Matt Poll

Curator Indigenous Heritage and Repatriation Project, Macleay Museum

Grad Cert VCA BA
BA Communications, University of Technology

Biographical details

Matt Poll has worked in museums and art galleries for nearly 20 years. For the past seven years Matt has worked as the Assistant Curator of the Macleay Museum Indigenous Heritage Collections as well as being the University of Sydney Repatriation Project Officer.

Matt has previously worked as the Artistic Director of Boomalli Aboriginal artists cooperative as well as other positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Wollongong City Gallery. His current masters by research project seeks to further develop methods of understanding the ways contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have used museum collections, historic records and archival materials in the reconstruction of cultural identities, exploring how visual artists, in particular, have developed auto-ethnographic methods of engaging with historical information outside of academic frameworks.

Research interests

  • Indigenous Community cultural development
  • Repatriation of ancestral remains and secret sacred artefacts
  • Aboriginal art produced by New South Wales artists
  • Historical collections of New South Wales Aboriginal cultural materials
  • Translations of Indigenous historical archive material by contemporary artists

Grants and Awards

2016

Delegate, Australia Council First Nations curatorial tour to the United States

2014

Recipient, Harold Mitchell Curator exchange Program at Musee du Quai Branley, Paris

2005

Winner, New South Wales Local Government Association Cultural Award for the Warali Wali project


Exhibitions

2016

Curator, Written in Stone, Macleay Museum, 17 August 2015 – 8 August 2016

2013

Curator, EORA College class of 2013, Verge Gallery

2013

Curator with Zanny Begg and Boyd D, The Transit of Venus, Tin Sheds Gallery

2011

Curator with Katie Yuill, Freedom Riders: Art and activism 1960s to now, University Art Gallery, 3 July – 5 September 2011

2010

Curator, Peoples of the Rainforest, Macleay Museum

2009

Curator, ‘Outlines’: Koori artefacts from the Macleay Museum, Macleay Museum

2008

Curator, ‘Re-inscriptions’, Aboriginal + China connections, Gallery 4A

2008

Curator, Contemporary Indigenous Aboriginal Photography, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative

2008

Curator, Harry J Wedge solo exhibition, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

2007

Curator, Twentieth anniversary exhibition, Boomalli founding members

2007

Curator, Guangzhou international art fair, China

2006

Curator, Indigenous Landscape Design + fibre and texture in New South Wales

2006

Curator, The Pink the Black and The Beautiful, Mardi Gras Festival satellite exhibition

2006

Curator, Guangzhou international Art Fair, China


Publications

2017

'From out of nowhere, now here' in Open Spatial Workshop: Converging in time, Monash University Museum of Art

2016

'Presence through absence' in The Museum of Dissensus, Erasure and Memory, Sydney College of the Arts

2015

Written in Stone, Sydney: University of Sydney

2015

'Written in stone: Understand Aboriginal stone tools', Teaching History, vol 49, no. 3, Sep 2015: 26-30

2014

Jason Wing, Sydney: Artspace

2011

Freedom Riders: Art and Activism 1960’s to now, with contributions by Matt Poll, Katie Yuill and Ann Curthoys, Sydney: University Art Gallery, [available online]

2010

'Islands Apart - Worlds Away, Review of The Others / Les autres', Pacific Arts NS 10: 52-54

2009

Badger Bates. Artist profile in ‘Menagerie’: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture. Sydney: Object Australian Design Centre and the Australian Museum

2009

Garth Lena. Artist profile in ‘Menagerie’: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture. Sydney: Object Australian Design Centre and the Australian Museum

2007

Harry J Wedge. Artist profile in Culture warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia