Research Fellow, School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University

I'm an art historian, biographer, novelist and curator. After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1974, I curated "Australian Women Artists: 1840-1940" and, the following year, co-founded the Victorian Women's Art Movement and LIP, a feminist arts journal. From 1977-1982, I lectured in art history at the Victorian College of the Arts. I resigned to explore a long cherished ambition to write fulltime and spent the next years living in Italy and France. During that time, I was writing fiction and my novel Second Sight won the 1987 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.

While a trustee of Heide Museum of Modern Art (1996-2005), I curated exhibitions about the Heide modernist circle and wrote books including Australian Gothic: A Life of Albert Tucker (shortlisted for the 2002 Queensland Premier's Literary Award), Joy Hester and The Heart Garden: Sunday Reed and Heide.

Recently, with the co-operation of the Freud Museum London, I curated "Sigmund Freud's Art Collection: An Archaeology of the Mind" for Monash University Museum of Art and Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney. My latest book, Nest: The Art of Birds is part natural history, part folklore, part exploration of art and aesthetics, and part memoir.

Experience

  • –present
    Research Fellow, School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University