The Art Gallery of New South Wales together with the Power Institute and the Australian Institute of Art History present the two-day symposium Heat & Dust: artists, archives, art history. This symposium is free and open to the public – please join us for a stimulating set of papers and discussions.


As the AGNSW continues to create the National Art Archive, Heat & Dust seeks to recognize the need to debate and discuss the archive as concept and reality in the twenty-first century. Bringing together fifteen speakers working in university, museum and community settings with a wide variety of archives, the symposium aims to address some crucial questions: How are artists’ archives compiled, preserved and used? Does some art escape the archive? What is special, or especially difficult, about artists’ archives? What happens to archives that are particularly problematic, ethically or practically? What are the particular conditions, benefits and challenges of maintaining Indigenous Australian art archives and archival practices?


Heat & Dust will investigate various applications of and concepts within archival practices and, we hope, will inspire further and deeper questioning of the histories, contexts and futures of the archive.  We look forward to seeing you at the event, which takes place at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and at the Power Institute at the University of Sydney.


For further information, see the National Art Archive website.



Nyurpaya Kaika Burton, Senior Aṉangu artist from Amata

Archives for artists on APY Lands

Lisa Catt, Assistant Curator International Art, Art Gallery of NSW

What if: the archive and contemporary art in museums

John Clark, Emeritus Professor, Department of Art History, University of Sydney

Artists’ archives: a user’s notes

Paula Dredge, Senior Paintings Conservator, Art Gallery of NSW

Artist’s studio museums: the missing materials

Harriet Edquist, Director, RMIT Design Archives

In defence of the archive

Claire Eggleston, Archivist, Art Gallery of NSW

Where do we sit? The archive in an art museum context: practicalities and aspirations

Hannah Fink, Writer

Time’s still

Susan Lowish, Lecturer in Australian Art History in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

Archives for artists on APY Lands

Catriona Moore, Senior Lecturer, Department of Art History, University of Sydney

Archives live

Skye O’Meara, APY Art Centre Collective Manager

Archives for artists on APY Lands

Cara Pinchbeck, Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of NSW

Asti Sherring, Time Based Art Conservator, Art Gallery of NSW

Digital preservation, also known as watching everything you love die

Ann Stephen, Senior Curator, University Art Collection, University of Sydney

How and why Conceptual art makes trouble for archives

Anthony White, Senior Lecturer, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

The Dax Centre: an archive of works by artists with experience of mental illness

Alison Inglis (convener), Associate Professor in Art History at the University of Melbourne and is Acting Director of the Australian Institute of Art History

Mark Ledbury (convener), Director of the Power Institute, University of Sydney

Steven Miller (convener), Manager of the National Archive and Capon Research Library, Art Gallery of NSW

Unearthing tetrahedrons: hard hats required



Thursday, 22 November 2018

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Location TBA


Day 1

Friday, 23 November 2018

9:30am – 4:30pm

Domain Auditorium

Art Gallery of New South Wales


Day 2  

Saturday, 24 November 2018

9:30am – 5:00pm

New Law Lecture Theatre 106 (map below)

New Law Building Annex

Eastern Avenue

The University of Sydney


Please join us for a closing reception on Saturday 24 November at the Schaeffer Library, RC Mills Building, from 5:00 to 6:30pm.




Image: Herbert Flugelman photograph of the burying of his tetrahedron sculpture ‘Earthwork’ in Commonwealth Park, Canberra, as part of the 1975 ‘Sculpture 75’ exhibition. Herbert Flugelman archive, National Art Archive, AGNSW.