Anne-Marie Van de Ven
What is your specialty area?
Visual communications – graphic design, new media design and commercial photography (or as some like to say – flat rather than fat things!)
How long have you been working at the Museum?
Too long perhaps – over 25 years – ever since I studied education and taught on the Gold Coast and Papua New Guinea, travelled to the States and Europe, and then studied fine arts, philosophy and English literature at the University of Sydney! Mmmm – seems like forever, but it’s mostly been great fun!
What is your favourite object in the collection?
I’m compelled to mention two – the boab wood nut carvings carved by Ngarinyin artist Jack Wherra using a three inch nail and pieces of broken glass in Derby, Western Australia between 1950 and 1960, and the graphic and textile designs of David McDiarmid which are so vibrant and full of a zest for life but with the tragic HIV/AIDS epidemic woven into their very fabric!
What piece of research or exhibition are you most proud of in your career at the Museum?
There are three – a paper I presented in Japan about Australian Aboriginal graphic design (the insight it provided into the disadvantage suffered by Aboriginal Australians, and their resilience, moved the interpreter to tears); an exhibition of contemporary Australian graphic design produced for the 2006 Sydney Design Festival which included 2D graphics as well as designed content for mobile phones; and Celebrating Australia: identity by design Centenary of Federation exhibition which travelled to Washington DC and New York before being seen in Hay, NSW.