MA(ArtMgt), BArtTh, GradDipEdu, GradCertReEdu
Jessica Clark is a proud Palawa woman with English, Irish, Turkish and French ancestry. She is a curator, teacher and arts manager with a practice driven by her passion for art, sharing knowledge, supporting emerging artists, and bringing people and ideas together. Her curatorial projects have focused on promoting new dialogues, challenging preconceived ideas/ideals, and exploring the transformative and performative nature of art and curatorial practice. Jessica has been working in the arts sector since 2009 on exhibitions in a variety of contexts; institutional, commercial, not-for-profit, online, educational, and independent. She is the current curator for the Incinerator Gallery's annual NAIDOC exhibition and also working in a co-curator and co-project manager role for the Law of the Land public art commission for RMIT University. Recent curatorial projects include Tell for the Sydney Festival (2018) and Ballarat International Foto Biennale (2017); Unintended (2017) and DISPERSIA (2016) at RMIT SITE EIGHT Gallery, and Ecclectic Street (2017) at Easey Street Artist Studios. She is alumni of UNSW College of Fine Art, Australian Catholic University and RMIT University having completed a Bachelor in Art Theory, postgraduate studies in Education, and a Master of Arts Management respectively.Her writing is diverse and has been published through multiple platforms, online and in-print including; commissioned texts, feature articles, essays and artist interviews.
Recently I curated for SITE EIGHT Gallery at RMIT as part of my practice-based research within the Master of Arts Management. Over a five-month period I worked in a curatorial capacity interning with RMIT:ART:INSTERSECT and in direct engagement with the Master of Fine Art (MFA) program to develop the exhibition Unintended. This exhibition project provided me a platform to explore my interests and inspiration with the opportunity to connect with and promote the work from the MFA. Unintended featured the work of three creative experimentalists; Rikki-Paul Bunder, Dom Krapski and Garry Moore, and through their contemporary practice, explored the everyday and its ability to transform in the context of art through a focus on performativity, the process of encounter and experience of contemporary art practice.
Another project of mine recently completed, is TELL – an exhibition of Contemporary Indigenous Photography for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB). By far my largest exhibition project to date, the exhibition explored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life, history and culture through a focus on photography and its expanded field. The exhibition brought together the work of 17 Australian Indigenous artists and their collaborators that embrace tradition and culture, as well as the potential that new technologies offer contemporary practice. TELL has been a core program for the BIFB and has the potential to tour in 2018.
Also, earlier this year I participated in the Australia Council for the Arts First Nations Curatorial Exchange Program. Held during the Vernissage (opening) week of the Venice Biennale, the First Nations Exchange Program involved an exploratory week of network building and complete immersion in art, the excitement of the Biennale, and the opening of Tracey Moffatt’s exhibition My Horizon. The programs and events staged throughout the week created a culturally vibrant space for First Nations curators to connect, and engage in critical discourse regarding Indigenous art and arts leadership on an international level. The program included a week-long intensive program that connected First Nations artists and curators from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Norway, and culminated in a two-day Exchange Intensive that further solidified the experience and the First Nation’s presence in Venice – strengthening professional connections and creating the opportunity for future exchanges and collaborations.