How I Work: Gallery Director Brett Rogers

The director of London’s Photographers’ Gallery reflects on the challenges the gallery faces in the post-Brexit era, her determination for its shows to be accessible, and on the skills she has – and lacks – when running such a significant cultural institution

For anyone interested in the still image, it’s difficult to imagine the centre of Britain’s capital city without The Photographers’ Gallery, the UK’s largest space devoted to the medium. But without the gallery’s director, Brett Rogers, the Ramillies Street institution might be a very different proposition. Or, indeed, it might struggle to exist at all. 

After more than two decades working for the British Council, the Australian-born Rogers was appointed director of The Photographers’ Gallery in 2005, soon after the gallery re-opened in Soho after an 18-month-long, £9.2m redevelopment project. 

Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographer’s Gallery

Under her stewardship, the gallery has become the annual setting for the Deutsche Börse prize, and, over the last 18 months, has exhibited major solo shows and mid-career retrospectives by photographers of the calibre of Gregory Crewdson and Alex Prager, as well as solo exhibitions by newer and less-established names like French-Indian fine-artist Vasantha Yogananthan and the minimalist Japanese artist Miho Kajioka. 

Below she reveals the nitty-gritty of running a cultural space today, the methods of management she has acquired along the way, and the importance of showing weakness.