Tanera Bryden

Artistic Director and Arts Group Chair

Tanera Bryden

Tanera Bryden is the festival’s Artistic Director and chair of the Arts Group, which is responsible for planning the arts and exhibitions programming.

A key member of the team and long-standing public face of the festival, Tanera brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role.

Tanera says, “I’m passionate about the arts in all forms, and have been a committed bookworm since childhood.

“Raised as a Highlander, I studied Fine Art at Edinburgh University/Edinburgh College of Art and then European Fine Art at Winchester School of Art (Barcelona/Winchester).

“Following the promise of fame and an eventual Turner Prize, I moved to London, had a studio in East London for 13 years and continued painting and exhibiting (even selling my work! No Turner Prize though…) while working part -time in PR: first in agency work, then at the newly opened Tate Modern, then the Art Fund, which fed my passion for contemporary arts events, art collections and campaigning.

“Having two children and itchy feet prompted a move back home in 2010 – my mother had sent me the Nairn Book and Arts Festival programme every year, and it was one of the reasons we chose Nairnshire as home.

“It’s a wonderful event, involving so many people here in this very creative town, and it’s a privilege to be part of the team.

“Arkhip Kuindzhi, Cy Twombly, Peter Doig, Anselm Kiefer, and El Anatsui are just some of the artists whose work I admire.

“From the many artists I have got to know since moving back north, I like the iconic quality of Peter White’s paintings, while Allan MacDonald is an outstanding landscape artist.

:Charis & I’s personae and mythologies really interest me, and I always love seeing new work by Nairn-based artists Shaun MacDonald and Steve Smith – both dark and funny, you’re never sure what to expect next.

“My book choices include a couple I’m re-reading – I like to revisit old favourites – and would also include Night Studio (a biography of Philip Guston by his daughter and a wonderful book about the artist’s working life), and Nan Shepherd’s In the Cairngorms (both lent out to friends!). I have a lifelong love of Highland mountains, and a strong personal connection to that range in particular.”

For all festival enquiries, please contact Tanera by email.