Cultural Precinct

Past conversations

The Cultural Precinct’s Conversations Series has been developed to bring current issues across the Arts before a wider audience and to the forefront of discussion and debate.

Photograph of anthropologist Maureen Fuary

Nostalgia and the Call of Things - Conversation roundtable with Dr Maureen Fuary

  • When: Wednesday 9 April 2014, 4 - 6pm
  • Where: The Dr Harold Schenberg Study Centre, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA
  • Cost: FREE. Seats are limited and RSVP is essential
  • RSVP: Send an email to [email protected] Registrations close 2 April 2014 or until places are filled.

In the period when we are turning away from objects as mere signs, it is becoming commonplace for anthropological conferences to address the materiality of objects - their substance, their power, their enchantment and most recently, the emotions involved in curation. In this conversation, Maureen Fuary will consider the ontology and lively qualities of objects/things - their substance and effects.

Find out more about this event.


Bio photograph of artist Stephen Roach Stephen Roach

The Context of Viewing Art - Conversation roundtable with Stephen Roach

In the early 1970s there was a joke…
Question:  “What’s the difference between a photo and conceptual art?”
Answer: “A thousand dollars!”

  • When: Wednesday 26 February 2014, 9.30am - 12.00pm
  • Where: The Dr Harold Schenberg Study Centre, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA
  • Cost: FREE. Seats are limited and RSVP is essential
  • RSVP: Send an email to [email protected] Registrations close 19 February 2014 or until places are filled.

Art is something we all feel we know, or we know when we see it. But how and where we see it determines what we perceive as art, as if place is the contemporary golden frame for the picture. In this roundtable conversation, Stephen will draw a wider picture of the problems and the possibilities in different venues for showing and looking at art, from the point of view of both the artist and the audience.

Find out more about this event.


Photo of Amanda Cachia Dr Diana Young

Roundtable with Dr Diana Young

CURATINGforum: On the vibrancy of things - Ethnographic collections and how to reinvent them in the 21st century
Tuesday 22 October 2013, 9:30am at the Dr Harold Schenberg Study Centre, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Dr Diana Young is a curator and designer who re-trained as an anthropologist
 after her first career in architecture. She lectures on Anthropology and is currently Director of the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum where she has curated five exhibitions since 2010.

In this roundtable discussion, Dr Diana Young considers challenges relating to the re-animation and presentation of historical collections of Pacifica and Australian Indigenous art.

For more information, visit the event webpage.


Photo of Amanda Cachia  Amanda Cachia

Amanda Cachia

CURATINGforum: Curating Disability
Friday 6 September 2013, 9:30am at the Dr Harold Schenberg Study Centre, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Amanda Cachia is an independent curator from Sydney, Australia and is currently completing her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego.

In this roundtable discussion, Cachia will lead a discussion on the challenges of curating exhibitions that have disability as a central theme.

For more information, visit the event webpage.


Image of Anne Loxley Gael Newton

Gael Newton

CURATINGforum: Curating Photography - 25 years at the National Gallery of Australia
Wednesday 7 August 2013, 9:30am at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Gael Newton is Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia. Her career spans more than 40 years and coincides with major developments in the field of photographic art, its collection and display within Australian art museums.

In this roundtable discussion, Newton will reflect on changing curatorial practices within the field of photographic art.

For more information visit the event webpage.


Image of Anne Loxley Anne Loxley

Anne Loxley

22 May 2013

Anne Loxley is a curator and writer who works with contemporary artists both in and outside gallery contexts, in communities and in public spaces. In January 2011 she took up the position of Curator, C3West, for Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. She is currently working on a C3West project with Hurstville City Council and Westfield Hurstville, Lara Thoms’ Ultimate Vision – Monuments to Us, an immersive installation which will be shown in Westfield Hurstville in April 2013.

One of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s key external projects, C3West creates situations for artists to work strategically with business and non-arts government organisations. The Cultural Precinct and the Institute of Advanced Studies are pleased to invite you to a morning roundtable with Anne Loxley.


Bios photograph for Vivien Lovell Vivien Lovell

Vivien Lovell

1 May 2013

Vivien Lovell, Director of Modus Operandi art consultants in London, will lead a discussion about contemporary public art commissioning practice. Within her presentation on the scope of public art today, she will raise issues about collaborations between artists, architects and other creative disciplines, the role of temporary and process-based artistic practice, and new approaches to the monument and the memorial.


