The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Wired In: July 2015

Find out who's coming and going in the arts for July 2015.


The winner of the $100K 2015 Archibald Prize is Nigel Milsom for his portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet entitled Judo house pt 6 (the white bird). Mitch Cairns was the runner up and Highly Commended, with his portrait of painter Peter Powditch. The 2015 Wynne Prize for landscape ($50,000) was won by Natash Bieniek for her landscape Biophillia and Jason Phu secured the 2015 Sulman Prize for best subject or genre painting ($30,000) with his Chinese ink on paper work titled I was a yum cha when in rolled the three severed heads of Buddha: Fear, Malice and Death. This year the Packing Room Prize was won by French-born Sydney artist, Bruno Jean Grasswill for his portrait of Michael Caton.

The works will be on show as part of the Archibald Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW before touring regionally.

In Galleries

Shepparton Art Museum Director Kirsten Paisley is leaving to become Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). Paisley previously held positions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of Ballarat and has worked in the visual arts sector since joining Heide Museum of Modern Art in 1998. She has a Masters in Curatorship from the University of Melbourne and a Senior Executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School.

Suzanne Buljan, director of the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney has resigned. Catherine Baldwin is Acting Director while recruitment takes place.

Léuli Eshraghi is the 2015 Gertrude Contemporary–Next Wave Emerging Curator. Eshraghi is an artist, writer, curator and PhD candidate at Monash University Art, Design and Architecture (MADA). His practice is centred on connection to place, indigeneity, memory, erasure, queer possibility, body sovereignty, and multilingual plurality. Léuli holds qualifications in Indigenous Arts Management and Cultural Studies. He is editor of the Oceania Now publication on contemporary art practice for the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival in Narrm Melbourne, and was Artist in Residence 2015 at Tautai Pacific Arts Trust in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.

In Academe

RMIT University in Melbourne has appointed Associate Professor Julian Goddard as the new Head of its School of Art. Goddard was previously Head of Curtin University’s School of Design and Art in WA and has been an academic, writer and curator for more than 20 years, specialising in the aesthetics of the everyday. As a curator, Associate Professor Goddard has made over 50 exhibitions and published widely on Australian, Aboriginal and concrete art. Goddard also is the founder and chair of the Australian Centre for Concrete Art and chair of The Bureau of Ideas, an international think tank that promotes public discussion of art, design, architecture and philosophy through forums in non-academic environments.

In Organisations

Rupert Myer AO, eminent business person and philanthropist, has been reappointed as Chair of the Australia Council Board. Mr Myer’s reappointment follows a first term of three years of strong leadership of the Government’s major arts funding agency and brings with extensive previous leadership experience in the arts and cultural sector.

Other senior appointments of cultural institutions include Gabrielle Trainor, reappointed as Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive Board with Wayne Denning take up the role of Deputy Chair, David Jones appointed Chair of the National Museum of Australia Council, Neil Peplow in the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and Michael Loebenstein continuing as the CEO of the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) for another three years.

Philanthropy Australia Council in Melbourne has appointed Sarah Davies to the position of CEO. She will take over in November from Chris Wootton, PA’s Victoria and Tasmania Manager, who is acting in the position. Currently Davies is the CEO of The Reach Foundation and was previously the CEO of the Australian Communities Foundation. She is involved with a number of community organisations including as a Director of Kids Under Cover, board member of the Centre for Social Impact and Director of an independent school board.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne has appointed three new senior staff. Seb Chan will take up the newly created role of Chief eXperience Officer (CXO), the first of its kind in the international museum sector. Chan previously led the transformation of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, prior to that working at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.Emma Levy will take up the position of Head of Marketing, bringing to the role many years in senior marketing positions across the screen industries sector, most recently as Group Marketing Manager at Madman Entertainment. Tamara Harrison has been appointed to the newly created position of Head of Development. She leaves her current role as Executive Producer/Co-CEO of Polyglot Theatre where she has established a range of international partnerships for touring, new work development and cultural exchange projects, Previously, she was Philanthropy Manager at Malthouse Theatre.

International Art Space has announced the appointment of Aura Seikkula as the Nordic Progam Manager and Curator for spaced 3,the third edition of the context-responsive art event. From 2016, the spaced program will focus on a series of international exchanges between Australia and specific geo-cultural regions, beginning with the Nordic region. Seikkula is currently based in Stockholm and is the curator the Artipelag Konsthall, Co-founder and Head of Programs and Development at the Curatorial Program for Research and guest curator for the 1st Cairo DFF Biennial and the ArtHelsinki Contemporary Art Fair. She runs her own international art agency, Agency Auteur and recently acted as a curator for Sweden's biggest artist studio program Studio Mossulstallningar and as guest curator for Untitled Art Fair Miami Beach.

Internationally exhibited artist and Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero has been appointed an Executive Director at the Australian Research Council (ARC) overseeing the Humanities and Creative Arts. Del Favero, is currently Director of UNSW’s iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, Deputy-Director of UNSW Art & Design’s National Institute for Experimental Arts and former ARC Australian Professorial Fellow. His work has been exhibited in major international museums and galleries nationally and internationally, the Sydney Film Festival, Biennale of Architecture Rotterdam and the Biennial of Seville. Among other projects Professor Del Favero developed a 360-degree, virtual reality mine safety-training simulator at iCinema that has been adopted by Australian and Asian mining companies, and his latest research initiative is a collaboration with the ABC on a major digital archive, Retrospect: War, Family, Afghanistan.

Copyright Agency Board Director, Kim Williams, has been appointed as the organisation’s Chairman. Williams, who joined the Copyright Agency’s Board in January, is a former Chief Executive at each of NewsCorp Australia, FOXTEL, Fox Studios Australia, the Australian Film Commission, Southern Star Entertainment and Musica Viva Australia and was also a senior executive at the ABC. Williams takes on the role from Sandy Grant who has chaired the not-for-profit for the past five years and been a Board member since 2002. Grant will remain on the Board.