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Nanette Orly and Talia Smith
Chill vibes only

Day 3, December 10,


This session is presented with the support of UNSW Art & Design, a leader in practice-led research. We are proud to have Nanette and Talia as our alumni.

This plenary session, led by curators Nanette Orly and Talia Smith, brings together colleagues and peers in the arts to speculate on the future of 'diversity and inclusion' in art organisations and beyond. From ideas of collectivism, dismantling and rebuilding to big blue sky thinking, this discussion will look at the work and ideas behind the ways in which we are reimagining our futures as people of colour in the arts.

Talia Smith is an artist and curator from Aotearoa, New Zealand and is now based in Sydney, Australia. She is of Cook Island, Samoan and Pakeha heritage. She has curated exhibitions widely throughout Australia and New Zealand including We will all eventually return to the earth at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (2021), churchie emerging art prize at IMA Brisbane (2020), Here is your horizon at Cement Fondu (2019) and the upcoming I will tell you my story at UTS Gallery (2022). Her curatorial practice explores notions of time, memory, familial histories with a particular focus on time based practices and the colonial legacy of the camera. In 2020 she completed a two month curatorial residency at Basis in Frankfurt and will undertake a research project with DECK Singapore in 2021/22. She is on the advisory board for Parallel a multi-year research project that investigates structural change with, beside and beyond the museum. She was Runway Journal’s chair for 2017-18, was awarded Firstdraft’s emerging curator in 2017, Artbank’s emerging curator in 2018 and was a 2016 participant of the 4A Curatorial Intensive. Her writing has appeared in various publications such as Running Dog, Vault magazine and Art Paper alongside exhibition catalogues. Smith completed her Masters of Fine Arts (Research) in 2020 and is currently working as the Curator at Granville Centre Art Gallery. 

Nanette Orly is a curator based on Wiradjuri country. She has curated exhibitions and public programs across a number of arts organisations in Australia including Firstdraft, The Lock-Up and Bus Projects. She was a successful participant in 4A Curators’ Intensive 2018 program and her writing has appeared in Vault Magazine, Art Guide Australia, un Magazine and Running Dog. Enthusiastic about promoting curatorial practice; Nanette coordinated a full day symposium 'Independent Curating: Concepts, Challenges and Collabs' at Verge Gallery in 2019 and guest presented the episode 'Curators of Colour' for FBi Radio in Sydney. In 2020, Nanette was appointed Chairperson on the board of Runway Journal. During her two-year tenure, she initiated a close review of Runway Journal’s eighteen year old archive and opened the entire archive up to critique with the publication of 'Issue 42: Archive'. Nanette Orly is currently the Assistant Curator at Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA).

Nanette and Talia will be joined by the following speakers:

Hannah Presley is an Aboriginal curator and director at Agency, based in Narrm (Melbourne). Her curatorial process is guided by artists, learning about the techniques, history and community that inform their making. Recent curatorial projects include Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Observance at Buxton Contemporary (with Sam Comte); Big Weather at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), and A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA). Recent roles include Curator, Indigenous Art at NGV, inaugural Yalingwa Curator at ACCA, and First Nations Assistant Curator of Tracey Moffatt, My Horizon, 57th Venice Biennale.


Rayleen Forester is a Kaurna–Adelaide based, independent arts worker and writer. Rayleen’s curatorial interests focus on cross-cultural engagement and outcomes through experimental art practice, performance and writing. In 2010 she was awarded a Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi travel grant to undertake sustained curatorial research in Japan where she lived and worked for two and half years. She was awarded the inaugural Curator Mentorship Initiative grant (2012) through NAVA to collaborate with the second largest European Biennale MANIFESTA in Genk, Belgium. She co-curated the long-established Artists’ Week symposium in 2014 with Lars Bang Larsen (DEN) and Richard Grayson (UK) for the Adelaide Festival. She writes for national publications and is a founding member of initiatives FELTspace (SA) and fine print magazine (SA). In 2016 she curated Playground presented at JamFactory (SA) and FX Harsono: Beyond Identity at Nexus Arts for OzAsia Festival. In 2018 she was writer in residence at ARTWORKS for Guildhouse and in 2020 she was curator in residence at ACE Open where she co-curated If the future is to be worth anything: 2020 South Australian Artist Survey with Artistic Director, Patrice Sharkey.


Melanie Tangaere Baldwin 

Ko Hikurangi te maunga

Ko Waiapu te awa

Ko Ngāti Horowai, ko Te Aitanga a Mate ngā hapū

Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi

Ko Melanie Tangaere Baldwin ahau


I am a multidisciplinary artist, curator, arts educator and one of the founders and current director of Hoea! Gallery.


As a curator I am dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the dynamic nature of contemporary Māori and indigenous art practices. I believe it is necessary to create our own models, to ensure equity and accessibility whenever possible and, as an indigenous arts community, to create support networks and opportunities to advance our artists and their practices however we can. 


Nigel Borell (b.1973) is of Pirirakau, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Te Whakatōhea tribal descent. He is a curator, writer, educator and artist specialising in Māori art in both customary and contemporary fields of research.  His curtorial practice spans across seventeen years with key curatorial projects that include Kura: Story of Māori Woman Artist, The Mangere Arts Centre Nga Tohu o Uenuku (2011), co-curating with Zara Stanhope Moa Hunter Fashions by Areta Wilkinson, for 9th Asia Pacific Triennial, QAGOMA, Brisbane (2018) and The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand, to deYoung Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco (2017).  Most recently Borell curated the large survey exhibition Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2021), where he was the Curator Māori art from 2015-2020.  Current projects include the curatorium to Histōrias Indīgenas- Indigenous Histories at Museu de Art de (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil (2023) and Puhi Ariki for Wairau Māori Art Gallery, Hundertwasser Art Centre, Whangarei (2021). Borell was the inaugural recipient of The New Zealand Art Foundation’s A Moment In Time – He Momo award for curating the landmark exhibition Toi Tū Toi Ora.  Most recently he was appointed Curator Māori with the Auckland War Memorial Museum – Tamaki Paenga Hira. 

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