Kaia Charles is a cultural projects commissioner and curator whose work is rooted in contemporary art practice.
Charles has commissioned projects that explore urbanism, digital and cross-cultural visual culture. Before joining Greenwich Peninsula’s cultural team in 2014, she worked with the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Contemporary Programmes section, curating a variety of arts commissions. These included an architectural intervention 'Seasons through the Looking Glass’ by CJ Lim and Studio 8 architects and a digital commission ‘Bit.Code’ by Julius Popp. A particular area of interest is multiculturalism in urban areas.
In 2013, Charles devised and curated the Friday Late Dalston and Peckham takeovers for the V&A and MasterCard. She also co-chaired the V&A’s African Caribbean steering group which worked towards incorporate Afro-Caribbean contemporary art into the V&A’s collections. Charles believes art and culture is should be inclusive and is crucial to adding a creative dimension to community; and works to embed pioneering cultural events, exhibitions and public art in creative neighbourhoods. Her work for Greenwich Peninsula involves fostering creative partnerships, bringing the work of emerging designers and artists who establish links with local communities in creative ways.
Working alongside artist Jemima Burrill she continues to develop exhibitions for the Peninsula’s first art gallery, NOW Gallery, a hugely exciting addition to the area. Charles also commissions site –specific art and architectural interventions for the public realm such as Conrad Shawcross’ Optic Cloak, Siblings by Morag Myerscough, 33 by Studio Weave as well as artist hoardings by renowned illustrators Matt Blease, Jack Taylor and Ricardo Cavolo in 2016.
In 2019 Charles has curated ‘The Great Supper’ by Pakistani artist Sara Shakeel and continues to curate the annual Human Stories photographic series, most recently ‘Human Stories: Circa No Future’ featuring Caribbean photographer Nadia Huggins. She has also judged the 2019 Creative Review Photo Annual. Charles also commissions a series of culturaI/design- led physical as well as digital festivals and events for Greenwich including the Turning Tides Festival, the annual Urban Village Fete for Greenwich Peninsula and The Peninsulist Presents digital series.