Past Selection Committee

MARCH 2019 Selection Committee


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


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.

Past Selection Committee


Art advisor Barbara Flynn has drawn on her extensive experience as a New York gallery owner and curator to become one of Australia’s leading curatorial advisors to architects, development companies and public organisations. She is curator of Jenny Holzer’s groundbreaking public artwork I STAY (Ngaya ngalawa) at 8 Chifley Square, Sydney, and is in the process of overseeing some of the most innovative and anticipated public art projects in Australia, including Sydney’s City Centre (for City of Sydney) and new precincts at Circular Quay (AMP Capital, Quay Quarter Sydney), Central Park (Frasers Property and Sekisui House) and Greenland Centre (Greenland (Australia) Investment Pty Ltd) with artists Olafur Eliasson, Jonathan Jones, Pipilotti Rist, Tadashi Kawamata and Agatha Gothe-Snape.

Her role as Curatorial Advisor to the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and Lend Lease for Barangaroo (2014–16) saw her begin the process of selecting and commissioning artists for a range of innovative, site-specific artworks for Barangaroo South on Sydney Harbour. As Curatorial Advisor to the City of Sydney for the City Centre (2013–18), Flynn drafted the City Centre Public Art Plan that was unanimously adopted by Council in July 2013, and identified artists to be part of the transformation of the Sydney city centre with the implementation of light rail in George Street. She continues her role as primary liaison to the artists commissioned for the city centre: Junya Ishigami, Tracey Emin and Hany Armanious. She is contracted to The University of Sydney to write a campus-wide Public Art Masterplan and is the author of a Stage 1 study of public art for the University of Technology, Sydney. South of Sydney, Flynn is overseeing a new work of art by emerging artist Mike Hewson for Wollongong’s revitalised Crown Street Mall on behalf of Wollongong City Council.

Flynn is a dual citizen (US and Australia). Before arriving in Australia in 1996, she was a gallery owner in New York (1980–94) and an executive with Gagosian Gallery, New York (1994– 98). She held curatorial positions in the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, and Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf museums in Germany, with funding from a Yale University Murray Fellowship. Her studies in art history were completed at Yale University (BA cum laude 1975). She undertook studies for a PhD at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (1977–81).

Flynn’s contacts are wide-ranging, which enables her to bring an active network of artists, curators and other contributors to any project she oversees.


In less than a decade Michael Reid has become one of the leading art dealers in the country, advising private clients on the formation of their art collections with the aid of decades of experience in the sector. Michael’s cultural commentary, sought across television, print and social media affirms his role as an ambassador for Australian art. Michael received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OMA) on Australia Day 2016 for his services to the arts.

Michael is co- founding director of Art Month Sydney, former director & deputy chair of Sydney Living Museums Foundation (formerly Historic Houses Trust of NSW), a member of the Law Society of NSW, the Australian Antique Dealers Association and the Berlin Art Galleries Association, and is cited in McCulloch’s Encyclopaedia of Australian Art. Michael is on the Advisory Board of the photography festival Head On and is a co-judge in the years 2016 Head On prize.


Sophia Kouyoumdjian has worked in the arts sector for over 15 years across directorial, curatorial and exhibition management roles and is currently the Director of Parramatta Artist Studios. Previously she worked as the Curator at Blacktown Arts Centre and has comprehensive experience in Western Sydney’s contemporary arts sector. In 2017, Sophia guest-curated Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia.


Tess Allas has worked in the field of Aboriginal art since the early 1990’s. She has coordinated, curated and co-curated a number of exhibitions including 181 Regent Street: Addressing Black Theatre in 2012 for the 2012 Festival of Sydney at Carriageworks; Shimmer, 2015/16 at Wollongong Art Gallery andWith Secrecy and Despatch, 2016 at Campbelltown Arts Centre and Under Pressure for the 2017 Tarnanthi Festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She has curated a number of international print exhibitions in Montreal, Canada for the Montreal First Nations Festival; for the Gorman Museum at the University of California, Davis and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection in the United States as well as many smaller exhibitions on the South Coast of NSW.

