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Sarah Johnson - Curator Newcastle Art Gallery
Lara Nicholls - (Exhibition curator) Assistant Curator, Australian Art - Paintings and Sculpture at National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Janet Dawson - exhibiting artist
Until recently, the continuing contribution of women to this influential global art movement has often been obscured. In celebration of the launch of Abstraction
, this talk explores three female perspectives on artist practice and the important themes of this vital exhibition and in relation to Newcastle Art Gallery's significant collection.
About the speakers:
Sarah Johnson is the curator at Newcastle Art Gallery. Previously she was the Curator and Programs Coordinator at Manly Art Gallery & Museum and Touring Exhibitions Coordinator at Museums & Galleries NSW. She has held multiple roles with the Powerhouse Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum and Newcastle Regional Museum and has 20 years' experience in the visual arts, design and museum sector.
Lara Nicholls is the Assistant Curator of Australian Painting and Sculpture at the National Gallery of Australia and the Curator of Abstraction: Celebrating Australian Women Abstract Artists.
She has completed research on a range of women artists including papers on obscure 19th
century painters. She is currently writing on Australian women abstract artists for a forthcoming book by Professor Anne Marsh about Women, Feminism and Art in Australia since 1970. Lara has a Masters of Arts (Art History) from the University of Melbourne where she was also the curator and fine arts tutor at Trinity College from 1995 – 1997, during which time she wrote the catalogue to that collection, In a New Light
(2000). Currently, Lara is also the Curator of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale 2018.
After having had her talent recognised and encouraged early in life by her mother - in 1956 at 21 years old she won a Travelling Scholarship and went on to study and work in Europe for 5 years. Her first solo exhibition was held in Australia in 1961, and by 1963 she had set up and art school and workshop. She is well known for her contribution to abstract art in Australia, and also her skills in portraiture; which won her the Archibald Prize in 1973 with a portrait of her husband, the late writer and actor Michael Boddy. She is well represented in the Newcastle Art Gallery collection, with a total of 10 works ranging from 1963 to the 1980s, some of which will be on display on our collection wall during Abstraction.