Turner Contemporary director Victoria Pomery to leave gallery this Autumn

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary, with the 'Turner Contemporary' £20 note

Turner Contemporary Director Victoria Pomery is stepping down from her post to take up the role of Chief  Executive at  The Box in Plymouth – a newly opened £47milllion museum, gallery and archive.

Victoria  will step down in the autumn, after 19 years in post and overseeing the gallery’s first 10 years of operation. Pomery oversaw the capital project which delivered the David Chipperfield building on Margate seafront. She was awarded an OBE for her services to the arts in 2012 and an Honorary Doctorate from University of Kent in 2020.

She has led an internationally renowned programme of exhibitions and commissions, establishing a creative and exciting reputation for Turner Contemporary.

Victoria said: “I have been so lucky to work with so many incredible artists, organisations and individuals over the years. Having seen first-hand the impact that art can make on people and places I am looking forward to taking the work at The Box forward at a critical and exciting time for the organisation.

“Turner Contemporary is a fantastic institution with a dynamic Chair and Board of Trustees, a talented senior leadership team and staff group, and Margate is a very special place. I feel privileged to have been part of its first incredible decade and look forward to seeing the gallery’s next phase of development.”

Under Victoria’s leadership, Turner Contemporary has received 3.6 million visits and the gallery is now widely recognised as the first contemporary building to feature on a UK bank note.

Gallery staff have worked with over 100,000 local children and young people to offer them access to creative learning opportunities. Each year, around 6% of visits come from individuals who have never been to a museum or gallery in their lives before. The gallery has exhibited the work of over 2000 artists. In 2019, it hosted the world- famous Turner Prize.

The Box is the UK’s most significant cultural development of recent years and the largest multi-disciplinary arts and heritage space in the South West.

Barbara Walker, Place, Space and Who, Photograph by Stephen White

2021 marks Turner Contemporary’s 10th anniversary. The gallery’s current programme includes ‘The Tourists: Ellen Harvey & JMW Turner’ as well as ‘Ashes’ by Steve McQueen. Barbara Walker’s ‘Place Space and Who’ is also on show at the gallery.

Clive Stevens, Chair of Turner Contemporary said: “Victoria has been a phenomenal Director who has led Turner Contemporary through a vibrant, challenging and enormously successful period.

“The gallery has gone from strength to strength under her leadership and she will be greatly missed by us all here. She has developed a vibrant space which is full of energy, creativity and joy. The Board thanks her warmly for her dedication and exceptional work. We are beginning the search for her successor imminently.

“As we look to the next 10 years of Turner Contemporary, we look forward to continuing our work here in Margate and East Kent and ensuring that we remain vital and relevant to our communities.”