Richard Parry set to leave GI having overseen two festivals and navigating pandemic postponement
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to develop the artistic programme of a festival that I have known and loved for so long"
After four and a half years, some of which have been the most challenging in recent times for society and the arts, Director Richard Parry is set to move on from his role at Glasgow International, following the fulfilment of his contract for two editions of the festival.
Highlights of the eighth and ninth editions under his artistic stewardship in 2018 and 2021 include exhibitions by Tai Shani, Mark Leckey and Lubaina Himid in 2018, as well as Nep Sidhu, Jenkin van Zyl, Gretchen Bender, Georgina Starr, Carol Rhodes and Martine Syms in 2021. Following her commission in 2018 Shani went on to jointly win the Turner Prize the following year.
The 2020 festival, which was due to take place in April that year, was postponed at the last minute due to Covid-19. Taking an early decision to re-stage in the summer of 2021, Parry oversaw firstly an online programme in 2020 before steering the festival through a year of fundraising to refinance, so that projects could be supported through the pandemic and presented once lockdown lifted.
Richard also led changes to how the open programme (Across the City) is structured and supported, following an evaluation of the 2018 edition. As well as an external panel to jointly decide which exhibitions are selected, artists can now receive an award of between £1.5k and £10k to support their work.
Richard Parry said: “I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to develop the artistic programme of a festival that I have known and loved for so long. I am indebted to Glasgow’s art scene, all the artists, curators, institutions as well as colleagues, funders, partners, supporters and everyone who has contributed towards what is ultimately an incredible collective effort. This year in particular has been one like no other. The team, and all involved, have worked tirelessly to create a truly memorable festival after many months of lockdown, with three years of organising and navigating the huge challenges arising from the pandemic.”
“I feel especially proud and fortunate to have been involved in bringing about a festival at this unprecedented moment, helping to ignite people’s imaginations at the point of re-emerging back out into the world after such a tough year. It has been an extraordinary reminder of the true value of visual expression and why the encounter with art that you experience at Glasgow International is so powerful.”