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The Australian National University

Anne Brennan

Undergraduate Convenor
Location: Art Theory Office
Phone: +61 (2) 6125 5840

ANU Researchers Profile

Anne Brennan is an artist and writer. She is the ANU School of Art Undergraduate Convenor. Anne’s research interests focus on history, memory and commemoration; she is especially interested in the way in which these are configured in public artifacts and institutions such as the museum and the memorial.

Full Biography

Anne Brennan is an artist and writer. She is the head of the Art Theory Workshop and the School of Art undergraduate convenor. Anne’s research interests focus on history, memory and commemoration; she is especially interested in the way in which these are configured in public artifacts and institutions such as the museum and the memorial. She has undertaken several important artistic projects in museums, including Secure the Shadow at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum with Sydney artist Anne Ferran in 1994 and Is It Real at the Australian War Memorial, part of the Archives and the Everyday project in 1997. In 2004, she worked with Anne Ferran on a commissioned work, Twice Removed, for the Maitland Regional Gallery as part of the HunterArt1: Art Tourist project. Her work is held in major national collections.

Anne has written and published extensively on issues in contemporary visual arts, craft and design. Her interest in memory and history has found expression in chapters for Jill Bennett and Rosanne Kennedy (eds) World Memory: Personal Trajectories in Global Time Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York, 2003 and Rosamund Dalziell (ed) Selves Crossing Cultures: Autobiography and Globalisation, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2002. In 2010 she presented conference papers on this material at major international conferences in Vienna and Wellington.


Solo exhibitions

2004 Twice Removed in collaboration with Anne Ferran, part of Hunterart.1: art tourist, Maitland Regional Gallery, NSW

1995 Secure the Shadow, Greenway Gallery, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney

1994 ...Another Country, Strathnairn Homestead Gallery, ACT

Memoir/Memory, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan

Un/Familiar, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan

1988 Zero at the Bone, Canberra Contemporary Art Space

1987 Contemporary Jewellery Gallery, Sydney

1984 Thoughts Into Flesh, Jam Factory Gallery, Adelaide Festival of Arts

Thoughts Into Flesh, Blackwood Street Gallery, Melbourne

1981 Case History, Jam Factory Gallery, Adelaide

Group exhibitions

2008 The Stuff of History Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, Hobart

2000 Fifteen Years Gray Street, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

1999 Letter To Picasso, Postmaster Gallery, Melbourne

Telling Tales, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria

1998 Haimish, Jewish Museum, Melbourne

Telling Tales, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

1997 Is It Real?, Archives and the Everyday, Canberra Contemporary Art Space

The Somatic Object, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney. Touring National History Museum, Taiwan (1997)  and Ludwigsforum fur Internationalische Kunst, Aachen (1999)

1996 A Matter of Making, Canberra School of Art Gallery

1995 Multiples Constantinople, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan

Catechism (as part of Politique, collaborative project with Catherine Brennan, Tanya Eccleston, Anne Ferran and Tess Horwitz), National Sculpture Forum, Canberra

Intersections, Canberra Contemporary Art Space

1993 Décor, Old Peppers Bistro, Canberra

21600 each 24 Hrs, Canberra Rex Hotel

1992 Fourteen Nautical Miles, Galerie Constantinople, NSW

1991 Transit Zone, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

1990 Once in a Blue Moon, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan

1989 Perth International Craft Triennial

1988 Art Object/Anti Object, Contemporary Art Centre, Adelaide

Contemporary Jewellery, the Australian Experience, Contemporary Jewellery Gallery, Sydney

Contemporary Craft in South Australia, Adelaide Festival Centre

1987 Makers Choice, Jam Factory Gallery, Adelaide

1986 Ce Mal de L'Infini, Contemporary Art Centre, Adelaide


2005-2008 Contributing writer to 1001 Nightscast, durational performance by Barbara Campbell

2000 Tick/Tock, limited edition spirit duplicator book project, Multiples Constantinople, Queanbeyan

1998-99 Russia In Canberra postcard/postal project

Exhibitions curated

2000 31@20, ANU School of Art, Canberra. Touring Goldschmiedehaus, Hanau, Germany and various locations in Taiwan

1996 Made to Matter, Craft ACT, Canberra

1995 Strate'gens, co-curated with Merryn Gates, Canberra School of Art Gallery

1991 First Adelaide Jewellery Biennial, Jam Factory Workshops, Adelaide


1994 Master of Arts (Visual Arts), ANU Institute of the Arts, Canberra School of Art

1973 – 76 Craft Diploma (Jewellery), Jacob Kramer College, Leeds, UK


Journal articles

‘Starting a New Sentence in Australian Design’, Object No 52, April 2007

‘Social and Sociable:The Vessels of Janet DeBoos’, Ceramics Art and Perception, Issue 2, 2001