Kon Gouriotis OAM

Kon Gouriotis OAM

August 2012

Kon Gouriotis OAM, Director of the Australian Centre for Photography, participates in a morning roundtable event to discuss The Paradox of Australian Photography: in the digital era where social media platforms encourage the proliferation and far-reaching dispersion of photography, why are influential Australian artists still under-represented in international exhibitions and collections?

To have Australian artists acknowledged on a global level is fundamentally important, and Gouriotis talks about what action needs to take place to ensure they get the recognition they richly deserve.


Craig Walsh

Craig Walsh

In June 2012, artist Craig Walsh, an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, was the focus of a roundtable event where he discussed his highly successful Digital Odyssey project.

Digital Odyssey was an 18 month tour and artist residency during which Walsh travelled around Australia developing and presenting temporary large-scale public projection and multimedia works.

The project enabled rural and remote audiences to become involved in the production and presentation of the new media artworks, that were responsive to regional histories, local stories and surrounding landscapes.


Aaron Seeto

Aaron Seeto

Aaron Seeto is a curator of contemporary Asian Art. His curatorial work revolves around the Asia-Pacific region and the impact and experience of migration and globalisation on contemporary art practice.

He has curated significant projects for a range of cultural institutions including; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and Campbelltown Arts Centre.

Aaron Seeto was the focus of a roundtable event in June 2012.


Sebastian Chan

Sebastian Chan

Sebastian Chan leads the Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies department at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. His teams include the museum's web unit, audio visual and photography, rights and permission and the photo library, the research library and Thinkspace, the Powerhouse's digital media teaching laboratories. He helps other organisations internationally strategise and implement cutting edge technologies in the cultural sector. Seb was also a member of the Australian Government's Government 2.0 Taskforce examining ways of improving citizen engagement with government and opening access to public sector information. Seb writes the popular Fresh & New(er) blog in the museum world, and leads a parallel life in electronic music and art as editor-in-chief of Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Sebastian Chan was at UWA for a round table discussion Monday September 5, 2011. He talked about museum collections and the different ways his team had been working to make them more social, playful and now mobile.


Euan Upston

Euan Upston

Euan Upston joined the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004 and has since learnt more about the Building Codes of Australia than he could ever have wished. Euan is currently overseeing a AUD$53m redevelopment of the museum which includes a major extension and complete renovation of the existing building. The redevelopment will improve visitor access, provide new galleries and include state of the art education facilities to encourage life-long creative learning.

Prior to joining the MCA, Euan was instrumental in creating a strong Biennale of Sydney brand during his role as Marketing and Finance Manager for the Biennale of Sydney 2000 and 2002 festivals, which resulted in record attendance numbers in 2002.

His varied experience includes roles in theatre, visual arts and the corporate sector in Australian and New Zealand. He was Associate Director and Administration Director of New Zealand’s premier theatre company, Downstage. He also established an arts consultancy company, Art Effects Management, with a diverse range of clients including the Australian Film Commission, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Crafts Council of Australia, the Australia Council and Channel 7. Projects included short films, performance works with Australian artists such as Ken Unsworth and Tony Twigg, feasibility studies, film script development and writing for Heartbreak High. Euan was founding director of an international language business school which he developed as a significant player in the private sector and was subsequently bought out by Aspect International, a global education company looking for an Australian profile.

Euan Upston addressed a round table of invitees at UWA on 23 September 2011 about the development of new museum buildings based on his experiences in the redevelopment of the MCA.


Dr Maura Reilly

Dr Maura Reilly

Dr Maura Reilly is a curator based in New York and Sydney who is recognised internationally for her expertise in contemporary art and transnational feminism. She discussed her forthcoming book Curatorial Activism and Ethical Responsibility as well as engaging in a discussion with invited participants.

Dr Reilly has previously held Senior Curator positions at the American Federation of Arts and Location One, both in New York City. From 2003 to 2008, as founding curator of the Elizabeth A Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, she conceived and launched the first exhibition and public programming space in a US museum devoted exclusively to feminist art, where she organised several exhibitions, including the critically acclaimed Global Feminisms, co-curated with Linda Nochlin, the permanent reinstallation of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, Ghada Amer: Love Has No End, and Burning Down the House.

Dr Reilly is the author of numerous articles and books and has received various awards and accolades, including ArtTable’s prestigious Future Women Leadership Award (2005), which recognises future luminaries in the visual arts.

