Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meet the Town Hall Gallery Team: Mardi Nowak


Senior Curator Mardi Nowak with an installation at Art Basel Hong Kong

Hello THGers! I'm Marion, your trusty gallery and curatorial support officer at Town Hall Gallery, nice to meet you.

In the lead up to our November 22 launch we thought you might like to meet your THG curatorial team. We are so excited to be back and ready to introduce you to our new spaces, retail store, Community Project Wall and all of the fantastic artists in our 2014 exhibition program.

We all asked one another a set of 5 questions designed to act as a bit of an ice-breaker. So pull up a chair, grab a coffee, and let's get to know each other a little better!

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Mardi Nowak - Senior Curator

As the captain of the ship at Town Hall Gallery since 2004, Mardi is the wise and triumphant leader responsible for keeping Kent and Marion in line. Head to toe in Marimekko, Mardi has programmed an amazing exhibition calendar for the first half of 2014.

Trained in tapestry and textiles with an MA in Fine Arts from Monash University, Mardi is a strong believer in 'art for everyone'. The vision and experience that Mardi brings to THG can be found in everything we do, from the innovative exhibitions to the beautiful products in our new retail store, The Emporium @ THG.

As an exhibiting artist, Mardi has shown her work around Melbourne and most recently in the 8th International Biennial of Textile Miniatures in Lithuania. Her work has featured in a number of prominent group exhibitions, such as the Kate Derum Small Tapestry Award and the touring exhibition  About Time:  Australian Studio Tapestry 1974-2005.

Mardi has held positions in local government public galleries, including Kingston Art Centre, and she has also lectured in Tapestry at Monash University. Needless to say, Mardi maintains an active artistic practice alongside her curatorial projects and is instrumental in artworks acquired for the Town Hall Gallery Collection.

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When you're not at the gallery, how do you spend your free time?
I fill up my spare time (or what is left of it!) either in my studio weaving, catching up on some art books or watching arts documentaries.  There is the mantra that we eat, breathe, sleep art and that is very true but I love taking time out on the weekend to bake bread, make something yummy and enjoy time with friends, family and my cat Miss Nina.

If you could have dinner with any artist, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
This is such a hard question!  Maybe Jeff Koons as I think he would be quite entertaining to have dinner with and would keep the conversation flowing.  I adore the work of Karen Kilimnik and Elizabeth Peyton but sometimes you don't want to meet your heroes because they may not meet your expectations!

In my position I do get to have dinner with lots of fascinating artists who always bring fascinating ideas and conversation to the dinner table, it's one of the best parts of the job!

What superpower would you have and why?
Hmmm... I think the ability to heal things.  I'm quite accident prone and often bumping into things so being able to heal myself and others would be pretty amazing.

What three words would you use to describe the new Town Hall Gallery?
Inspiring, chameleon-like and inviting.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2014 at Town Hall Gallery?
We have so many fantastic exhibitions coming up that I am looking forward to sharing with our visitors.  I can't wait to see people's responses to the new space and the curatorial program that we are showing, I'm sure they will find it inspiring and thought-provoking.  We are also working with a wonderful group of artists from both Australia and overseas and I can't wait to see how they respond to the new gallery space.

The most exciting part is taking Town Hall Gallery to a new level within the visual arts sector.  We had worked incredibly hard previously on creating exciting and fun exhibitions and now we are growing into some new, while keeping all the good parts!

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