‘Twenty Five Reasons’ on the work of Rox De Luca and Jo Darbyshire, Eyeline, 1997

‘Worn and Worn: The Textiles of Liz Williams’, Craft Arts International, No 39 1997

‘Valerie Kirk’, Fiberarts, vol 23, No 1, Summer 1996

‘The Body In Question’, Crafts NSW, Winter 1991

Interview with Janene Pellarin, Adelaide Jewellery Biennial, Broadsheet, Oct 1991

‘Redefining the Object: Martin Corbin’s Furniture’, Craft Arts 22, 1991

‘Altered Perspectives: Illusions in Clay by Yasuo Hayashi’, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Issue 3, 1991

‘Chronicle/Epitaph’, Craft Realities, Issue on Meaning

‘Naming Names: Negotiating Identity and the Invisible Language of Craft’, Broadsheet, 19/2, June 1990

‘American Figurative Ceramics’, Broadsheet, 19/1, March 1990

‘Redrawing the Margins: Looking for meaning in the crafts’, Broadsheet, 18/3, Sept-Dec 1989

‘From Craft History’, Broadsheet, 18/2, June 1989

‘Terra Incognita - Another View’, Craft West, No 2 1989

‘From the Heart - A Wordless Text’, Jewellery : Australia Now, Craft Australia Publication, 1989 (Crafts Council of Australia)

‘Semantics versus Survival’, report on the World Crafts Council Conference, Broadsheet, 17/2, June 1988

‘Ignoring the Noun, Running with the Verb - the changing face of craft in South Australia’, Broadsheet, 17/4, Nov 1988

‘So What Is the Future for Modern Jewellery?’, Broadsheet, 17/1, March 1988

‘Looking Beyond Borders - A Critique of the 'Experimental’ in Contemporary Jewellery’, Broadsheet, 16/3, Sept 1987

Journal articles (refereed)

‘Conversations in the Past Tense: Artists, Objects and Museums’, 2008, (Port Arthur Project)

Chapters in books

‘Blanche’s Glass Chain’, Blanche Tilden: True, SFA Press, 2010

‘Ataman Struk Has His Photograph Taken: Testimony and Portraiture in the Russian Civil War Period’, in Johannes Schlegel and Brita Hansen (eds) Time. Society and Changing Concepts of the Meaning of Evil Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford UK, 2010, pp 141 – 147.

‘Multiple Meanings: The Allusive Objects of Susan Cohn’, in Brought to Light 2: Contemporary Australian Art 1966-2006, Queensland Art Gallery, 2007

‘Times and Places: the Recent Work of Valerie Kirk’, in Valerie Kirk, Telos Press, London, 2003

‘Re-Collecting Proskurov’ in Jill Bennett and Rosanne Kennedy (eds) World Memory: Personal Trajectories in Global Time, Palgrave Macmillan, London and New York, 2003, pp 59 - 68

‘Conversing with Viktor Ivanovich’ in Rosamund Dalziell (ed), Selves Crossing Cultures: Autobiography and Globalisation Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2002, pp 196 - 205

‘Life, Still: Secateur’ in Barbara Campbell and Laura Ginters (eds), Flesh Winnow: Barbara Campbell Six Performances 1997 – 2001, Power Publications, 2002, pp 21 - 27

‘Frank Bauer’, Australian Art In the National Gallery of Australia, NGA Publications, 2002

‘Gray Street Workshop: A Mutable Chemistry for Gray Street Workshop: Celebrating Fifteen Years’, Gray Street Workshop & Object Contemporary Australian Craft and Design’ 2000, pp 4 - 8

‘Running Stitch and Running Writing: Thinking About Process’ in S. Rowley (ed) Craft and Contemporary Theory, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1997, pp 85 - 97

‘A Philosophical Approach to Design: Gerhard Herbst and Fritz Janeba’ in R Butler (ed), The Europeans: Emigre Artists in Australia 1930-1960, NGA, Canberra, 1997

Exhibition catalogues

‘Three Walks in Unknown Cities’ in Gathering Loss, University of South Australia School of Art Gallery, Irmina Van Niele, 2007

‘Hybrid’ on the work of Carlier Makigawa, Galerie Funaki, 2005

‘What Are We Looking At?’ on the work of Mascha Moje, 2001

 ‘Unpicking Time for Fragments’ on the work of Julie Blyfield, Jam Factory Gallery, 2001

‘Everyday Lives’ on the work of Gerry Wedd, Jam Factory Gallery 1999

‘The Convict and the Jew’ on the work of Tess Horwitz and Sue Pedley, The Convict and the Jew, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, 1999

‘Embodying and Spilling’ on the work of Kay Lawrence for Threefold: An Exhibition in Three Parts, CSA Gallery, 1998

