Peter Bonnell is a Senior Curator based at QUAD in Derby, and also for FORMAT International Photography Festival. He has been a professional curator for 16 years, having previously been a visual artist exhibiting work in the UK, across Europe and in the US. He recently revived his own practice as an artist, producing digital collages and short experimental film works.
Peter has been based at QUAD since early 2012 where he has led on a range of projects, including the mass participation film work Derby Soap Opera with the artist and filmmaker Marinella Senatore and involving almost 15,000 Derby residents; group exhibitions Illuminated; The Pride and the Passion: Contemporary Art, Football and The Derby County Collection and the AI/ robot themed exhibition Our Friends Electric. He has also curated/organised solo shows at QUAD, including projects by Lindsay Seers; Benedict Drew; Susan Pui San Lok; Susan MacWilliam, and Joey Holder.
He has managed and curated a number of digitally focused projects at QUAD – including the immersive AR gallery-based game-experience Glitched: Quest for the Lost MacGuffin; the interactive installation What a Loving and Beautiful World by Japanese digital art collective teamLab; the digital installation Line Segment Space by Korean based Kimchi and Chips, and most recently a new VR commission by the American artist and digital art pioneer Rebecca Allen.
Before joining QUAD, Peter was Curator at ArtSway, in the New Forest, where he was responsible for the exhibitions, residency, commissioning and education programmes, working on exhibitions by artists Dinu Li; Nathaniel Mellors; Hew Locke; Christopher Orr; Gayle Chong Kwan; Jamie Shovlin; Anne Hardy, Ma Yongfeng and Beate Gutshow. In addition, he co-curated along with ArtSway Director Mark Segal the New Forest Pavilion at the 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 Venice Biennales, and has been a member of the team for FORMAT International Photography Festival in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019, working with artists such as Erik Kessels, Lottie Davies and Kensuke Koike.
Peter studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University, graduating in 1995, and completed an MFA in Art (majoring in painting, minor in photography) at the University of Arkansas in 2002. In 2004, he graduated with an MA(RCA) in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London; for his final graduate exhibition at the RCA, Peter co-curated This much is certain, working directly with the future Turner Prize nominated/winning artists Jeremy Deller and Dexter Dalwood.