Visiting Research Fellows

Dr Patricia Flanagan

Patricia Flanagan, MAAS Research Fellow.

November – December 2019 and November 2020

Project Title : Geographies of Making: Tracing the Material gestures of Craft

The aim of this research investigation is to gain new perspectives on textiles and ways of sharing the traditional wisdom embodied in craft practices through development of interactive media interfaces and artefacts. The research objectives include recording details of practices which may not exist in the future; revealing new perspectives about craft; and informing design of human computer interaction, haptic interfaces and digital tools of the future.

The research project investigates a selection of Chinese textiles in the MAAS collection based on the methodology of Material Culture Theory (Jules Prown). From narratives constructed around each artefact, lines of connection will link to places, histories, cultures, stories, textiles, traditions, rituals and customs which will inform the design of a series of critical and speculative artefacts and interfaces.

Dr. Tricia Flanagan is an artist and academic. Her work has, at its foundation, a systems thinking approach. Her practice includes public art, site-specific sculpture, social sculpture, sculptural installation, wearables and performance installation and is published in numerous books and journals including Germany’s leading arts journal ‘Kunstforum’. Flanagan established the Wearables Lab at the Academy of Visual Art at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2009 where she worked as Assistant Professor until joining UNSW Art and Design in 2016. She is the founder of ongoing experimental research initiatives: Haptic InterFace (HIF) and the Peripatetic Institute for Praxiology and Anthropology (PIPA). Flanagan’s work is represented in private and public collections in Australia, Ireland, Germany, Italy and China, including the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Recent exhibitions include Taipei Museum of Modern Art. She is the winner of four CASP funded Public Art commissions, a UGCTD Grant to develop PIPA; representative for Oceania at the Tournai Contemporary Textiles Biennial Belgium; winner of The Max Fabre Foundation Award for Environmental Awareness and was CeMoRe Visiting Fellow Lancaster University in 2015.

Dr Catherine De Lorenzo

Portrait of Dr Catherine De Lorenzo

January – March 2020

Project Title : Australia at the 1937 Paris Exhibition

De Lorenzo’s fellowship project brings together research on the collection and reception of Australian photographs in France from the late 1850s to today. Each of the three central stories, covering almost a hundred and fifty years, is inherently cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural. The archival research draws on discourses from art history as well the social sciences, especially ethnography and geography. Powerhouse Museum’s archives expand on the Australian pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition, when Australia shifted from presenting itself as a primary producer to a nation proud of its art and design. Whereas completed research has drawn on national archives in Australia and France, the focus at the Powerhouse Museum is on the archives of individual practitioners, especially: photographer Russell Roberts, and contributing or visiting designers including Douglas Annand, Richard Haughton James, Dahl Collings, Geoffrey Collings and Michael O’Connell.

Adjunct Associate Professor Catherine De Lorenzo is an art historian who worked for many years in Built Environment, UNSW, and is now affiliated with MADA at Monash University. Her numerous publications on the histories and historiographies of Australian art, photography and exhibitions, Australian and European photographic exchange, contemporary public art and architectural photography can be found in leading national and international journals on Australian and Aboriginal studies, literature, visual anthropology, urban and visual studies, histories of photography, architecture and landscape architecture, as well as art history and art historiography. Her most recent publications are: J. Mendelssohn, C. De Lorenzo, A. Inglis and C. Speck, Australian Art Exhibitions: Opening our eyes (Melbourne: T&H, 2018), and ‘An “Architect’s delight”: Dupain and Rickard’, in Bruce Rickard: A Life in Architecture, eds. J. Cracknell, P. Lonergan, S. Rickard, 117-195 (Sydney: NewSouth Books, 2018). She received the 2009 Australian Institute of Architect’s Marion Mahony Griffin Award, curated several exhibitions, and has served on the editorial boards of national and international journals.

Asti Sherring

Asti Sherring

February 2020

Project Title : Crossing the ice archive: applying time-based art conservation principles for the preservation of an applied arts and sciences collection

Cultural institutions have always grappled with the challenge of preserving obsolete technological collections in a way that represents the functional life of an object and its context authentically. As the physical world becomes more embedded within the virtual, this challenge continues to expand and so museums will need to develop new ways of thinking about the preservation and display of works that are variable, iterative and technological in nature. As the primary case study, ‘Crossing the ice’ archives, this research will investigate the potential cross over of contemporary conservation ethics and digital preservation between applied arts and science collections and time-based artworks.

