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Hetti Perkins

May 15, 2019

Hetti Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon curator, writer, advisor and presenter with 30 years of national and international experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts with federal agencies, community arts organisations, state galleries and local government.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts in 1986, Hetti was employed at the Sydney gallery of Aboriginal Arts Australia, where she worked with artists in remote and rural community art centres and independent artists, and travelled to New York as part of the ‘Dreamings: Art of Aboriginal Australia’ (1988) exhibition. She curated the ‘Aboriginal Womens Exhibition’ for the AGNSW in 1991 and national tour and worked on the establishment of the Yiribana Gallery. Following this, as Curator at Boomalli in Sydney, she initiated a program to expand its premises and profile and presented many exhibitions in Sydney and internationally with a focus on artist members and NSW artists.

In 1997, as a freelance curator, Hetti co-curated ‘fluent’ as Australia’s representative exhibition at the Venice Biennale and commissioned work by dancer Russell Page. 

For 14 years Hetti was Curator and then Senior Curator at the AGNSW where she expanded the collection, curated several major exhibitions, edited significant publications and wrote and lectured extensively. She wrote and presented ‘art and soul’, two three-part documentary series, for ABC TV, and co-produced four series of ‘Colour Theory’ for SBS/NITV. She was co-curator of the Australian Indigenous Art Commission at the Musee du quai Branly, Paris.

Hetti is a past member of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council and the boards of the MCA and MAGNT.

Learn more about the 2020 First Nations Arts Awards.