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The Australian National University


All the members of the Art Theory staff are practising writers, curators and/or artists, who bring to the Workshop a broad range of skills and research interests. This diversity feeds into the teaching program of the Workshop, providing second and third year students with a range of unit options.

Anne Brennan (Head of Workshop)
Anne Brennan has worked in the Theory Workshop since 1995 and is an artist and writer. She has written extensively for visual arts journals and catalogues both locally and overseas, with a special interest in craft theory and design. Her other major research interests address memory, history and self-representation. She has undertaken a number of projects in museums, most recently Twice Removed, a collaborative exhibition with Sydney artist Anne Ferran in 2004, dealing with a mass migration to Maitland, NSW, of nineteenth century mechanics and artisans who had worked in the mechanised lace industry in Calais. Secure the Shadow, another collaboration with Anne Ferran, was the outcome of a residency in the Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney in 1995. In 1997, Anne Brennan made a soundwork for the Australian War Memorial as part of Archives and the Everyday, a project linking artists to significant archives and collections in Canberra. She is currently undertaking research for a book that explores questions of memory, history and place through the story of her mother's birthplace in Ukraine. Anne Brennan offers the courses Memory, Representing the Self, Design History and Issues in the Decorative Arts in the undergraduate program, and co-ordinates and co-teaches the first year program held at the National Gallery of Australia.

Helen Ennis
Helen Ennis was Curator of International and Australian Photography at the National Gallery of Australia from 1985-92 and has extensive experience as an independent photography curator and writer specializing in the area of Australian photographic practice.

Her curatorial projects include Mirror with a memory: Photographic portraiture in Australia (National Portrait Gallery, 2000); a retrospective exhibition of Olive Cotton’s photographs (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000); and the two-part exhibition In a New Light: Australian Photography 1850s-2000 (National Library of Australia 2003 and 2004). Her exhibition of the work of European émigré photographer Margaret Michaelis was shown at the National Gallery of Australia in 2005.

Helen Ennis’s publications include Olive Cotton (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000), Man with a camera: Frank Hurley overseas (National Library, 2002) and Intersections: Photography, history and the National Library of Australia (National Library, 2004). Helen Ennis’s biography Margaret Michaelis: love, loss and photography (National Gallery of Australia, 2005) was awarded the Nettie Palmer Prize for non-fiction in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, 2006. She has recently completed Photography and Australia for Reaktion Books which will be published in 2007. She is presently curating an exhibition Reveries: Photography and Mortality which will be shown at the National Portrait Gallery from April to August 2007.

Helen Ennis offers courses on modern Australian art, contemporary Australian art and Cyberculture.

Dr Chaitanya Sambrani
Chaitanya Sambrani's major academic interests are in modern and contemporary Asian art. He has an MA in art history from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, and a Ph.D. dissertation in Art History from the ANU. Prior to joining the ANU, he taught at the Raheja Institute for Architecture (University of Mumbai, India, 1995-98). He was co-curator on the Asialink exhibition-residency program Fire and Life involving Australian and Indian artists (1996-97), and participating theorist and curator for the Open Circle International Artists Workshop (Bombay, 2000). Recent projects include crossing generations: diVERGE a major exhibition spanning four generations of contemporary artists in India (co-curated with Geeta Kapur) at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, December 2003. He is the curator of Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India a major travelling exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Asia Society, New York. His work on contemporary art in Asia has been published in journals, books and catalogues in India, Australia and other countries. Current projects include Historiographies of the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art (in collaboration with Prof. T. K. Sabapathy) and a monograph on the artist G.M.Sheikh.

Chaitanya Sambrani co-teaches in the first year program and offers later year courses on modern and contemporary art in Asia, and on art and politics.

Gordon Bull
Gordon Bull is currently Head of The School of Art and continues to teach in the first year Art Theory program. He received his Master of Arts from the University of Sydney in 1991. He has tutored at the University of Sydney and was a Lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Western Australia from 1988-1990. He joined the Art Theory Workshop in 1991 and became Head in 1996. He offers courses in Theories of the Image, Framing Other cultures, Shopping Around, Cartographies and Cool Old Masters. Gordon has also served as Treasurer and Membership Secretary of the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. Gordon Bull is undertaking his doctorate ‘Present Objects. Indigenous Art in the Contemporary Art Museum’ at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, ANU.

Dr Sarah Scott


Sessional Staff 2010

Hanna Hoyne

Julie Bradley

Jan Hogan

Kate Murphy

Suzanne Moss


Technical Officer

Waratah Lahy

Updated: 17 June 2010/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Office / Page Contact:  Web Publisher