Asti Sherring is a senior time-based art conservator at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. Asti completed a Bachelor of Media Arts with honours from Sydney University in 2005. She completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in photographs conservation (Melbourne University) in 2011 and a Masters of Materials Conservation specialising in paper and photographic materials in 2012. Previously, Asti has worked as such notable institutions as The Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art and The National Archives of Australia. Asti undertook a photographs conservation fellowship at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2014. In 2017 Asti began postgraduate research in the form of a PhD at the University of Canberra exploring the cultural, institutional and perceived barriers around variable, technological based collections in heritage collections.

More information about Asti’s art research can be found on her website (

Dr Anna Madeleine Raupach

Dr. Anna Madeleine Raupach

August, September 2019

Project Title : Augmenting objects: using AR to reimagine narratives of Australian weather events

This project will use augmented reality as digital storytelling technique to explore narratives related to the process of recording and observing meteorological and astronomical events in Australian history. Drawing on objects in the MAAS collection such as measurement devices; first hand descriptions of weather conditions; and the Astrographic Catalogue of Stars, it will explore how people have observed natural phenomena throughout history, both personally and scientifically. This research aims to reflect narratives about people’s understanding of time and space in the natural environment to contribute to expressive forms of science communication in the context of climate change.

Dr Anna Madeleine Raupach is a multi-disciplinary artist working across drawing, animation, installation, AR and VR, and a Lecturer in Printmedia & Drawing at ANU School of Art & Design. Her current research has explored the use of natural objects as AR markers to explore the hidden affordances and time-scales of rocks, fossils, trees and leaves. Recent projects include an Art Gallery of NSW studio residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris to work with scientists at HM&CO Lab, Ecole des Points, ParisTech (2018), an Asialink Arts residency with Common Room Network Foundation, Bandung, Indonesia (2017), a Vice Chancellor’s Artist Fellowship at the ANU Medical School, and an ArtsACT grant to be a visiting scholar at the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California (2016).

More information about Anna’s art practice and research can be found on her website ( and research profile (

Dr Andrew Burrell, Dr Rachel Henderey and Kate Richards

Dr Andrew Burrell, Dr Rachel Henderey and Kate Richards

May, September 2019

Project Title : Fields of View Object Explorer

One of the key questions this project team is interested in is how people interpret and connect objects with their metadata (museum records, archival files, associated audiovisual material, and/or related data visualisations like maps and graphs). In this project we are experimenting with ways in which a user can unlock these associations through natural interactions with the object in a virtual reality space. Central to this investigation is a key question of research through design, asking how can the unique affordances of virtual reality be used to design experiences that reveal and make tangible open and cross-disciplinary metadata schemas?

Dr Andrew Burrell is a lecturer is Visual Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. His research explores virtual and digitally mediated environments as sites for the construction, experience and exploration of memory as narrative. His ongoing research investigates the relationship between imagined and remembered narrative and how the multi- layered biological and technological encoding of human subjectivity may be portrayed within, and inform the design of, virtual environments.

Dr Rachel Hendery is Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at Western Sydney University. Her research focuses on how language and culture change over time, especially when multiple languages and cultures come into contact with each other. Through the use of new technologies, she investigates these questions using mapping, modelling, simulation and data visualisation in virtual reality.

Kate Richards is a media artist, collaborator, producer and Senior Lecturer/PG Co-ordinator Creative Industries at Western Sydney University. Kate’s electronic art works have been shown at Sydney Opera House, ACMI, AGNSW, Australian Centre for Photography, The Performance Space, ISEA Sydney, Museum of Sydney, Justice and Police Museum, and Carriage Works (Winter 2019) as well as internationally. As a producer Kate has devised and delivered media installations for museums (e.g. Historic Houses Trust, Australian War Memorial), architects (e.g Landini Associates, Otto Scheharmi) and clients such as National Parks and Wildlife Services and Sydney Olympic Park. During the MAAS residency Kate is researching a new VR art project FLOOD based on the Richmond (Hawkesbury) Lowlands; she has First Nations consultants in place. In FLOOD, audience will stand in floodwaters and be able to see, grasp and examine objects in the flood waters; the objects come from a variety of eras and generally comprise natural materials value-added by human intervention: handling the objects trigger stories derived from/about the objects.

Dr Karin Sellberg and Dr Elizabeth Stephens

Karin Sellberg and Elizabeth Stephens, MAAS Research Fellows.

March 2019

Project Title : Speculative Anatomies: Visualising Life and the Body in Public Medical Exhibitions

In what ways have medical institutions and ideas come to shape the ways in which we understand the human body? This project examines the cultures of display and methods of communication found in public exhibitions of the human body, past and present. It focuses particularly on those exhibitions designed to educate a general audience about health and human anatomy.

