2018 – Press pass, boots and a baby bump

It feels strange to be marking the end of 2018, a year which for me had its own rhythm, split as it was into three phases each with a distinct pace.

I am pretty used to deadlines, and as I raced towards a major personal one in early May I packed in as much as possible on the work front. As well as continuing my column for Art Monthly Australasia magazine ‘Notes from the Field’, I wrote catalogue essays for Sydney artist Michelle Cawthorn, and for the group exhibition Vanishing Point at Hazelhurst Arts Centre. I led visiting art patron Marilyin Greenberg, previous council chair of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, on a personalised tour of commercial gallery spaces across Sydney.

Marilyn Greenberg visiting Utopia Art Sydney, April 2018

As always, I appreciated the opportunity to travel for art. In early March I visited Adelaide, filing a review of the Adelaide Biennial for Vault. A major highlight was a press trip to Hong Kong Art Week in late March for Art Monthly. I reviewed Encounters (curated by Alexie Glass) at Art Basel Hong Kong and blogged about the fair overall. I also interviewed Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director of M+ and reviewed Samson Young’s exhibition at M+ Pavillion . As I was 32 weeks pregnant it was a challenging trip energy-wise, particularly climbing the many flights of stairs during the site visit to the under-construction West Kowloon Cultural district!

The middle of 2018 saw me take a 4-month professional hiatus as my husband and I welcomed our baby into the world. Despite me stepping back from work, baby’s early months were filled with many gallery visits (including a ferry trip to Cockatoo Island to visit the Biennale of Sydney when he was four weeks old).

Image may contain: 2 people, including Dave Emerson, people smiling, people standing and outdoor
Family trip to the Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island, June 2018 (artist Mit Jai Inn’s work in background)

Following that personal milestone there continued to be many professional highlights. After an interview with Malaysian artist Minstrel Kuik earlier in the year, I continued to contribute to ArtAsiaPacific, with reviews of Jess Bradford‘s exhibition at Galerie Pompom, and Fearless: Contemporary South Asian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I resumed ‘Notes from the Field’, including for focus issues on South Australia (November) and Brisbane (for the Asia-Pacific Triennial over Summer).

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As well as contributing to these print and online publications, this year I worked as a freelance arts administrator, researcher and editor on a range of diverse projects for clients including consultant John Cruthers, publisher and designer Mark Gowing of Formist, and artist and curator Glenn Barkley. I appreciated the continued work with these art-world contacts and forged new ones, including a meeting with New York Times and Art Newspaper Los Angeles Correspondent Jori Finkel as the year drew to a close.

I’m looking forward to the start of a new year as an opportunity to gather new energy and recalibrate. With a press trip to Singapore Art Week fast approaching, 2019 promises to be action-packed.

Wishing you good health and happiness in the new year.

Chloé