SPARK NT Curators

Carmen Ansaldo: SPARK NT Curator 2019–2020

Carmen Ansaldo is a writer, activist and arts worker based between Katherine and Darwin in the Northern Territory. She currently works at Katherine Regional Arts and organises the Darwin Free University. Ansaldo has worked in remote and regional art centres within the Northern Territory and Western Australia, as well as major arts institutions such as the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art. Her arts journalism has featured extensively in national and international print and online publications over the past 15 years including Art Monthly, Eyeline, Artlink, Ocula and The Guardian Australia. Most recently, she represented the Northern Territory within the profession of arts journalism at the 58th Venice Biennale as part of the Australia Council’s Emerging Artworkers Program.

Ansaldo holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Queensland College of Art and a Bachelor of Arts, Honours (Extended major in Art History) from the University of Queensland. She has worked and studied internationally in Long Island, USA and Berlin, Germany. Her research analyses the intersection between visual arts and political engagement with a focus on First Nations art practices and remote and regional arts development.

As a collaborator, Ansaldo works with artists, activists and community members to critique and expand upon current relationships between the arts, politics and culture within the epoch of climate catastrophe. She does this because communalism will be our only way out. Groundswell: Recent movements within art and territory is her debut curatorial project.

Sarah Pirrie: SPARK NT Curator 2018–2019

Sarah Pirrie is a Darwin-based educator, artist and curator. She works across a conceptual, site-responsive and often collaborative art practice that incorporates drawing, sculpture, installation, events and public interventions. Pirrie’s work has referenced a range of social and environmental issues and is often shaped by local activity and phenomena. She is a lecturer in art at Charles Darwin University.

Pirrie’s exhibition, We Eat We Are, draws upon of a range of contemporary Northern Territory artists to consider food as a cultural determinant, shared language and environmental resource.

‘This a golden opportunity and one which provides me great joy. As an artist/curator/educator I am appreciative of all the unique opportunities NT artists have to collaborate and exhibit. I would like to believe that ‘We Eat We Are’ will provide me with greater insight concerning development of a touring program,’ said Pirrie.

‘Everyone loves food and I feel it’s one of our best communication tools’, said Pirrie. ‘I hope the universality and local specificity of the theme will resonate with both regional and urban NT audiences to freely identify with the diplomacy of food in our society, environments and everyday existence’.

Clare Armitage: SPARK NT Curator 20172018

Clare Armitage was born in Sydney and has been in the Northern Territory for six years. She has worked in commercial art galleries in Sydney, Darwin and Canberra, as well as public exhibition spaces. In 2014–2015 Armitage undertook an Australia Council for the Arts Curatorial Fellowship at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre (GYRACC) and in 2017 returned to work at GYRACC as Curator.

Armitage has a particular interest in cross-cultural curatorial practice and story-telling, and has curated two major cross-cultural shows. Garnkiny to Ganyu – Artists who capture the night, which was exhibited at GYRACC in 2015. In 2017 Clare was named the inaugural SPARK NT Curator and Fecund: Fertile Worlds toured the Northern Territory in 2018.

Armitage comes from an academic background in Art History and Philosophy. She has a Bachelor of Art Theory (Hons.) from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, and a Master of Art History and Curatorial Studies from the Australian National University.