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Zoe Watson

Lecturer, Art Theory and Practice
Curator, The Holden Gallery

Zoe Watson is curator of the Holden Gallery and a lecturer in Art History and Curating. Her curatorial practice centres around the Holden Gallery, where she is responsible for developing and delivering the programme of exhibitions, screenings, talks, and other events. This programme focuses exclusively on recent and ongoing developments in international contemporary visual art.
Zoe is interested in using the exhibition as a platform to support artists in conducting their own research and development projects, leading to the production of significant bodies of new work. Since beginning her programme in early 2019, she has curated solo exhibitions from artists including Simeon Barclay, Sof’ya Shpurova and Yelena Popova.
In 2019 Zoe introduced the Interruptions series, which intersects the exhibition programme. Making use of the gallery as a blank canvas for artists to experiment on a large-scale, Interruptions consists of a broad range of interdisciplinary, one-off performances and events. This has included theatrical performance, experimental dance and music, and film screenings and installations.
Zoe has worked on a number of freelance curatorial projects, which include exhibitions at Copperfield Gallery, London; RIBA North, Liverpool; and Paradise Works, Salford. She is also on the exhibitions advisory board for the Portico Library and Gallery, Manchester. 
Zoe was previously assistant curator at the Holden Gallery from 2012 until 2018. She was appointed as an Associate Lecturer in Art Theory and Practice in 2016, joining the permanent staff in 2019. She has an MA in Contemporary Curating from Manchester Metropolitan University and a BA (Joint hons) in Fine Art and Art History from the University of Plymouth.


'After ISLAND' at RIBA North, Liverpool

15.03. Details…

'HALF OF TWO DAYS OF EVERYTHING' at Paradise Works, Salford

30.03. Details…

'Monty' at Copperfield, London

02/02/19 - 02/03/19 Rob Bailey, Nic Farrell, Rachel Goodyear, Geo Law, Ariel Luke, Ian Pollock, Adam Renshaw, Adrien Tirtiaux Copperfield, London is pleased to present Monty, a guest project produced by Kwong Lee and curated by Zoe Watson.   Monty is an exhibition that explores and caricatures the alter ego of an artist working under the same name. Details…

INTERRUPTIONS series at the Holden Gallery

Interruptions is a series of interdisciplinary performances and events that intersects the Holden Gallery's annual programme of exhibitions, inviting artists from all stages in their careers, from across the UK, including many tutors and alumni from Manchester School of Art. Its format encourages experimental, collaborative practice in the large, open gallery space. Details…

Simeon Barclay, 'Life Room' at the Holden Gallery

08.02. Details…

Sofya Shpurova, 'Low Human Activity' at the Holden Gallery

01.11. Details…

Yelena Popova, 'The Scholar Stones Project' at the Holden Gallery

07.02. Details…


Book Chapters

Gartside, S., 2018. '978 1 910029 35 0'. In Break in Transmission, Holden Gallery Publications.

Journal Articles

Bal, G., Watson, Z., Sumner, A., 2020. 'How are the visual arts responding to the COVID-19 crisis?', Third Text - Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture Magazine.

Other Outputs

Watson, Z., 2018. 'The Holden Gallery Programme 2019'.