Associate Professor Ann Elias

BA MA(Hons) PhD (Auck)
Associate Professor, Theoretical Enquiry

N01P - Sydney College Of The Arts - Rozelle - (Kirkbride)
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 1031
Fax +61 2 9351 1144

Biographical details

Ann Elias completed a PhD in art history at the University of Auckland with a thesis that investigates the history of NZ still life and flower painting. She has published on New Zealand’s leading historical and contemporary artists including Rata Lovell-Smith, Michael Parekowhai, Peter Peryer and Paul Hartigan. In 1990 she was appointed to Sydney College of the Arts as head of the study area of art history and theory. Since then her research has focused on Australian subjects and her work published internationally in books and journals.

Research interests

Ann's historical research concentrates on visual representations of nature in art, science and popular culture. She researches people who have made significant contributions to visual culture and social history. Areas of interest include camouflage as an aesthetic, social and military phenomenon; flowers and Australian art; early underwater photography at the colonial tropics. In 2011, she embarked on a new project investigating visual representations of the Great Barrier Reef.


Current projects

Ann Elias is writing a book titled Coral Empire: Underwater oceans, colonial tropics, visual modernity for Duke University Press. It is a study of common histories between the Bahamas and the Great Barrier Reef in relation to photography and filmmaking of the underwater.

She is a Research Affiliate of the 'Underwater Worlds Project', part of the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney. The project is concerned with imagining, representing and understanding the underwater world, c. 1750-2016 and is between Humanities, Arts, Ecology and Science scholars at the Universities of Sydney, RMIT, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

Associations

Auckland Museum Life member
College Art Association of America Member 2010
Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Member 2009

Awards and honours

2014 University of Sydney Thompson Fellowship
2014 National Library of Australia, honorary Harold White Fellowship
2009 SCA Teaching Award, Excellence in Teaching
2006 Writing Fellowship, The Beautiful, Mutable Flower
2006 Research and Development Grant, Flowers and Wa

In the media

2015 Interview: Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) Deception by Design

Selected grants

2014

  • Modernist Imagery of the Great Barrier Reef 1880-1950; Elias A; National Library of Australia/Harold White Fellowship.
  • Useless Beauty: Flowers, art, and modern European Australia; Elias A; DVC Research/Thompson Fellowships.

2013

  • Contemporary International Aesthetics; Elias A, Colless E, Gibson R, Hauser K, Mellor D, Millner J, Tsoutas N, Tyler L, Behrens R; DVC International/IPDF Grant.
  • Conference grant for keynote speakers (Camouflage Cultures: surveillance, communities, aesthetics, animals); Elias A; Ian Potter Foundation/Travel Support.

2012

  • Present the exhibition Camouflage Cultures: surveillance, communities, aesthetics, and animals; curated by Nicholas Tsoutas and Assoc Professor Ann Elias.; Elias A, Tsoutas N; Australia Council for the Arts/Presentation & Promotion Grant.

2005

  • Flower painting as symptomatic of First World War trauma: Hans Heysen, George Lambert and Arthur Streeton; Elias A; University of Sydney/Research & Development.

2002

  • The camouflage artists with the 5th Australian Division and their deception scheme on Goodenough Island in 1943.; Elias A; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).

Selected publications & creative works

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Books

  • Elias, A. (2017). Coral Empire: Underwater oceans, colonial tropics, visual modernity. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Useless Beauty: Flowers and Australian Art. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Elias, A. (2011). Camouflage Australia: Art, Nature, Science, and War. Sydney: Sydney University Press.

Edited Books

  • Elias, A., Harley, R., Tsoutas, N. (2015). Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance. Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Elias, A. (2016). Frank Hurley and the artificial underwater. The Underwater Realm. United Kingdon: Routledge.
  • Elias, A., Harley, R., Tsoutas, N. (2015). Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance | Introduction. In Ann Elias, Ross Harley, Nicholas Tsoutas (Eds.), Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance, (pp. 7-9). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Zoos and camouflage. In Ann Elias, Ross Harley, Nicholas Tsoutas (Eds.), Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance, (pp. 33-45). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2010). Military Magic: Camouflage and Goodenough Island. In Prue Ahrens and Chris Dixon (Eds.), Coast to Coast: Case Histories of Modern Pacific Crossings, (pp. 139-151). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Elias, A. (2007). Moral Conflict, Cultural Pluralism, and Contemporary Visual Arts Education. In Angela Brew & Judyth Sachs (Eds.), Transforming a university: the scholarship of teaching and learning in practice, (pp. 39-46). NSW, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2005). Peter Peryer. In Hannah Holm & Lara Strongman (Eds.), Contemporary New Zealand Photographers, (pp. 80-88). Auckland, NZ: Mountain View and Craig Potton.