Dr Reilly was at UWA 28 March, 2011 for an invitational roundtable discussion.


Jonathan Holloway

Jonathan Holloway

Jonathan Holloway was previously the artistic director and chief executive of the 238-year-old Norfolk & Norwich Festival. He will take over the artistic direction of the Perth Festival from 2012-2015, following the departure of current artistic director Shelagh Magadza after the 2011 Festival.

Mr Holloway’s career embraces festival artistic direction, production, creative direction, theatre direction, writing, education and a contribution to the arts through board membership.

Before joining the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Mr Holloway was head of the Events Department at the National Theatre in the UK. He was the founding artistic director/producer of Watch This Space, a free festival of international outdoor performance; artistic director of the National’s Festival of Lights, a series of arts and live events exploring multi-cultural London; and was a programmer and producer of children’s theatre, site-specific dance and education projects.

Mr Holloway described his festival passions as international theatre, outdoor spectacle, site-specific work, music, literature, dance, large-scale community arts and contemporary visual arts.

Mr Holloway was at UWA 2 February, 2011 for an invitational roundtable discussion.


Gordan McMullanGordan McMullan

Gordon McMullan

Professor McMullan specialises in Shakespeare and early modern theatre and culture.  He is a general textual editor of the Norton Shakespeare and a general editor of Arden Early Modern Drama.

He co-runs the London Shakespeare Seminar and is a longstanding member of the steering committee of the London Renaissance Seminar. He developed the MA in Shakespeare Studies: Text and Playhouse, taught jointly with Shakespeare’s Globe, which celebrates its first decade in 2010. He is also the founding member of the London Shakespeare Centre, launched at King’s in 2009.

Professor McMullan was at UWA July 12, 2010 for an invitational roundtable discussion to explore the research, teaching and performance potential of the New Fortune Theatre at UWA as it embarks on a collaborative project linking Shakespeare’s Globe London, and the general role of Shakespeare in the community.


Stephen Vitiello Stephen Vitiello

Stephen Vitiello

Stephen Vitiello is an internationally celebrated American sound and media artist. Focusing on the physical aspect of sound, he uses atmospheric noise or transforms energies such as light and wind to create new environments and experiences.

Vitiello’s visit to North-Western Australia in early 2010 will result in an exciting new work for Kaldor Art Projects in Sydney in October. Vitiello will transform Alexandria’s historic Brickworks with three unique sound installations that evoke the different atmospheres and landscapes of the Kimberleys.

He was at UWA May 10-13, 2010 as an artist in residence, presenting a workshop with students from the Music School and meeting with local artists and musicians from UWA and WAAPA.


Dr Michael Rush Dr Michael Rush

Michael Rush

Michael Rush is a museum director, award winning curator, and widely published author and critic. He took up the role of Director at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2005, where he oversaw the most significant collection of modern and contemporary art in New England after running the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art since 1999.

Michael Rush delivered the 2010 Salek Minc Lecture at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery on March 2, 2010 and held an invitational roundtable discussion on the responsibilities of art museums with museum professionals at the University.


Dr Michael John Gorman Dr Michael John Gorman

Michael John Gorman

Dr Gorman is the founding Director of the unique, world-first Science Gallery at Trinity College, Dublin. He was a lecturer in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford University and has held fellowships at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published widely on the relationship between science and the arts in journals including Leonardo and Nature and is the author of books including Buckminster Fuller: Designing for Mobility.

Michael John Gorman held a cross-discipline roundtable discussion on the possibilities of developing an AXS/lab (Art meets Science Lab) at UWA where artists and scientists can work collaboratively. It was held at UWA on April 10-13.


Mr Eric BoothEric Booth

Eric Booth

A former Broadway actor, Eric Booth is one of America's foremost keynote speakers and consultants on the arts, arts learning and creativity.

A long-time faculty leader at Juilliard, Lincoln Center Institute, The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, he is a consultant to many major orchestras, art organisations, schools, corporations and national service organisations.

He serves on the Board of Directors for MusicianCorps and MusicianMentors, that work to expand access to music education and improve youth achievement in under-served public schools and communities in America.

Eric Booth hosted a full-day workshop at The University of Western Australia on Monday 16 November 2009, entitled Arts and Culture Innovations in America; or Learn from Our Blunders and Successes.