Call for Papers

National Visual Art Education Conference 2014

Connecting Classrooms, Curriculum & Collections


21 - 23 January 2014


For conference enquiries email or +61 2 6240 6524. Alternatively try our faq.



Nathdvara, Rajasthan, India Krishna's divine play [Krishna lila] for the annual pilgrimage of Vraja [Vraja yatra]
shrine hanging [pichhavai] c. 1830 Purchased 2005 More detail

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Workshop presenters

Sandra Aitken - Artist

Sandra is a Gunditjmara woman. Born in Heywood, Victoria in 1954. She was taught basket weaving by her father's sister, Aunty Connie Hart, about 30 years ago. Sandra has extensive experience teaching and demonstrating her traditions and has worked with many audiences ranging from small children to adult classes. Sandra uses a diverse range of materials in her practice,  including Carex Tereticaulis grass (known as poonyart or spear grass), string, wool, copper wire, whipper snipper cord, hay bale twine and other sorts of twines.

Melissa Aitken - Artist

Melissa is a Gunditjmara woman who was born in Portland, Victoria in 1978. She learnt basket weaving by watching her Great Aunt, Connine Hart; who let her help her spilt the grass and sometimes do a stitch or two. She was also taught by her mother (Sandra Aitken). Melissa only works on her basket weaving with her mother who she helps when she goes to do classes. Melissa weaves with have used Carex Tereticaulis (known as poonyart or spear grass) and raffia.

Adriane Boag – Program Coordinator, National Gallery of Australia

Adriane Boag is a Program Coordinator at the National Gallery of Australia with responsibility for developing access programs for youth and the community. Adriane has a Visual Arts degree with Honours in Painting and Sculpture from Sydney College of the Arts. Adriane has over twenty years teaching experience in tertiary and museum visual art education. A focus of her Gallery work with youth is the annual National Summer Art Scholarship. Adriane coordinates regular tours for a wide variety of specialised audiences including people with dementia and is the facilitator of the Art and Alzheimer's Program and the Art and Alzheimer's Outreach Program. In 2010 a training workshop for regional arts and health professionals was developed for the Art and Alzheimer's Outreach Program. The training workshop has been delivered in 14 regional galleries in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and NT.

John Carey – Educator

After wandering down arts' byways as a journeyman, illustrator and designer John returned to art school to finish a degree interrupted by a bout of malaria. John studied print media and drawing at the Australian National University. He began to use his iPhone as part of his ongoing practice, using images made on it by drawing with software and capturing them from life or the internet. These then became the basis for his drawing and prints. John began working at the National Gallery of Australia during his honours year and subsequently then acquired his first iPad. John used the iPad in the gallery to make drawings using an increasingly sophisticated array of apps that provide digital ink, paint, watercolour, and many other media that cannot be used in a gallery context. The iPad also provides a direct relationship with the drawing surface that is more satisfying than other means of digital input.

The approach taken by the new founded iPad workshop emphasises drawing where the artist explores their practice through an evolutionary process; risking all for the ultimate image. The National Gallery Learning and Access department has now begun an iPad program based on these experiences and has explored these ideas with great success. John's knowledge and skill, together with the Gallery's world-class collection will culminate to produce the upcoming iPad workshop for the National Visual Art Education Conference in 2014.

Ricardo Idagi – Artist

From Meriam Mir (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait, Ricardo Idagi is a multidisciplinary artist, mask-maker and musician committed to the maintenance and sharing of Meriam cultural law.  His work is underscored by a profound belief in the importance of customary art, law, religion and magic, the culmination of many ‘years of listening to grandfathers and uncles telling their stories and singing lamentations of their totems (taum akadar).  His commitment to the revival of traditional practices is an important activity for the men and women of the Torres Strait Islands that will ensure an ongoing strong artistic and cultural pride in the region.

Jenny Sages – Artist

Jenny Sages, Sydney based artist, was born in 1933 to Russian parents in Shanghai, and grew up amidst the city's European expatriates. In her mid-teens she came with her parents to Sydney, but soon left art school there to study in New York. Having returned to Australia, for three decades she worked as an illustrator and writer of fashion and travel features for magazines such as Vogue. At fifty, Sages made the first of many expeditions to walk in the Australian inland. Suffused with an entirely new sense of belonging to a place, she became a full-time artist.

Mostly, Sages makes abstract landscapes, scratched and gouged from encaustic wax, delicately coloured with powdered pigments. She paints a portrait perhaps once a year, but never on commission; on the contrary, when she admires a person, she will seek them out to sit for her. Since 1989 she has been an Archibald finalist 20 times, in 2012 Sage’s portrait My Jack won the People’s Choice Award. Sages also won the Portia Geach Memorial Award in 1992 and 1994. Over the same period she has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize for landscape thirteen times, winning in 2005 with a perspective on the grassy Road to Utopia.