Jo Besley is a curator with over 20 years experience in the arts, culture and heritage fields. Most
recently she curated the new Cairns Museum in far north Queensland and was formerly senior
curator at both the Queensland Museum and Museum of Brisbane. She is now the curator at Coffs
Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum.
She recently completed a PhD about museums and traumatic histories at the University of
Queensland. Most of her projects combine social history and visual arts in innovative ways and
involve close collaboration with communities and artists. She has curated exhibitions with topics as
diverse as protest, sculpture, mental health, cinema, silky oak furniture, architecture and
skateboarding and has worked with many leading Australian artists.
Michelle Paterson has been an art collector for over 25 years, and has built a valuable art collection that includes both Australian and International artists. Michelle started collecting in her native South Africa and after living in Asia for 18 years she moved to Australia and founded the progressive and diverse gallery .M Contemporary in 2013. The gallery represents over thirty Australian and International artists and sets out to offer visitors and collectors the opportunity to experience a curated selection of the best emerging Australian artists alongside more established artists from around the world. By exhibiting works from artists with differing cultural backgrounds and traditions the gallery aims to create a cross cultural conversation that challenges both the artists and visitors to question their habitual beliefs and explore new territories. In presenting works that explore current social and political affairs .M Contemporary aims to encourage an ongoing dialogue around current global issues and debates.
"We see ourselves as progressive, diverse and all-encompassing environment, a place where artists are nurtured and supported while being exposed to a far-reaching yet astute audience. By providing our artists an ongoing presence through regular exhibitions and participation in international and local art fairs we aspire to bring their works to both established and new audiences and grow their profiles both within Australia and overseas." - .M Contemporary
Kon Gouriotis OAM has held various Australian visual arts leadership roles including, Director of the
Australia Council for the Arts Visual Arts Board, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Australian Centre
for Photography. His currently the Editor of Artist Profile magazine and an independent visual arts