Recent years have seen a heightened awareness of the stories behind the world’s most iconic artworks and the often-controversial journeys they undertake before reaching museum crowds. Bluemoose debut author and filmmaker Devika Ponnambalam spent ten years researching the troubled story behind post-impressionist Paul Gauguin’s child-bride muse, Teha’amana. 

Hear her in discussion with art historian Alice Proctor (The Whole Picture – the colonial story of Art in our museums and why we need to talk about it) and Natasha Howes, Senior Curator at Manchester Art Gallery, as they explore themes of colonialism, art history and the silenced stories that span both worlds. 


About The Author

Devika Ponnambalam

Devika Ponnambalam graduated from the National Film and Television School in Fiction Directing in 1998, with an award-winning film. She has made a number of short films and directed for mainstream TV. In 2004, Devika graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she began writing this book. In 2018, she travelled to Tahiti with the assistance of a research and development grant awarded by Creative Scotland.

About The Historian

Headshot of art historian and writer, Alice Procter

Alice Proctor

Alice Procter is an art historian and writer working on colonial memory inmuseums. She is the author of The Whole Picture (Cassell, 2020).

About The Speaker

Natasha Howes

Natasha Howes is Senior Curator at Manchester Art Gallery where she leads a team of curators who programme exhibitions and work with the renowned collections. She has curated numerous solo exhibitions including Neha Choksi, Waqas Khan, Risham Syed, Joana Vasconcelos, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Parr and Xie Nanxing and group exhibitions including The First Cut: Paper at the Cutting Edge and We Face Forward: West African Art Today. Natasha is involved in purchasing contemporary art for the collection including acquisitions by Berni Searle, Waqas Khan, Deborah Roberts, Susan Hiller, Mike Nelson, Boris Nzebo, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Joana Vasconcelos. Natasha is Chair of Quarantine who make original theatre with and about the people who are on stage.