The Australia Council for the Arts Chief Executive Officer
Tony Grybowski has announced the selection of 33 Australian arts professionals
to attend and participate in the world’s most prestigious visual arts event,
the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Mr Grybowski said the Venice Biennale Professional
Development Program offered a unique opportunity for emerging curators, artists
and arts administrators to work at the new Australian Pavilion, gaining valuable
experience and making important industry contacts.
“The Professional Development Program is a vital
part of our involvement at the Venice Biennale, which runs from 9 May to 22
November,” Mr Grybowski said.
“This is the premier global art presentation, with
more than 470,000 people attending the event in 2013, including about 200,000
visitors to the Australian Pavilion.
“It is the meeting place for some of the most
influential international artists, curators, gallerists, collectors and
“The Professional Development Program offers a rare
opportunity for our emerging arts leaders to develop global connections in the
collaborative, collegial environment offered through the Venice Biennale’s
presentation of a curated exhibition alongside more than 80 national pavilions.
“Importantly, most of these positions have been
funded in partnership with Australia’s state-based arts funding bodies, demonstrating
a collaborative national commitment to building the capacity of Australian arts
Participants are selected through an application
and interview process. All
positions are voluntary, and successful applicants receive assistance with
travel, accommodation and day-to-day living expenses.
Mr Grybowski said the calibre of the applicants was
very impressive across a range of skills, from curatorial to exhibition and
“We have a wonderful and enthusiastic team heading
to Venice this year,” said Mr Grybowski.
“This Biennale is a particularly important one for
Australia as we will open the new Australia Pavilion, designed by Denton Corker
Marshall, in the historic Biennale gardens.
“Significant interest and anticipation is building
around our featured artist, Fiona Hall AO, who will present her exhibition Wrong Way Time in the new Pavilion.
“This year’s participants will play a vital role in
this important milestone in the history of Australia’s participation at
More than 150 people have been involved in the
program since it was established by the Australia Council about 20 years ago.
Tasmanian artist Fernando Do Campo participated in
the program in 2013. He said the
experience was invaluable in understanding how important the event was to Australia
and the contemporary art world.
“Being a team leader at the 2013 Venice Biennale
was the perfect platform through which to engage and understand the beast that the
Venice Biennale is and be a part of how Australia presents itself at such an
exciting and critical global art world stage,” Mr Do Campo said.
“When based there for an extended period of time,
the Australian Pavilion at Venice and the broader Giardini and Biennale itself function
as a think-tank, especially for early career artists, curators and arts
“It allowed me to learn, think, question, debate,
challenge and network on a daily basis with Australian and international peers
who remain colleagues today.”
Emerging Curators take part in Venice’s renowned Vernissage,
a three-day professional preview period, attended by more than 30,000 people
from the global visual arts community. They have the opportunity to participate in a range of
forums and curatorial events alongside the world’s contemporary art
tastemakers. The Emerging Curators
will also lead tours and write articles about the experience for the Australia
Council’s online magazine.
This year’s Emerging Curators are: Pippa Milne (Vic),
Andrew Varano (WA), Chantelle Woods (Qld) and Megan Monte (NSW).
Exhibition Team Leaders manage the day to day running
of the Australian Pavilion throughout the seven month exhibition, working four
to five week rosters. They lead
the team of volunteer exhibition attendants, meet and greet visitors, provide
guided tours and a range of other public relations and educational programs
throughout the exhibition
This year’s Exhibition Team Leaders are: Eleanor
Scicchitano (SA), Niomi Sands (NSW), Jane Barlow (Tas), Katherine Wilkinson
(WA), Ashleigh Campbell (Qld), Nadia Johnson (WA), Megan Williams (Vic).
Volunteer Exhibition Attendants provide assistance
in the Australian Pavilion for four weeks each during the exhibition.
This year’s Volunteer Exhibition Attendants are:
Mary Angove, Samuel Barbour, Lili-Belle Birchall, Philippa Brumby, Emma
Buswell, Melinda Gagen, Anna Gore, Emma Hamilton, Patsy Killeen, Victoria
Maxwell, Dan McCabe, Andrew Moran, Alyce Neal, Constantine Nikolakopoulos,
Leanne Santoro, Marian Simpson, Ryan Sims, Annabella Snell, Thomas Hungerford,
Diana Warnes and Olivia Welch.
The International Internship is offered as part of
a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Melbourne and the
Australia Council for the Arts.
The intern undertakes a range of arts administrative roles during the
Vernissage period, including events coordination, stakeholder management and
marketing and communications, gaining an insight into high-level project
management of a complex, multi-faceted international project.
The Intern for 2015 is Jake Swinson (Vic).