Drawing on the collection of historical anatomical models at MAAS, this project evaluates the role of visual materials in popularising medical knowledge about the human body, paying particular attention to representations of reproduction and the principles of ‘life.’ Our aim, in so doing, is to better understand the educational and speculative aspects of these models, and the ways in which public and professional expertise intersect.

Anatomical models of the human body provide us with a rich archive for recovering the historical transformations in the way medicine has attempted to demonstrate how the unseen processes of the human body operate to a general audience.

Elizabeth Stephens is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. She is the author of three monographs: A Critical Genealogy of Normality (University of Chicago Press, 2017), co-authored with Peter Cryle; Anatomy as Spectacle: Public Exhibitions of the Body from 1700 to the Present (Liverpool University Press, 2011); and Queer Writing: Homoeroticism in Jean Genet’s Fiction (Palgrave 2009). Her Future Fellowship examines the cultural history of the experiment, from early modern science to contemporary experimental art.

Karin Sellberg is a lecturer in humanities at the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of Queensland. She is primarily a literary scholar with research interests in medical history, gender studies and historiography. She currently works on feminist philosophies of “life,” and constructions of transgender embodiment in late twentieth-century feminist and queer theory, and she has published extensively on queer and feminist conceptions of history and time.

Dr Fiona Cameron

Dr Fiona Cameron

February 2019

Project Title : Ecologizing experimentations: Collections and curatorial practices for a more-than-human and digitally mediated world

Our lives and worldly situations are deeply ecological and radically interconnected dramatically evident through events such as climate change, through the observed realities of the Anthropocene, and through the emergence of an all-encompassing digitally mediated world. Through their collections, programs and exhibitions, museums are powerful pedagogical institutions, instrumental in shaping ideas about culture, identity and cultural difference, and about human relations with the non-human world, technology and science. Museums are therefore ideally placed to frame and promote new theories and practices of life.

Using specific collection items across the MAAS collection (technology, design, social history; digital) and working closely with museum staff, Fiona’s project will develop and test a series of ecologizing theories and methods with the aim of formulating new models of curatorship, object concepts, interpretive storytelling and exhibitory practices drawing inspiration from the environmental posthumanities, digital humanities and media ecology.

Dr Fiona Cameron is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and visiting Professor at Linköping University, Sweden. Fiona is a museum scholar in the fields of digital cultural heritage, museums and climate change and the environmental posthumanities. Over the last 10 years Fiona has been conducting ecologizing experimentations across domains of museum practice from climate change narratives to institutional forms; to collections and documentation, and to digital cultural heritage.

Relevant grants, projects and publications can be found on Dr Fiona Cameron’s research page.

Dr Ollie Bown

Dr Ollie BownOctober 2018

Project title / Creative work title: Spiral: A mechanical musical installation
Fellowship Topic: Examining the role of player pianos in music technology history, through the Mastertouch company

Dr Oliver Bown is Senior Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design, where he is co-director of the Interactive Media Lab. His research looks at new algorithms and technologies applied to the production and experience of music.

Ollie was drawn to the museum’s Mastertouch collection of mechanical pianos, and the machines that Mastertouch used to create and copy piano rolls for an international audience. Mechanical musical instruments are interesting triggers for reflection on music technology’s present. Neither normal instruments nor music recording technology in the sense we are familiar with it today, they are hard to fit neatly into a simple lineage of music technology history. They continued to be popular in the face of the rise of audio technology; Mastertouch sold piano rolls through to the early years of the 21st Century. Naturally, the company updated its production process over the years, using digital technology to record piano performances that were then printed onto physical rolls.

Working with a number of collaborators, including the improvising ensemble Tangents, of which he is a member, Ollie will create a new musical work that explores the mechanical, situated nature of autonomous instruments, weaving in contemporary aspects of music technology including networked systems, generative music and augmented reality.

Dr Sarah Barns

Dr Sarah BarnsJuly 2017

Project title: Eyes on the Skies: The scientific imagination of Lawrence Hargraves

Dr Sarah Barns is a Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and Director of experiential media and design practice Esem Projects.

Through her fellowship at MAAS, Sarah’s will continue an ongoing series of research investigations exploring the nature of the scientific imagination during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and its links with disciplines today associated with the arts and creativity. Sarah will research the collection as part of a profile of Lawrence Hargrave whose work on aviation models he considered ‘his very soul’s work’. Through research of Hargrave’s diaries and relevant photographic archives, Sarah will be seeking to understand and capture a sense of how Hargrave understood his own work of invention as creative endeavour. This will involve access and documentation of elements of the photographic collection, personal diaries and documentation of relevant artefacts and models.

