Marie Bak Mortensen announced as new Director of Create London

Monday, 15 November 2021

photo: Andy Matthews

We are delighted to welcome Marie Bak Mortensen as our new Director.  Marie joins Create from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), where she has been Head of Exhibitions and Interpretation for seven years. She brings with her extensive experience of working in the UK architecture and visual art sectors, and a wide network of national and international partners. 

Marie Bak Mortensen said, “I have observed Create London from afar, and worked closely with its fantastic team, always admiring its imaginative programme and unique position across the visual arts and architecture. Building on the legacy of Hadrian Garrard’s work, it is a privilege to join an organisation that continuously pushes the boundaries of institutional structures to deliver incomparable and inclusive connections between communities and artistic practice. “

The Trustees of Create said, “We are very excited that Marie Bak Mortensen is joining Create. She has an impressive track record that brings both great expertise and sensitivity to the context in which we work. We are confident that Marie will help us to continue to secure the role of art and architecture at the centre of community and civic life”.

At RIBA, Marie Bak Mortensen introduced new commissions in parallel to the exhibitions programme. These included Pablo Bronstein’s Conservatism, or the Long Reign of Pseudo Georgian Architecture (2017) and The Brutalist Playground (2015) by Assemble with Simon Terrill, alongside ambitious public realm commissions, such as A Hall for Hull with Chile-based architects Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Swiss artist Felice Varini (for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 in collaboration with the British Council). 

Under Marie’s stewardship, RIBA attracted younger and more diverse audiences, and she developed partnerships with a broad range of organisations both within and beyond the architectural context. Most recently, she has worked with Create on the Becontree centenary, overseeing Verity-Jane Keefe’s exhibition, Lived in Architecture – Becontree at 100 (2021), co-curated by both organisations.

Prior to joining RIBA, between 2009 and 2014, Marie managed Tate’s partnerships with museums and galleries across the UK, including the development and implementation of the Plus Tate network. Before relocating to the UK, she worked in Copenhagen for the Danish Design Centre and Architects’ Association. She is an alumni of the Clore Leadership programme and a trustee of Spike Island in Bristol.

Marie Bak Mortensen will lead Create’s strategy and programme, and share the Chief Executive role with Executive Director Sorrel Hershberg. She succeeds Create’s founding Director Hadrian Garrard who led the organisation from 2008 and took on a new role at Waltham Forest Council in August.