The fourth in our annual series, ArtChat this year featured a line-up of established and emerging independent curators who are all working with contemporary practice across the visual arts, craft and design, time-based and experimental arts.
The evening explored imaginative ideas in a fast-paced, invigorating and sometimes humorous format, providing a snapshot of the exciting curatorial projects proposed by today’s creative thinkers.
Bec Dean is a curator, writer and educator who trained as a visual artist. She has worked for arts organisations and contemporary art spaces in Australia since 1996. Dean joined Performance Space as Associate Director in 2007 and became Co-Director with Jeff Khan in January 2012 until February 2014. She continues to a presence outside the organisation as Curator at Large. Dean is currently curating independent projects and working as a casual academic, while undertaking a PhD at the University of New South Wales. Dean was previously curator at the Australian Centre for Photography (2005-2007) and Exhibition Manager at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2002-2005). Her curatorial interests revolve around interdisciplinary and participatory practices, performance, site specificity, biomedical art, and science and humanities intersections and discourses.
She was co-curator of the interdisciplinary art laboratory Time_Place_Space: Nomad produced by Performance Space and ArtsHouse, Melbourne (2014-2015). Notable projects include the SEXES festival, co-curated with Deborah Kelly and Jeff Khan, Local Positioning Systems at Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia with Jeff Khan (2012), Awfully Wonderful: Science Fiction in Contemporary Art at Performance Space with Lizzie Muller (2011) and Trace Elements: Spirit and Memory in Japanese and Australian Photomedia with Shihoko Iida at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (2008) and Performance Space (2009). Dean’s writing on art, new media practice and performance has been published extensively since the late 1990s in broadsheets and art journals and commissioned by galleries and institutions for catalogues. Recent contributions in publications include the books Deborah Kelly & published by Artspace and Unsitely Aesthetics edited by Maria Miranda. She co-edited the Sad & Lonely issue of Photofile with Robert Cook (2004) and the Artlink issue, Sexing the Agenda (2013) with Johanna Mendelssohn.
Micheal Do is a curator and cultural producer based in Western Sydney, NSW. His curatorial focus lies in developing thematic and immersive exhibitions that extrapolate research and artistic practices into contemporary contexts. Micheal is currently developing Soft Core, a touring exhibition of soft and inflatable sculptures in conjunction with Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Museums & Galleries NSW and 5X5, a survey of 5 artist-collector relationships for Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest. He is also the Producer of Creative Programs at The Red Room Company.
He has previously held the position of Exhibition Manager at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, where he curated RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW in 2015, Parade Coordinator (Community Engagement) at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Exhibitions Manager at the Liverpool City Council Library, Programs Officer at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Open Day Co-ordinator at the University of New South Wales, Art and Design.
Micheal’s recent curatorial projects include: RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW (2015) at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest and Solid State (2015) at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. He is one of the 2016 recipients of the 4A Curatorial Intensive.
Chloé Wolifson is an independent writer & curator. Chloé graduated from CoFA in 2006 with a Bachelor of Art Theory (Honours) & Master of Art Admin. She worked at Darren Knight Gallery from 2005-2013, sat on the board of Runway Australian Experimental Art from 2013-2016, and currently works for The Curators’ Department and artist Alex Seton.
Chloé’s recent projects include: tensions/translations/transitions, curated for the 2016 Dominik Mersch Curator Award; Animal/Mineral/Physical/Spiritual curated as The Bearded Tit’s 2015 Starving Curator in Residence; panel discussion series The Wandering Mind at Verge Gallery in 2015; and For Lease at Breezeblock in 2014. She has contributed to many online & print publications including ArtAsiaPacific, Art Monthly Australasia, & Catalyst by Art Stage Singapore.
Nina Stromqvist is an independent curator and writer based in Sydney. Trained originally as a visual artist, she has held curatorial positions at the Australian War Memorial and Art Gallery of New South Wales, and was co-curator of SafARI 2012 – the unofficial fringe exhibition to the Biennale of Sydney. Nina’s writing and reviews have been published across many art journals and publications including Artlink, Art & Australia, DAS Platforms, and RealTime Magazine. Alongside the visual arts, Nina has worked as a curator and writer for Freeman Ryan Design, Australia’s preeminent exhibition design and heritage interpretation agency, working on museum and cultural tourism projects both in Australia and internationally.
Joanna Bayndrian is a curator and arts manager working across Sydney and Beijing. Her curatorial interest lies at the intersection of contemporary art, social history, urbanism and the politics of heritage-making. She was recipient of the Museums and Galleries of NSW 2014 Curatorial Support Initiative for From Old Ground (2015-16) at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. Past curatorial projects include: island6 art collective (Liu Dao 六岛) (2014), Wondermountain (2014) and Love David (2013) at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, where she held the positions of Curatorial Assistant and Exhibition Project Manager (2011–2014). She has also produced Portable Domains (2015) at Firstdraft and Moments (2015) at Airspace Projects with artist network Astute Art Investments International. Joanna was a participant in the 4A Curators’ Intensive 2016 at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. She holds a Bachelor of International and Global Studies (Hons) from The University of Sydney and is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Community Engagement at Victorian College of the Arts.
Una Rey is a freelance arts writer, painter and occasional curator. She teaches art history at the University of Newcastle where she completed a PhD in the field of cross-cultural painting in 2009 instigated by several years working in northern Australia and the Aboriginal art sector. She curated Speaking in Colour in 2011 and Black White & Restive in 2016, both at Newcastle Art Gallery.
Danielle Robson is Director and Co-founder of ArtsPeople, a curatorial consultancy with offices in Sydney and Tokyo. She is a curator, writer and creative producer who specialises in contemporary art, craft and design. Former Creative Programs Manager at Object: Australian Design Centre, Danielle curated major nationally touring exhibitions including Designing into the Next Decade and HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics. Danielle co-curated SafARI 2010 & 2012, the ‘unofficial’ fringe festival to the Biennale of Sydney, showcasing emerging Australian artists. Her qualifications include a Master of Art Administration from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW and a Bachelor of Law and Media from Macquarie University.