Mandana Mapar

Mandana Mapar is an artist, art consultant and curator based in Brooklyn, New York. Specializing in curatorial projects, photographic fine art and social history exhibitions.

Mandana Mapar is an artist, curator and studio manager based in Brooklyn, New York.

Curatorial Practice

Mandana Mapar was the recipient of the Youth Art Queensland Young Artists Mentoring Project in 2003, receiving her first award for curatorial programming for her contribution to the exhibition project All that Glitters, with the Inaugural Award for Achievement from RGAQ and Museums Australia in 2004

She has curated numerous exhibitions, most notably ey! Iran, Contemporary Iranian Photography and This is My Heritage.

Mapar has collaborated with notable arts organizations in Australia including Youth Arts Queensland, Artworkers Alliance, Access Arts, City Studios, Ballina Regional Council, Queensland Rail, and the Sydney Opera House.

In 2014 - 2015 Mapar co-curated Meston’s 'Wild Australia' Show 1892-1893 exploring a brief period in the life of Archibald Meston, one of the most influential and controversial figures in Queensland Indigenous history, held at the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum throughout 2015 and re-staged with additional research and images in 2016. The exhibition featured a selection of photographs taken by prominent studio photographers of the era Charles Kerry, at Sydney in December 1892; John W. Lindt, at Melbourne in February 1893 and Henry King, at Sydney in June of 1893, capturing images of the Wild Australia performers in candid studio portraits. Over 300 individual images were reproduced with permissions from collecting institutions onsite at UQAM by Mapar.

In 2014 the community led curatorial project Object of the Story: Reflections on Place, was awarded Highly Distinguished in Community Participation in the Arts and Culture, Ballina Shire Council, Local Government Arts and Culture Awards, Sydney Australia.

Mandana worked as Senior Curator with Michael Aird at Queensland Museum from 2013 - 2015 towards the research and development of the new Galleries of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures. She coordinated the acquisition and donation of major gifts to the collection from private donors and co-curated the exhibition This is My Heritage accompanied by the play reading You Came to my Country and You Didn’t Turn Black in 2015.

She has curated exhibitions for arts festivals working with Surfers Paradise and Bleach Festivals during 2012 - 2013, and assisted at DUMBO Arts, Future of Storytelling and Arts Slope Arts Festivals.


Visual Arts Practice

Mandana Mapar's arts practice is characterized by an exploration of the photographic medium, from traditional and experimental techniques to working on paper combining drawing and photo-collage.

She graduated with a BFA majoring in Fine Arts photography and curatorial practice from Queensland College of Art. Since 2004 her work has featured in group exhibitions at major public art galleries and museums. Most notably her works have been included in group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2014); Australian Centre for Photography (2004); Queensland University Art Museum (2004); the Queensland Centre for Photography (2004); the Museum of Brisbane (2007); Maitland Regional Art Gallery (2012); during the Queensland Festival of Photography in exhibitions at the Hold Art Space, and at Lorraine Pilgrim Gallery (2014).

In August 2014 her works were included in the exhibition Gifted Artists, displayed as part of the Patrick Corrigan Collection donated in its entirety to the Photographic Collection of the National Gallery of Australia. She held her first solo international exhibition of works Traces in New York in 2010.

In April 2016 she presented Through Her Eyes, at Old Government House in Brisbane as part of Resonance, a site specific research project, held at four prominent heritage listed buildings. The exhibition featured a series of historic photographs taken by Lady Lamington (wife of the Governor of Queensland at the turn of the 19th century), alongside contemporary artworks exploring notions of migration, love and loss.

Her work is held in major public and private collections across Australia, most notably at the National Gallery of Australia, Power Institute, Gold Coast City Gallery, Queensland Department of Education & the Arts and the Queensland Department of Employment, Training and Youth.

TRACES_Mandana_Mapar_Balingup 2009
Met Breuer New York

Awards, Grants and Appointments

2016                                 Appointment: Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Peer Assessor, Sydney, Australia

Grant Team Participant: Australian Research Council Linkage project grant, How Meston's Wild Australia Show Shaped Australian Aboriginal History  

2015                                Appointment: Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Peer Assessor, Sydney, Australia


Appointed: Curator Bleach Festival Gold Coast, Australia

2010                                             Grant: Brisbane City Council Creative Communities Grant for Glow32 exhibitions and programs, City Studios Brisbane Australia

2009                                       National Public Galleries Summit 2009 RAISE YOUR VOICE: Fourth National Public Galleries Summit, Townsville Australia

2008                                                   ey! Iran exhibition tour launch during Auckland Festival of Photography at Lopdell House Gallery, Titirangi Auckland New Zealand

Grant: Gold Coast Art Crawl, Regional Arts Development Fund Grant

2007                                            Curators talk: ey! Iran exhibition launch talk, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide

Artist in residence workshops: Lindisfarne Anglican School

Grant: Museums Galleries Services Queensland Bursary towards Museum Studies Professional Intensive

Grant: GCArt Crawl, Regional Arts Development Fund grant towards marketing and promotion  

2006                                          International Cultural Exchange as Artist in residence Global Neighborhood Project, Brisbane and Yeppoon Australia and Southampton, New Jersey, Maryland and Philadelphia, USA.

Grant: Global Neighborhood Project, Gold Coast City Council Cultural Development Fund

Curators talk: ey! Iran exhibition talk, QLD Festival of Photography launch weekend forums

Artist workshops: Ipswich Regional Art Gallery, Kollidescope multicultural festival

Artist talks: Brisbane Boys Grammar School, The Loaded Image, curriculum based studies

2005                                      Featured Artist: Brisbane Grammar School Annual Art Exhibition

2004                                           Public Art Commission: Our Brisbane, Museum of Brisbane/Brisbane Square in collaboration with poet Mandy Beaumont

Grant: NAVA Visual Art and Craft Artists' Grant Departure Lounge

Award: GAMMA Inaugural Award for Achievement (RQAQ/Museums Australia)

Artist in residence: Brisbane Boys and Girls Grammar Schools Artist workshops and talks

Artist talks: Savvy: new Australian art, September & November

Artist talk: Surface Tension, Australian Centre for Photography

2003                                            Grant: GCCC Rapid Response Cultural Development Fund Grant supporting Surface Tension

Grant: Arts Queensland Grant to curate October Arc Arts Coop

Award: Youth Arts Queensland Young Artist Mentoring Partnership Project, with Brett Adlington, Gold Coast City Gallery

Commission: YOUTHWEEK Artwork for Arts Minister Matt Foley, Office of Youth Affairs

Artist talk: Imaging, identity and place, Gold Coast City Gallery  

Workshop: Photogram Workshop, Griffith University Gold Coast

Public Program: National Youth Week: Insight Into Arts, Griffith University

2001                                   Acquisition: September; N.A.B. Contemporary Art Prize, Pat Corrigan Photographic Acquisitive Prize