Journals

  • Elias, A. (2016). Camouflage and its impact on Australia in WWII: An art historian’s perspective. Salus Journal, 1(4), 1-12.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Obliteration: the camouflaged body, Australia, and photography in modern war. War, Literature and the Arts (WLA), 27, 1-21.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Ocean monster screen stars: The impact of J. E. Williamson in Australia. The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 4(2 & 3), 85-98. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2015). Relations with natives: Max Dupain, Papua New Guinea and MOMA. World Art, 5(2), 287-307. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2015). War and the Floral Sublime: Bronia Iwanczak and Michael Parekowhai. Eyeline, 83, 36-43.
  • Elias, A. (2014). Second Life: Chicago's 'Bahama Islands diorama'. Antennae: the journal of nature in visual culture, 29, 34-48.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Flower Light. Eyeline, 78/79(Autumn/Winter), 35-41.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Hide and Seek: Camouflage, Photography, and the Media of Reconnaissance. History of Photography, 37(3), 370-371.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Peter Peryer and Flowers. Art New Zealand, 146(Winter 2013), 54-59.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Sea of Dreams: Andre Breton and the Great Barrier Reef. Papers of Surrealism, (10), 1-15.
  • Elias, A. (2013). The Ocean in Our Blood: William Dakin's Modern Story for ABC Radio. Journal of Australian Studies, 37(4), 425-437. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2012). Camouflage and Surrealism. WLA: an international journal of the humanities, 24, 1-25.
  • Elias, A. (2009). 'Art Has No Country': Hans Heysen and the Consequences of the First World War. History Australia, 6(1), 04.1-04.16.
  • Elias, A. (2009). Camouflage and The Half-hidden History of Max Dupain in War. History of Photography, 33(4), 370-382. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2009). Camouflage Campaigners: Abbott H. Thayer and William J. Dakin. Leonardo, 42(1), 36-41.
  • Elias, A. (2009). Fantin-Latour in Australia. Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 8(2), 1-16.
  • Elias, A. (2008). Flower Men: The Australian Canon and Flower Painting 1910-1935. emaj: electronic Melbourne art journal, 3, 1-17.
  • Elias, A. (2008). Flowers and Manliness: The Flower Paintings of George Lambert, Hans Heysen, and Arthur Streeton. Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, 10(2), 14-29.
  • Elias, A. (2008). War and the visual language of flowers: an antipodean perspective. The International Journal of the Humanities, 20(1-2), 234-250.
  • Elias, A. (2008). William Dakin on Camouflage in Nature and War. Journal of Australian Studies, 32(2), 251-263. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2007). 'Exquisite Corpse: Flowers and the First World War'. The International Journal of the Humanities, 5(3), 31-35.
  • Elias, A. (2007). War, Flowers, and Visual Culture: the first world war collection of the Australian War Memorial. Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 40(Feb 07), 1 (online)-10.
  • Elias, A. (2006). Floral Imagery During the First World War. Wartime, (35), 58-59.
  • Elias, A. (2006). Intimate Relations: On the Fascination of Matthys Gerber for Theo Schoon. Eyeline, (60), 32-37.
  • Elias, A. (2003). 'Most Secret' Australian camouflage artists in the Second World War. Art and Australia, 41(1), 102-108.
  • Elias, A. (2003). The organisation of camouflage in Australia in the Second World War. Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 38(April), 1-10.
  • Elias, A. (2002). West and Warburton. Art and Australia, , 485-486.
  • Elias, A. (2002). When Art Became A Weapon: Australians created a masterpiece of deception in the SW Pacific in 1943. Wartime, , 26-27.
  • Elias, A. (2001). Beautiful and True : Early Flower Paintings by by Nora Heysen. Art and Australia, 38(3), 404-409.

Conferences

  • Elias, A. (2015). The lure of underwater space at coral reefs in the early twentieth century. The Underwater Realm, Stanford, California: Stanford University.
  • Elias, A. (2014). Great Barrier Reef: real and surreal representations. Harold White Fellow Presentation, Canberra: National Library of Australia. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2014). Relations with natives: photography, Papua New Guines, and the Pacific War. Broken Images: a symposium on early American photography in the Asia Pacific, 1850-1950, Brisbane: Griffith University. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2013). Obliteration: the camouflaged body and photography in modern war. Modernist Bodies, Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Zoos and Camouflage. Camouflage Cultures: surveillance, communities, aesthetics, animals, Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2011). The Treachery of Images: This is not the Great Barrier Reef. AAANZ 2011 Annual Conference : Contact, Wellington, New Zealand: AAANZ.
  • Elias, A. (2008). Fantin-Latour in Australia. 2008 AAANZ Conference:alpha alpha alpha november zulu, Queensland: AAANZ.
  • Elias, A. (2007). Hans Heysen: the displacement and alienation of a national hero. Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities: migration, connection, heritage and cultural memory, South Australia: Flinders University.
  • Elias, A. (2005). Contemporary Visual Arts Education, The moral Minority and Freedom of Expression. ACUADS 2005 Conference, Perth, Western Australia: Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools.
  • Elias, A. (2005). Freedom of Expression and Contemporary Visual Arts Education. HERDSA, Sydney: Institute for Learning and Teaching, University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A. (2003). Camouflage and deception. Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Annual Conference, Australia: Coin/Acoft.