‘Sixty Words for Snow: The Glass Work of Helen Aitken-Kuhnen’ for Pyramids of Light, Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide and Canberra Museum and Gallery, 1998

 ‘Brief Lives’ on the commissioned work of Barbara Heath for Patron Maker and Jewel, Brisbane City Gallery, 1997

Essays on Kelly Thompson and Mascha Moje for A Matter of Making, CSA Gallery, Canberra, 1996

‘Travellers' Tales’ on the work of Kelly Thompson, Bishop Suter Gallery, Nelson, New Zealand 1996

‘Defrosting Familiar Tales’ on the work of Bev Hogg and Jo Crawford for Defrosting Familiar Tales, Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide, 1995

‘Valerie Kirk’ for Capital Works, Canberra School of Art Heads of Workshop exhibition, Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra, and touring to South East Asia, 1995

‘Going Out or Forth’ for UK Wit and Excess, touring Contemporary Art Centre, Adelaide; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Feb-Dec 1995

‘Land/scape’ on the work of Valerie Kirk for Textiles From the Edge Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide 1995

‘Life Histories’ on the work of Diana Wood Conroy for Textiles From the Edge Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide 1995

‘The Tatt’ on the work of Neil Roberts, for The Plait, the Tatt and Baudelaire's Rope, University of South Australia Art Museum, Adelaide, 1993

‘If You Have Five Seconds to Spare, I'll Tell You the Story of My Life’ on the work of Gerry Wedd, for Scratch, Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide, 1993

‘Five Details’ on the work of Catherine Truman, for Lifeboat, Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide, 1992

‘The Image Focussed’ on the work of Susan Cohn, for Cosmetic Manipulations, Melbourne 1992

‘Sieglinde Karl’ on the work of Sieglinde Karl for Unfamiliar Territory Adelaide Biennial 1992

‘A Few Jumps’ on the work of Bronwyn Platten, for Independent Vocabularies: a 1992 Adelaide Festival Visual Arts Programme Project

‘Love: An Appropriate Myth’ on the work of Gerry Wedd, for The Myth Appropriated Gerry Wedd and Mark Kimber, Adelaide Festival Centre 1991

‘Edges, Shifts and Chances: Contemporary Australian Jewellery’ for First  Contemporary Jewellery Biennial, Adelaide 1991

‘Gossip for Gossip’, Prospect City Art Gallery, Adelaide 1991

‘Robert Foster’ on the work of Robert Foster for Robert Foster, The Australian Jewellery Designers Gallery, Sydney 1991

‘Archetypal Strategies’ for Archetypal Strategies, touring SA, NSW, ACT, QLD, 1990

‘Questions About the Nature of Collaboration’ for Quilted Visions touring exhibition, SA 1989

‘Melanie Howard’ on the work of Melanie Howard for Australian Perspecta, 1989

Exhibition Reviews

Willow, in Object #1 06

Technocraft Susan Cohn 1980 – 1990, Like Art Magazine, No 13 Summer 2000

Form Follows Formula by Gilbert Riedelbauch, Art Monthly, 2000

From Russia With Love: Costumes for the Ballets Russes 1909-1933, Object #3, 1999

Klaus Moje : A Retrospective, GLASS No 62, Spring 1996

Being With Objects, Object No 1 1996

Symmetry : Crafts meet  Allied Trades and Professions, Object, Summer 1995

Interstices: works by Margaret West from 1981-1992, Object, Spring 1992

South Australian Women Photographers, Artlink, 9/1, Mar – May, 1989

Moet and Chandon touring exhibition, Artlink 9/2 Winter 1989

Personal Effects: The Gold of Oplontis,  Adelaide Review No 58, Dec 1988

Julie Blyfield, Leslie Matthews, Isobel Kindley at the Bullring, Adelaide Review,

No 59, Nov 1988

Commodified Media - Right Here, Right Now, Artlink, 8/2, June - Aug 1988

Conversing in Italian - Self Memory and Desire, Artlink, 8/2, June Aug 1988

Australian Imaginary Figurations - Nikolaus Lang, Adelaide Review, No 53, July 1988

Recent Paintings by Melanie Howard, Adelaide Review, No 54, Aug 1988

Monuments : Metaphors for Memory, Adelaide Review, No 50, April 1988

Helge Larsen and Darani Lewers Retrospective, Adelaide Review, No 48, 1988

Book and Film Reviews

Stephanie Radok and Dick Richards, Julie Blyfield, Wakefield Press, 2007, in Art Monthly, May? 2008

Grace Cochrane, Patrick Hall, Tasmanian Monograph Series, Craftsman House, 2004 in Art Monthly May 2005

Russian Ark in Vital Signs #5, December 2003

Geoffrey Edwards, Art of Glass: Glass in the Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria/ Macmillan Publishers Australia 1998 in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art vol 2, No 1, 2001



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