Senior Research Fellow, UNSW

Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples from the Northern Territory of Australia on her father's side, and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish heritage on her mother's side. Croft has been involved in the contemporary arts and cultural sectors for three decades as an artist, arts administrator, curator, academic and consultant. A founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, established in 1987, Croft was General Manager from 1990 - 96. In 1997, with long-term colleague Hetti Perkins (Eastern Arrernte/Kalkadoon peoples), Croft co-curated Australia's representation at the 47th Venice Biennale. From 1999 - 2001 Croft was Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. In 2000 she curated Beyond the pale: contemporary Indigenous art, the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art for the 2000 Adelaide Festival of the Arts. From 2002 - 09 Croft was Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia. Croft was a lecturer of Indigenous art and culture at the University of South Australia from 2009 - 12. Awarded a Master of Art Administration from the University of New South Wales in 1995, Croft received an Alumni Award from UNSW in 2001. In 2009 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts from the University of Sydney. In 2011, Croft was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award 2012 and is currently undertaking her PhD at the National Institute for Experimental Art, College of Fine Arts, UNSW, where she has been Senior Research Fellow since March 2012. In 2013 Croft received the Visual Artist of the Year Deadlys Award.

Experience

  • 2012–present
    Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Experimental Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW
  • 1985–present
    Artist, Self-employed
  • 1997–present
    Independent curator, consultant, lecturer, Self-employed
  • 1989–present
    Researcher, Indigenous Programs Unit, SBS TV
  • 1992–present
    Teacher, Art + Video, Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative College
  • 2009–2012
    Lecturer, Indigenous Art, Culture and Design Level C, University of South Australia
  • 2011–2011
    Project Manager, 45th anniversary of the Gurindji Walk Off from Wave Hill
  • 2002–2009
    Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia
  • 1999–2001
    Curator, Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • 1990–1996
    General Manager, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative
  • 1986–1990
    Voluntary broadcaster, Radio Redfern/Radio Skid Row 88.9FM

Education

  • 2009 
    University of Sydney, Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts
  • 1995 
    College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Master of Art Administration
  • 1981 
    Daramalan College ACT, Year 12 Certificate

Publications

  • 2013
    History always repeats, My country: I still call Australia home
  • 2012
    Revolutionize me (and you, and you, and you), Decolonize me
  • 2012
    How did Aborigines invent the idea of contemporary art? book review, Artlink: Indigenous-Indignation, Vol 32, No 2, pp 111-113
  • 2011
    Sell-abrasions of our nations, Artlink: Indigenous #1 Beauty and Terror, Vol 31, No 2
  • 2010
    Dust from a distant sun: two major publications on Indigenous art, Australian Book Review, Iss 326, pp 43-44
  • 2010
    Gordon Hookey: FLASH Gordon's message - language is a virus, Artlink: Blak on Blak, Vol 30, No. 1
  • 2007
    To be young (at heart), gifted and blak: the cultural and political renaissance in Indigenous Art in Australia, One sun, one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia
  • 2007
    Cannot buy my soul - lead essay, Culture Warriors: Australian Indigenous Art Triennial
  • 2006
    Meeting, not colliding, Vision, Space, Desire: Global Perspectives and Cultural Hybridity
  • 2006
    Up in the sky, behind the clouds - lead essay, Michael Riley: sights unseen
  • 2005
    What about the dots and circles – the children need them?, Making a noise!: Aboriginal perspectives on art, art history, critical writing and community
  • 2005
    Aboriginal people and photography, Oxford Companion to the Photograph
  • 2003
    From ink to inkjet - lead essay, South West Centra: Indigenous art from south Western Australia 1833 - 2002
  • 2002
    Debating the city -­‐ cultural signposts: whose heritage, Voices from Cadigal Country: Indigenous writings on Sydney
  • 2002
    Laying ghosts to rest, Colonialist Photography: Imag(in)ing race and place
  • 2001
    Labelled: buyer be aware, Artlink: Reconciliation? Indigenous art for the 21st century, Vol 20 No. 1 pp 84-5
  • 2001
    Indigenous art: Art Gallery of Western Australia, Indigenous Art: Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • 2000
    Empires built on the bones of the dispossessed - lead essay, Beyond the pale: contemporary Indigenous art
  • 1999
    Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-­‐operative: From Little Things, Big Things Grow, Painting the land story
  • 1999
    My Boomerang Won’t Come Back, Periphery, Issue No. 38, Autumn
  • 1998
    To the Native, Born(e), Periphery, Issue No. 36 Spring
  • 1998
    Where ancient waterways and dreams intertwine, Periphery, Iss 34, Autumn
  • 1998
    Searching for the eye of the storm: Kathleen Petyarre, Periphery, Issue No. 35, Winter
  • 1998
    Taste of the unexpected, Periphery, Issue No. 37, Summer
  • 1996
    but now through our dreams, we are sharing the past, the present, the future, Wiradjuri Spirit Man: HJ Wedge
  • 1994
    Postcard from Sydney, Artlink - Sydney: The Big Shift Vol 14, No. 3 Spring pp 47 - 51
  • 1993
    Blak lik mi, Art and Australia Vol 31 No 1 Spring pp 63-7

Grants and Contracts

  • 2011
    Still in my mind: Gurindji experience, location and visuality
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2011
    Indigenous Fellowship
    Role:
    Research Fellow
    Funding Source:
    National Film and Sound Archive
  • 2009
    Culture Warriors: Australian Indigenous Art Triennial, Washington USA Tour - out of time grant
    Role:
    Curator
    Funding Source:
    Australia Council for the Arts
  • 2009
    Stop(the)gap: international Indigenous art in motion - visiting curators symposium
    Role:
    Lead curator
    Funding Source:
    Development Research Project Fund, DEASS, UniSA
  • 2004
    New Work, Visual Arts Board
    Role:
    Artist
    Funding Source:
    Australia Council for the Arts
  • 2001
    Gordon Darling Global Travel Grant
    Role:
    Curator
    Funding Source:
    Gordon Darling Foundation
  • 1998
    Indigenous Arts Fellowship
    Role:
    Artist
    Funding Source:
    NSW Ministry for the Arts
  • 1998
    New Work, Visual Arts Board
    Role:
    Artist
    Funding Source:
    Australia Council for the Arts
  • 1996
    Greene Street Studio, New York
    Role:
    Artist
    Funding Source:
    Australia Council for the Arts
  • 1996
    Chicago Artists International Program
    Role:
    Arts Manager
    Funding Source:
    Chicago Cultural Centre, USA
  • 1993
    Nomad Residency
    Role:
    Artist
    Funding Source:
    Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada
  • 1993
    New Work, Visual Arts Board
    Role:
    Artist
    Funding Source:
    Australia Council for the Arts
  • 1991
    Family research grant
    Role:
    Researcher
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Research Areas

  • Visual Arts And Crafts (1905)
  • Performing Arts And Creative Writing (1904)

Honours

Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts, University of Sydney, 2009