First Nations curator redefines emerging

For Primavera’s 30th anniversary, Aboriginal curator of the event Hannah Presley talks about legacy and brave steps.
A first nations woman wearing a black dress stands in front of a white background.

Melbourne-based curator Hannah Presley says the phone call inviting her to curate the next edition of Primavera – the Museum of Contemporary Arts’ exhibition for artists 35 years and under – came totally out of left field.

‘I never thought that I would be curating this!’ she told ArtsHub. ‘What a legacy to play a part of.’

Presley has been charged with the job, a next generation of First Nation’s curators in the exhibition’s 30-year history. While that first phone call to Presley was back in 2019 (thanks to a COVID delay), the exhibition has opened this week in very different times.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina