IMA Staff Profile: Tulleah Pearce News

IMA Staff Profile: Tulleah Pearce

Associate Director

11 June 2020

Can you tell us about your role at the IMA?  

I am the brand new Assistant Director and I manage all aspects of the artistic program alongside the IMA programming team– budgets, grant writing, install planning, public programs, research, policy writing, marketing and working on publications. Anything that needs doing!

You’ve recently joined the team at the IMA and are making the move from Sydney to Brisbane to join the team. Can you tell us about what the IMA means to you and why you are making the move to be a part of it? 

The IMA in an incredible organisation – one of Australia’s oldest dedicated contemporary art spaces and it has such an incredible national legacy for advancing art forms. Each time I’ve visited I’ve been impressed by its strong artist-focussed programming and the great community gathered around it, so I can’t wait to get amongst it.

In the short time you’ve been with us you’ve already had the chance to commission a range of works as a part of Making Art Work. Could you tell us about some of the Queensland practices you are most excited about working with? 

The artist community is pretty close-knit in Queensland which I think gives rise to some exciting interdisciplinary experimentation. The connections between sound, performance, writing, even gardening (!) seems to be a lot more permeable here, so there is some very exciting hybrid-making happening. Also, QLD is a huge place and this enormous diversity of culture, language and knowledge certainly makes the art emerging from state incredibly rich, located and communicative of the here and now.

You’ve really been thrown in the deep end starting a new role in the middle of a pandemic. Having said that, in some ways it’s been a really exciting time at the IMA, rethinking how we will work with artists within alternate parameters. Could you tell us about some of the ways that your role is responding to the challenges and opportunities created by COVID? 

My role is always first and foremost about finding opportunities for artists and supporting them to think about our world in new ways – extreme times call for extreme questioning! 2020 has brought new challenges and laid bare longstanding inequalities, and artists are central in helping us find our way forward with courage and criticality. Practically we’ve been looking at ways of translating experience through the digital, rethinking physical distance and gathering, and working out how we can best serve our community and support each other in uncertain times.

What are you most looking forward to about the gallery reopening?

Finally seeing the exhibitions and getting to know the amazing team of volunteers we have at the IMA.

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.