Anatomy of an Exhibition


Although the curated exhibition is no more that 150 years old it is now the principle format for making an argument with objects and artworks. Both a catalyst for engaging an audience and a meeting ground for artists, museum professionals, educators, academics and other researchers it provides the opportunity to develop ideas and explore the potential of objects, images and texts to communicate meaning.

Art schools and art galleries within universities are in a perfect position to affect the exhibition format while employing it as a way of showcasing their own achievements in the core areas of teaching & learning and research & development.

In this paper I will examine how exhibitions can contribute to the research and teaching and learning environment. Using sacred ground beating heart: works by Judy Watson 1989-2003 as a case-study I will examine the potential for exhibitions to enhance cross-disciplinary research initiatives, build institutional collaborations and create international linkages.

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Ted Snell is Professor of Contemporary Art and Dean of Art, John Curtin Centre, Curtin University of Technology, Perth Western Australia, where he has responsibility for the John Curtin Gallery. He is currently a Board member of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), Chair of Museums Australia, Art Craft Design Special Interest Group (ACDSIG), Chair of the Federal Governments art-lending agency Artbank and a former Chair of ACUADS. In 2003 he also chaired the Premier’s Fashion Industry Taskforce in Western Australia.