Sarah’s work as a practitioner relates to the interpretation of digital collections through experiential media and site-based digital storytelling. In 2015-6 she was lead curator and interpretation consultant for the Arts Centre of Christchurch’s ‘Rutherford’s Den’, a museum space dedicated to the life and legacy of Lord Ernest Rutherford, for which she developed a series of exhibits exploring the historical relationship between the arts and sciences in the development of twentieth century modern physics. Previously she was audio-visual interpretation consultant for the redevelopment of the ANU Mt Stromlo Observatory Director’s Residence, creating a series of film and sound based responses to the history of Mt Stromlo as a space of creative and scientific endeavour. Sarah connects practice-led research in digital archives with experiential media and design opportunities through Esem Projects, a practice dedicated to expanding the possibilities of place-making, historical interpretation and community engagement in the public domain.

Dr Jo Law and Dr Agnieszka Golda

February and June 2017Dr Jo Law and Dr Agnieszka Golda

Project title: Exchanges between traditional and new textile technologies: inventing sustainable methods of making through creative collaboration

Dr Jo Law is Senior Lecturer in Media Arts/ Visual Arts at the University of Wollongong. View Dr Jo Law’s website.

Dr Agnieszka Golda is Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts (Textiles) at the University of Wollongong. View Dr Agnieszka Golda’s website.

Jo and Agnieszka’s collaborative project asks: how can art contribute to new strategies that helps us meet current environmental challenges? In response to this question, they bring together their areas of expertise: textiles and electronic media, to focus on how art can inspire social change and action on global climate justice.

While at MAAS, Jo and Agnieszka’s research looks at gold and silver thread embroidery principally from China and Japan. They will access the MAAS collection and access samples held in the Lace Study Centre. They are particularly interested in the depiction of animals in textile objects as well as their construction processes. Jo and Agnieszka’s objective is to discover how traditional and contemporary lace and embroidery techniques can be combined with conductive materials, low energy devices, and energy harvesting technologies (photovoltaic cells) to invent new materials and sustainable methods of making. This archival research will directly inform their material research which will result in the creation of a series of experimental objects.

Dr Kate Scardifield

Dr Kate Scardifield

February 2017

Project title: Archival Enactments: New Constellations

Curated by Panel (Glasgow) in partnership with Heriot Watt University; Live Borders; Fife Contemporary Art & Craft; The Barony Centre and Falkirk Community Trust.

Kate is a visual artist and researcher currently developing a new body of work in response to collections and civic archives across regional areas in Scotland. Tracing thread lines and points of connection between Scotland and Australia, her project employs a constellation metaphor to think about how we construct meaning and narrative through the specific grouping of objects, and how actively re-seeing collections as unfixed ‘bodies of knowledge’ can prompt new ideas and call into question our understanding of heritage, identity and place.

Over the course of her fellowship Kate examined objects and ephemera linked to the former Governor of NSW and Scottish astronomer Thomas Brisbane (1773-1860). MAAS and Sydney Observatory hold a number of astronomical instruments brought to Australia by Brisbane in the early 1800s and used at the Parramatta observatory to chart the southern sky. Kate’s work spans textiles, video and sculpture and will result in a touring exhibition across Scotland in 2017 and 2018.

Associate Professor Robert Crawford

Associate Professor Robert Crawford

November – December 2016

Project title: Mapping marketing networks: Rousel Studios and Interwar Sydney

Media and Marketing Historian, Associate Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney

Over the course of his Fellowship, Robert examined the materials contained in the Rousel Studios collection. The project analysed these materials with a view to understanding the everyday operations of the Rousel Studios and contextualising them within their broader social, cultural, commercial, and economic contexts.

Research firstly focused on ascertaining the everyday operations of the Rousel Studios, from its organisation and client lists to its creative output. The project then delved more deeply into the archival materials to explore the ways in which the Rousel Studios interacted with other firms with a view to mapping Sydney marketing industries. By developing a clearer outline of Rousel Studios’ operations and its interaction with allied and associated businesses during the interwar period, this project expanded understandings of this business and its operations and offers new insights into Sydney’s marketing industry during the 1920s and 1930s.

Robert’s publications include But Wait, There’s More … A History of Australia’s Advertising Industry, 1900-2000 (Melbourne University Press, 2008), Consumer Australia: Historical Perspectives (CSP, 2010). His most recent book, Through Glass Doors: Inside the World of Australian Advertising Agencies, 1959-1989 (co-authored with Jackie Dickenson – UWAP, 2016) uses oral history interviews to go behind the scenes of Australia’s advertising agencies during the ‘Mad Men’ period.

