NAVA Chair welcomes new Board Director Ryan Presley

Media release

Chair of NAVA, Clothilde Bullen today welcomes Ryan Presley to the Board of the organisation that brings together the many voices of the contemporary arts sector to improve fundamental conditions of work and practice. Ryan joins the Board as Elected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Director. 

'Ryan has a fearless approach to his art practice and a wealth of knowledge across the commercial art sector as an independent artist. I am genuinely thrilled that Ryan will be part of the NAVA team and look forward to what he will contribute going forward,' said Clothilde Bullen.

Dr Ryan Presley was born in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, and currently lives and works in Meanjin/Brisbane. His father’s family is Marri Ngarr and originates from the Moyle River region in the Northern Territory. His mother’s family were Scandinavian immigrants to Australia. 

A full-time artist, Ryan’s practice wrestles with themes of power and dominion—in particular, how religion and economic control served colonialism and empire building over time, and the representation of its customs and edifices in our everyday lives.

His recent major solo exhibition, Fresh Hell, was co-commissioned by Adelaide Contemporary Experimental and Gertrude Contemporary in 2022. His work is held in public collections, which include the Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Ryan is represented by Milani Gallery and completed a PhD through Griffith University in 2016.

On his new appointment, Ryan Presley says, ‘I'm delighted to join the NAVA Board. Through NAVA's tireless advocacy I have noticed tangible improvements in my own working conditions over the past decade. As an example, NAVA has provided a framework for fees and agreements that have meant I have been better off as a working artist. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the Board and contributing to the process that NAVA has established and continues to improve.'

Ryan was elected unopposed to the NAVA Board at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting, replacing Dr Bianca Beetson, a Kabi Kabi and Wiradjuri woman also based in Meanjin. The NAVA team, Board and NAVA Members sincerely thank Bianca for her contribution to NAVA over the last two years. Clothilde Bullen said, ‘Bianca has been extraordinary in her support of NAVA. Her wisdom and long-term knowledge of the sector brought both a grassroots and academic perspective to the Board that was really valuable. We wish her very very well.’

Photo by Claire Letitia Reynolds.

ID: Head and shoulders portrait of Ryan Presley. He has short brown hair and a beard, and is looking out of frame and smiling. He is wearing a black jumper and gold chain. Two faint pencil drawings on white paper are posted on the wall behind him.