Skip navigation
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.


 One Person


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


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


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


Memoir/Memory, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan, NSW


Un/Familiar, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan, NSW


1988 Zero at the Bone, Canberra Contemporary Art Space


1987 Contemporary Jewellery Gallery, Sydney


1984 Thoughts Into Flesh, Jam Factory Bullring, Adelaide (for Adelaide Festival of Arts)


Thoughts Into Flesh, Blackwood Street Gallery, Melbourne


1981 Case History, Jam Factory Gallery, Adelaide





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?  - sound work for Archives and the Everyday, a Canberra Contemporary Art Space project linking artists and collecting institutions 


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


1996 A Matter of Making Canberra School of Art Gallery, Canberra, ACT


1995 Multiples Constantinople Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan, NSW


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


Intersections Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra

(curated by Trevor Smith as part of celebrations to commemorate twentieth anniversary of International Women's Day)


1993 Decor - Installation by ten artists, old Peppers Bistro, Canberra


21600 each 24 Hrs Canberra Rex Hotel


1992 Fourteen Nautical Miles, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan 

1991 Transit Zone, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney


1990 Once in a Blue Moon, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan


1989 Perth International Craft Triennial, Perth


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


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


Schmuckszene, Munich


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


Other Art-related Activities


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





1994 MA (Visual Arts)

(ANU Institute of the Arts, Canberra School of Art)


1973 - 76       Craft Diploma (Jewellery)


(Jacob Kramer College, Leeds UK)




2000 Curated 31@20, work of past and present students of Gold and Silversmithing Workshop, Canberra School of Art, ANU ITA, to tour to Goldschmiedehaus, Hanau in Germany and to various locations in Taiwan.


1996 Curated Made to Matter for Craft ACT


1995 Co-curated (with Merryn Gates) Strate'gens, an exhibition dealing with the strategic use of materials and process in contemporary visual practice for Canberra School of Art Gallery


1990 Curated First Adelaide Jewellery Biennial for The Jam Factory Workshops, Adelaide, 1991




2000 Co-convened one-day seminar Zero Craft:Craft 00 with the NGA to coincide with Technocraft, Susan Cohn’s retrospective exhibition at the NGA. 

1998 Convened Making New Ground, an interdisciplinary conference on narratives of settlement to mark the opening of Turn the Soil at CSA Gallery in May 1998. 




Refereed Papers


Conversations in the Past Tense: Artists, Objects and Museums 2008

(Click on Port Arthur Project)


Chapters for Anthologies


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. ISBN 978-1-84888-026-9


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



Times and Places: the Recent Work of Valerie Kirk 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, entry for 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



Major Journal Articles


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


Social and Sociable:The Vessels of Janet DeBoos in Ceramics Art and Perception Issue 2 2001


Twenty Five Reasons on the work of Rox De Luca and Jo Darbyshire for Eyeline 1997


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


Valerie Kirk -  Fiberarts, vol 23, No 1 Summer 1996


The Body In Question  - Crafts NSW Winter 1991


Adelaide Jewellery Biennial - Interview with Janene Pellarin 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





Catalogue Essays


Three Walks in Unknown Cities in Gathering Loss, catalogue for an exhibition by Irmina Van Niele, University of South Australia School of Art Gallery (part of the School of Art’s External Scholars Program), April 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, Canberra, 1998


Brief Lives on the commissioned work of Barbara Heath, for Patron Maker and Jewel, Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane, 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, SA, 1995


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


Going Out or Forth for UK Wit and Excess, Australian touring exhibition of nine British women artists (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, and 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 in 1991 

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 exhibition, 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 (Gilbert Riedelbauch) ANCA Gallery, Dickson for Art Monthly 2000


From Russia With Love: Costumes for the Ballets Russes 1909-1933 in 

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 OplontisAdelaide 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, Festival 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





Ataman Struk has his photograph taken: Testimony, Performance and Photography in the Russian Civil War at 11th Global Conference on Evil and Human Wickedness, Salzburg, Austria, March 2010


‘Protecting Country’: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial and the Politics of War Commemoration in Australia Anzac Weekend, Imperial War Museum, London 2008


Conversations in the Past Tense: Artists, Objects and Museums for Revelations conference on installation and heritage sites at University of Tasmania, March 2007


The Poetics of Memory: Artists in the Archive for Memories in Place symposium on art and heritage CraftACT and Namadgi National Park Nov 2005


Masquerades of Violence: Pogroms, Photography and the Ukrainian Civil War for Art and Commemoration Symposium, Humanities Research Centre, ANU, 2005


Conversing With Viktor Ivanovich for Selves Crossing Cultures: Autobiography and Globalisation, Centre for Cross Cultural Research, ANU Canberra 2001


Meditations On a Boltring: Memory and Time in the Work of Susan Cohn for Zero Craft: Craft 00 , National Gallery of Australia (convened to mark Technocraft, the Susan Cohn retrospective), 2000


Return to a New World: A Story in Three Parts at Close Ties, University of Queensland, March 1999


Re-Collecting Proskurov at conference on Trauma and Memory, May 1998


Transitional Objects: On Collecting and Re-collecting at Craft Objects and Writing Conference, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997


Postgraduate seminar, College of Fine Art, University of NSW, 1996


A Day at the Museum of Sydney, seminar organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art on artists in the museum, 1994


The Image Focussed  paper presented at Interventions Conference on craft theory, School of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, July 1992


The Body in Question II  paper presented at plenary session on the body at Dissonance Conference, Sydney September 1991


The Body in Question:  Some Thoughts in Progress  - Keynote address presented at The Body In Question , symposium of jewellers at University of Tasmania, Launceston, July 1991


Meeting Angels: Reconciling Craft Practice and Theory - Presented at Ausglass Conference, Sydney, Jan 1991


Manual Skills in a Technological Age - Presented at Artists' Week, March 1990


So What Is the Future of Modern Jewellery? - Presented at Jewellers and Metalsmiths Conference, Qld, Jan 1988




National Gallery of Australia

Art Gallery of Western Australia

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney

Canberra Museum and Gallery



Updated: 23 January 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Office / Page Contact:  Web Publisher