Dr Justine Lloyd

Dr Justine Lloyd

July 2016

Cultural and media historian, senior lecturer in Sociology at Macquarie University, Sydney

Project title: Intimate geographies of media: Public service radio for women, 1932-1975

While at the museum, Justine researched the social context of radio in the home during the mid-twentieth century. Justine gathered information on the ways that radio as broadcast technology was domesticated in the 1930s and 40s and looking at how it increasingly became part of everyday life in Australia. She accessed the Museum’s Research Library and Archives to explore this process, especially the Museum’s collection of trade literature, magazines and periodicals. Justine also looked at the Museum’s collection of radio receivers and its photographic archive. This research contributes to a set of projects looking at contemporary media forms through the lens of listening practices. This material will be included in a book on women as radio producers and audiences in the UK, Australia, and Canada (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017).

Justine is also the editor with Dr Jeannine Baker of a special issue of Media International Australia on the theme of ‘Gendered Labour and Media” (forthcoming November 2016). Previous research has been published as co-authored articles and a book (with Lesley Johnson, Berg 2004) on the history of the housewife. She is a joint editor of the international journal of social spaces, Space and Culture.

Dr Gail Kenning

Dr Gail Kenning

March-April 2016

Artist, researcher, educator, and Research Associate, University of Technology Sydney

Project title: Everyday Creativity

Using ethnography Gail explored contemporary relationships to craft activities and hobbies with a focus on how these activities contribute to positive wellbeing and healthy ageing. She interviewed MAAS staff and volunteers, and accessed the Museum’s archives and Research Library to explore literature about craft activities and their popularity at various times, and to examine craft techniques. Gail’s research provided a wealth of information about craft activities and how people engage with them which will inform and underpin future research in this area.

Previously Gail has been the recipient of funding for work related to craft and wellbeing where she has worked with the Lace Study Centre at the Powerhouse Museum; the evaluation of arts programs for people with dementia; and projects exploring participatory design approaches working with and for people with dementia. Gail is Design United Research Fellow at University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands where she researches in relation to implicit memory, ageing and dementia. Gail works at the intersection of art, craft, design and technology. Her artistic practice spans sculptural installation, photography and video, programmed animations and data visualization. She has exhibited and screened works internationally and nationally at public galleries, private galleries and artist run initiatives.

Dr Sally Gray

Dr Sally Gray

November 2015 and March 2016

Cultural historian, curator, Visiting Scholar in Cultural History UNSW | Art & Design, Principal of Sally Gray and Company arts consultants

Project Title: Hand and Heart Shall Never Part: The Creative Collaboration of Linda Jackson and David McDiarmid

Sally’s research project relates to her exhibition of the same title scheduled to open at Wollongong City Gallery in September 2016. The exhibition and its accompanying publication will explore the interdisciplinary art and fashion space inhabited by the two friends – David McDiarmid, artist and Linda Jackson, fashion designer – as they worked to co-invent design ideas and co-create garments bearing the labels Linda Jackson Flamingo Park (1974-82) and Linda Jackson Bush Couture (1983-92). The exhibition title refers to a sentimental 19th century homily used by McDiarmid and to the romantic framing of creative relationships in the milieu they shared in first Melbourne and then Sydney. The exhibition is part of a larger project which includes David McDiarmid: When This You See Remember Me at NGV Melbourne (May-August 2014) and a soon to be published book resulting from Sally’s 2010-12 Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship exploring fashion, art, decorative arts and sexual politics in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1970s and 80s. Sally is working mainly on magazine and newspaper files in the Museum’s important Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee Archives and the MAAS fashion collection, which holds significant work by Jackson and McDiarmid, and the MAAS Research Library.

View Sally’s publications here.

Dr Narelle Lemon

Dr Narelle Lemon

March and May 2015

School of Education, La Trobe University

Project Title: Museums, Audiences, and Capturing Learning Experiences: Tweeting to Connect

Narelle’s research investigated how museums are sites for learning and how we can access cultural awareness off-site meaningfully and purposefully. She is interested in investigating how social media can be integrated to build student and teacher engagement with museum sites, objects, and cultural knowledge. The Fellowship enabled the formation of the hashtag #MuseumEdOz that is facilitated on Twitter (and with a page on Narelle’s website). The hashtag development emerged from a need to provide a national forum for sharing and a dedicated discussion for museum educators and teachers. This focuses on building a community that is flexible with ‘anywhere, anytime’ access, accommodation and engagement with multiple voices, and a shift away from professional isolation. It supports the generation of questions, sharing ideas, resources, and best practice. Most importantly it creates possibilities for an open dialogue associated with museum education from the perspectives of curriculum integration across multiple discipline areas and professional learning opportunities.