In 2012 Tess was the recipient of an Arts Fellowship from Arts NSW (now Create NSW) for further study and investigation into the history and contemporary practice of shellworking in NSW Aboriginal communities. She has written hundreds of biographies on Aboriginal artists for the ‘Storylines Project’ which were published on Design & Art Australia Online. Her print publications include essays for the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (University of Virginia) as well as articles in Art Monthly, Art & Australia, Artist Profile and Artlink. With Daniel Browning she co-edited the Blak on Blak edition of Artlink (Vol 30 No 1). Tess was the commissioning editor of the 2014 Artspace monograph on artist Frances Belle Parker. With fellow artistic collaborator, Charlie Schneider, Tess showed her video workAndy Warhol on Aboriginal Art at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Adelaide as part of the 2014 Adelaide Festival’s visual art program. This video work was also shown at the Kallio Kunsthalle in Helsinki, Finland in 2016 with an accompanying print exhibition.


Teresa Biet is a founder and director of Art Incubator Limited. Art Incubator is a registered charity which operates a financially sustainable support program for emerging Australian artists.

Teresa is passionate collector, philanthropist and arts advocate with a current focus on mentoring emerging artists in the area of professional practice.

She holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree and built a successful career in management consulting prior to focusing on the arts and other philanthropic endeavours.


Rhianna Walcott is Gallery Manager & Curator at Artereal Gallery in Sydney. Having studied Art History at the University of Sydney, Rhianna has since worked in commercial galleries for close to a decade. She has spent the last eight years managing Artereal Gallery, one of Sydney’s leading commercial galleries situated at the forefront of contemporary art practice. During her time at Artereal Gallery, Rhianna has worked with numerous artists, from emerging to established, to present, promote and sell their work in both an Australian and international context. Rhianna has also worked as a freelance arts writer for various contemporary art publications and is a committed arts philanthropist via her role as a member of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Atelier Program and her role on the committee for the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young Ambassador Program.


Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran creates rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols that are at once enticing and disquieting. He experiments with form and scale in the context of figurative sculpture to explore politics of sex, the monument, gender and religion. He has exhibited at various spaces and contexts including the Art Gallery of South Australia's flagship exhibition, the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and The National: New Australian Art 2017. He has presented solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia, The Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Shepparton Art Museum. In 2014, Nithiyendran was awarded the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (emerging) administered through Artspace. In 2015, he was the winner of the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Australia’s richest and premier award for artists working in the medium of ceramics. Forthcoming exhibitions include a solo presentation at the 2018 Dhaka Art Summit. His work is held in various collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank, The Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Shepparton Art Museum.


Annette Larkin has worked within the Australian art scene for over three decades. Her experience has gone the full circle, including working as a gallerina in a commercial gallery; exhibition manager in a state museum; Australian curator/commissioner for the Indian Triennial in 1994; founding member of the now infamous Contemporary Collection Benefactors program, Art Gallery of New South Wales; curator of a regional gallery collection; Head of Contemporary art for Christie’s auction house and now Director of her own art business which specialises in secondary market contemporary art, building and managing private and corporate collections and being a highly respected valuer of many areas of collecting.


As the Deputy Director of Artspace, Michelle Newton works as a producer to support the commissioning of contemporary art projects. Prior to this she was the General Manager, Grantpirrie Gallery; worked in leadership roles at Jilamara Arts, Tiwi Islands and Jirrawun Arts, East Kimberley; and as the Photo Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald. In 2010 she co-curated, with Alexie Glass-Kantor, No Name Station, an international cultural exchange and exhibition project for Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne and Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW and a Graduate Certificate in Business from Curtin University of Technology.


Paris Neilson is the former manager and curator of Sydney's White Rabbit Gallery, house of one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art. Paris also sits on the board for the Biennial of Sydney and the Neilson Foundation and is a passionate collector and philanthropist. 


Dr Dick Quan is not only a founding director of Holdsworth House Medical Practice, but is one of Australia’s most respected collectors of contemporary art.

Based in Sydney, Dr Quan has contributed a huge amount of time and support to a myriad of different boards associated with contemporary art, including Sydney Contemporary Art Fair 2013, Foundation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Asutralia, Art Gallery Society of NSW, Contemporary Collection of Benefactors AGNSW, Gallery 4 A, Asia Australia Art Centre (Chair), START committee MCA Australia, Opera Australia (youth group), and ART MONTH SYDNEY Australian Art Fair Foundation.

