PhD in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London and has been a mentor to artists on large scale long term projects originated by le Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Paris, and the organisation Women in Photography, based in New York.