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Dr. Felicity Fenner

Dr. Felicity Fenner


Dr Felicity Fenner is the Director of UNSW Galleries. She is a renowned curator of contemporary art, having curated over 30 exhibitions of Australian and international art.

Felicity’s research focuses on aspects of place and curatorial place-making, encapsulated in exhibitions such as Once Removed, Australia’s group exhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale; Michael Nyman: CineOpera at Sydney Park Brickworks in 2011; and Running the City, curated for the International Symposium of Electronic Arts, held in Sydney in 2013.

Other curatorial projects include Handle with Care, the 2008 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; Primavera 2005 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and Architypes (with Greg Bellerby and Makiko Hara) at Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver, 2004. Felicity’s first curatorial project was Fresh Art (1989 and 1994, both editions curated with Anne Loxley). In 1997 she was the Australian Curator and Commissioner for the Indian Triennial, New Delhi. In 2013 Felicity co-curated Making Change with Brenda Croft and Kon Gouriotis for the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, which was a finalist in the Australian government’s Australian Arts in Asia Award; and in 2014 she brought to Australia Richard Mosse’s The Enclave, named by ABC Arts as one Australia’s top three visual arts presentations of the year. 

Recent Australia Research Council (ARC) grants include “Curating Cities” (2011–2015, with Bennett, Goodwin and Parr) and “Construction, Community and Connection: Measuring Asian Art’s Contribution to Contemporary Culture in Australia” (2007–10, with Bennett, Berghuis, McNeill and Ruan). Felicity has also been the recipient of numerous curatorial grants and residencies, including Australia Council grants for curatorial research in Singapore, Istanbul and Venice. She has been Curator-in-Residence at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore and at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia; and a Visiting Lecturer on the Royal College of Art’s Curating Contemporary Art MA program in London. In 2014 she was awarded $100,000 by Australia’s National Exhibitions Touring Strategy to curate a major exhibition of international new media art to tour Australia 2015–2018.

Since 2000 Felicity has published regularly in Art in America, and in 2005 was made a Contributing Editor ofArtAsiaPacific. She was the chief art critic for The Sydney Morning Herald (1992–95), and has since published widely in a number of art journals including ARTAND (formerly Art & Australia), Artlink, Aperture, Eyeline, Studies in Material Thinking and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art. Recent book chapters include if you were to live here… (2013 Auckland Triennial, edited/curated by Hou Hanru), and Copyfight (edited by Phillipa McGuiness, to be published by New South Press in 2015).

Felicity is a founding member of the City of Sydney’s Public Art Advisory Panel (since 2007), an ARC international assessor, and a frequent judge of art awards including the 2012 Blake Prize and National Portrait Gallery's inaugural digital portrait prize, 2013 Sculpture by the Sea and the 2014 Mosman Art Prize. She has recently been appointed an Australia Council Peer and has completed a PhD that investigates current curatorial responses to place.

At UNSW Art & Design Felicity supervises MA and PhD curatorial students, runs a Curatorial Lab in Curating and Cultural Leadership and leads an annual World Biennales Field Trip to international biennale exhibitions.