Dr Quan has contributed to publications such as Art Basel / Year 44: Interview at ART BASEL HK 2013, and often loans parts of his extensive collection to museums.


Mikala Dwyer was born in 1959. She lives and works in Sydney. She is represented by Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney. Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne. Hamish McKay gallery NZ.

Selected solo exhibitions:

The garden of half life,  Sydney University Gallery 2014. Hollowwork, Anna Schwartz Gallery Melbourne 2014, Goldene Bender, ACCA, Melbourne 2013 and Teksas Denmark 2013. Panto Collapsar, Project Arts, Dublin, 2012; Divinations for the real thing, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2012; Mikala Dwyer: drawing down the moon, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2012; The Silvering, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2011); Square Cloud Compound, Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, 2010; Outfield, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, 2009; Swamp geometry, Anna Schwartz Gallery, 2008; Mono Clinic, Hamish McKay Gallery, NZ, 2008; Costumes and empty sculptures, Institute of Modern Art, 2008; The addition and subtractions and the hanging garden, Kunstraum, Potsdam, 2007; The shape of thoughts own making, Peleton, Sydney, 2007; Art lifts, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002; Mikala Dwyer, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2000; My home is your home, Floating old man, Selfshelf, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Wales, 2000; I.O.U., C.B.D. Gallery, Sydney, 1998; Hollow-ware & a few solids, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney and Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 1995; and Sad songs, Artspace, Sydney,1995;

Selected group exhibitions:

2015 Deeply Highly Eccentic, Winchester gallery, Winchester School of Art, Hampshire UK. Glazed and Confused, Hazlehurst Gallery 2014, Curator -Prima Vera, MCA, 2014. Sydney. Silly Canvas, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne 2014,You Imagine What You Desire, Sydney Biennale, 2014. The End of the 20th Century. The Best is Yet to Come. A Dialogue with the Marx Collection, Hamburger Bahnhof National Galerie Berlin, 2013. Plus ou Moins Sorcières, Maison Populaire, Paris, 2012; Abstraction and the body, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney, 2012 Less is more: minimal and post-minimal art in Australia, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2012; Monanism, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, 2011; Beauty of distance: songs of survival in a precarious age, Biennale of Sydney, 2010; Before and after science, Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2010; Mirror mirror: then and now, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney and Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, 2009; Lost and found: an archeology of the present, TarraWarra Biennial, Healesville, 2008; High Tide, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw and CAC Vilnius, Lithuania, 2006; De Overkant /Down Under, Den Haag Sculptuur, The Netherlands, 2007; Face up: contemporary art from Australia, Hamburger Bahnhoff, Berlin, 2003; This was the future… Australian sculpture of the 1950s, 60s, 70s + today, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2003; Fieldwork: Australian art 1968-2002, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2002; Monochromes, University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 2000; Contempora 5, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 1999; The infinite space: women, minimalism and the sculptural object, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 1998; Close quarters: contemporary art from Australia and New Zealand, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Canberra School of Art; and Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 1998; The aberrant object: women Dada and Surrealism, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, year?; OrientATION: 4th International Istanbul Biennale, Turkey, 1995; A night at the show, Field, Zurich, 1994; Australian Perspecta Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1993; and Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1992.

Selected bibliography:

