Issue 15
Monday, 11 September 2017
Charles Darwin University
Sarah Pirrie (second from left) with volunteers at the Australian Pavilion
Sarah Pirrie (second from left) with volunteers at the Australian Pavilion

Art lecturer returns from Italy inspired

By Leanne Miles

A Charles Darwin University arts lecturer has returned from Italy after representing the Northern Territory at the Venice Biennale 2017 Professional Development Program.

Lecturer in visual arts Sarah Pirrie was one of two arts professionals from the NT to attend the program that provides a platform for curators, arts writers and arts professionals to develop skills and deepen vocational experience.

As NT Exhibition Team Leader, Ms Pirrie managed a team of volunteer exhibition attendants at the Australian Pavilion.

“Managing the team during the exhibition “My Horizon” by Indigenous artist Tracey Moffatt was an invaluable experience, akin to owning the artwork,” Ms Pirrie said.

“I also built networks with other arts workers, discovered many new artists, and viewed artworks that I had only ever seen in books.”

Ms Pirrie said that the experience had given her some great ideas to engage her students.

“Many of my lectures will be filled with ideas I came across on my travels,” she said. “I have a more polished understanding of the international art scene.”

Ms Pirrie, who was selected for the Creative in Residence Program in March this year, has been working to interpret and present the NT Library’s Northern Territory Collection in an innovative way.

“I actually created some rock sitting mats while overseas,” she said. “Unpacking this in relation to the Darwin coastline formed an interesting juxtaposition to Venice, a city surrounded by water. Needless to say they now have Venetian Trimming on them.

For the Northern Territory Library Creative in Residence Ms Pirrie is organising events every month finishing with the Exhibition and a book launch in November.

The first event will be “Coastal Links: Re(search) the Darwin Coastline” on Wednesday, 20 September from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Northern Territory Library.

Both the Venice Biennale 2017 Professional Development Program and the Creative in Residence Program are sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.