Mikala Dwyer, Drawing Down the Moon, IMA catalogue. Mikala Dwyer, Goldene Bend’er, ACCA catalogue, Mikala Dwyer, The Garden of Half-Life, University Art gallery, Sydney University, catalogue, Anthony Byrt, ‘Frontier Spirits’, Frieze, no. 139, 2011; An Apparition of a Subtraction, The beauty of distance: songs of survival in a precarious age, Biennale of Sydney, exhibition catalogue, 2010; Before and after science, Biennial of Australian Art, Charlotte Day/Sarah Tutton, exhibition catalogue, 2009; Anne Loxley, ‘Mikala Dwyer: coalescence and dissolution’, Art World, June-July, 2008; Susan Rothnie, ‘Mikala Dwyer in conversation with Susan Rothnie’, Eyeline, no.55, 2004; Anne Loxley, 'A stroll in the park to exercise mind and body', Sydney Morning Herald, 5 December, 2001; Hannah Scott, 'Plastika', Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, summer, 2001; Edward Colless, ‘untitled’, Mikala Dwyer, I exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2000; Benjamin Genocchio, 'Alchemy with a mischievous touch', Sydney Morning Herald, 29 December, 2000; Linda Michael, 'The little temples of love for the dead things', Mikala Dwyer, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2000; Rachel Kent, ‘Minimalism past and present', Infinite space: women, minimalism and the sculptural object, exhibition catalogue, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 1999; Toni Ross, 'Mikala Dwyer', Contempora5, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1999; Toni Ross, 'The trouble with spectator-centred criticism: encountering Mikala Dwyer's art with Eva Hesse and minimalism', Eyeline, no. 35, 1997; Edward Colless, 'Undon', Mikala Dwyer, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1996; Benjamin Genocchio, ‘Mikala Dwyer: woops’, Eyeline, no.25, 1994; Felicity Fenner, 'Coming up: the lowdown art of Mikala Dwyer', Art and Australia, vol. 31, no.2, 1993; Jeff Gibson, 'Avant-grunge', Art+Text, no.45, 1993; and Linda Michael, Primavera: The Belinda Jackson exhibition of young artists, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1992.


Megan Robson is Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, where she recently curated the exhibitions Martu Art from the Far Western Desert (co-curated with Anna Davis) (2014) and MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context (2013). She has worked across a range of exhibitions at MCA Australia including Sylvie Blocher, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor, Christian Marclay: The Clock, Annette Messager: motion / emotion and string theory: Focus on contemporary Australian art.

Previously she has worked for a number of art organisations in Australia and the UK, including the Barbican Centre, London and the Biennale of Sydney. She received an MA from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a BA (Hons) from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. She has developed a number of independent curatorial projects and writes regularly on contemporary art. In 2011, Megan received an Asialink grant to undertake curatorial research in Hong Kong with co-curator Joel Mu.


Amanda Love was voted Best Art Advisor 2010 in Sydney's inaugural (and only) Art Month awards. A co-founder of the Director's Working Circle for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the Contemporary Collection Benefactors Committee for the Art Gallery of NSW, she served on the Board of the Biennale of Sydney, Australia's largest contemporary art event, for over 10 years, during which time critical acclaim increased and attendances more than tripled.

A former Arts Lawyer, in Sydney with Allen Allen and Hemsley (now Allens) and in Hong Kong with Deacons, she has a Masters Degree in Art History (Hons) and holds the Christies Diploma of Fine Art.

Love has spoken as an expert on contemporary art in Australia and overseas, including at the National Gallery of Scotland, Arco in Madrid, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW and Melbourne's Heide Museum and has lectured for Christies. Her private collection was exhibited publicly at Casula Powerhouse Museum, Sydney in 2011. 


Ben Quilty was born in Sydney, Australia in 1973. He has an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University, a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, a Bachelor of Visual Communication from the School of Design at the University of Western Sydney and certificate level studies in Aboriginal History and Culture from Monash University. Widely known for his thick, gestural oil paintings Quilty has explored a range of themes throughout his career. From the dangerous coming of age rituals of young Australian men, to the complex social history of our country, he is constantly critiquing notions of identity, patriotism and belonging.

He won the 2002 Brett Whitely Travelling Art Scholarship, the 2007 National Self Portrait Prize, the 2009 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the 2011 Archibald Prize and most recently the Prudential Eye Award for Contemporary Art in Singapore.

His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, QAGOMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art along with numerous regional and private collections. 


Roslyn Oxley is a dealer in Australian contemporary art. Her Paddington gallery has been in business since 1982. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery today represents some of the most critically and commercially acclaimed artists in Australia. Oxley has been energetic in promoting her artists internationally, exhibiting regularly at art fairs in Europe and the USA.


Leif Podhajsky is a Grammy Nominated artist and Creative Director. His work explores themes of connectedness, the relevance of nature and the psychedelic experience. By utilizing these subjects he attempts to inspire the viewer into a realignment with themselves and their surroundings.