Textual Creative Works

  • Elias, A. (2013). A Background to Camouflage. Camouflage Cultures: surveillance, communities, aesthetics and animals, 2013, (pp. 15 - 23). Sydney, Australia: Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A. (2011). Sydney and Sookmyung. Sydney and Sookmyung Exhibition, (pp. 13 - 23). Sydney, Australia: Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A. (2007). Paul Radford and the Philosophy of Practice. Paul Radford:Paintings 2002-2007, (pp. 1 - 5). Auckland, New Zealand: Remuera Gallery.

Exhibitions / Events

  • Elias, A., Tsoutas, N. (2013). Camouflage Cultures: Surveillance, Communities, Aesthetics and Animals. Sydney, Australia: Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Elias, A. (2013). Hidden history: Max Dupain, modernism and wartime camouflage. The Conversation.
  • Elias, A. (2011). Hidden from History. Sydney Alumni Magazine (SAM).

Other

  • Elias, A. (2014), Obliteration: the camouflaged body and photography in modern war. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2014), Peter Peryer and Flora Photographica Aotearoa.

2017

  • Elias, A. (2017). Coral Empire: Underwater oceans, colonial tropics, visual modernity. Durham: Duke University Press.

2016

  • Elias, A. (2016). Camouflage and its impact on Australia in WWII: An art historian’s perspective. Salus Journal, 1(4), 1-12.
  • Elias, A. (2016). Frank Hurley and the artificial underwater. The Underwater Realm. United Kingdon: Routledge.

2015

  • Elias, A., Harley, R., Tsoutas, N. (2015). Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance. Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A., Harley, R., Tsoutas, N. (2015). Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance | Introduction. In Ann Elias, Ross Harley, Nicholas Tsoutas (Eds.), Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance, (pp. 7-9). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Obliteration: the camouflaged body, Australia, and photography in modern war. War, Literature and the Arts (WLA), 27, 1-21.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Ocean monster screen stars: The impact of J. E. Williamson in Australia. The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 4(2 & 3), 85-98. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2015). Relations with natives: Max Dupain, Papua New Guinea and MOMA. World Art, 5(2), 287-307. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2015). The lure of underwater space at coral reefs in the early twentieth century. The Underwater Realm, Stanford, California: Stanford University.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Useless Beauty: Flowers and Australian Art. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Elias, A. (2015). War and the Floral Sublime: Bronia Iwanczak and Michael Parekowhai. Eyeline, 83, 36-43.
  • Elias, A. (2015). Zoos and camouflage. In Ann Elias, Ross Harley, Nicholas Tsoutas (Eds.), Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the art of disappearance, (pp. 33-45). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.

2014

  • Elias, A. (2014). Great Barrier Reef: real and surreal representations. Harold White Fellow Presentation, Canberra: National Library of Australia. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2014), Obliteration: the camouflaged body and photography in modern war. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2014), Peter Peryer and Flora Photographica Aotearoa.
  • Elias, A. (2014). Relations with natives: photography, Papua New Guines, and the Pacific War. Broken Images: a symposium on early American photography in the Asia Pacific, 1850-1950, Brisbane: Griffith University. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2014). Second Life: Chicago's 'Bahama Islands diorama'. Antennae: the journal of nature in visual culture, 29, 34-48.

2013

  • Elias, A. (2013). A Background to Camouflage. Camouflage Cultures: surveillance, communities, aesthetics and animals, 2013, (pp. 15 - 23). Sydney, Australia: Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A., Tsoutas, N. (2013). Camouflage Cultures: Surveillance, Communities, Aesthetics and Animals. Sydney, Australia: Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Flower Light. Eyeline, 78/79(Autumn/Winter), 35-41.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Hidden history: Max Dupain, modernism and wartime camouflage. The Conversation.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Hide and Seek: Camouflage, Photography, and the Media of Reconnaissance. History of Photography, 37(3), 370-371.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Obliteration: the camouflaged body and photography in modern war. Modernist Bodies, Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Peter Peryer and Flowers. Art New Zealand, 146(Winter 2013), 54-59.
  • Elias, A. (2013). Sea of Dreams: Andre Breton and the Great Barrier Reef. Papers of Surrealism, (10), 1-15.
  • Elias, A. (2013). The Ocean in Our Blood: William Dakin's Modern Story for ABC Radio. Journal of Australian Studies, 37(4), 425-437. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2013). Zoos and Camouflage. Camouflage Cultures: surveillance, communities, aesthetics, animals, Sydney: Sydney University Press.

2012

  • Elias, A. (2012). Camouflage and Surrealism. WLA: an international journal of the humanities, 24, 1-25.

2011

  • Elias, A. (2011). Camouflage Australia: Art, Nature, Science, and War. Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2011). Hidden from History. Sydney Alumni Magazine (SAM).
  • Elias, A. (2011). Sydney and Sookmyung. Sydney and Sookmyung Exhibition, (pp. 13 - 23). Sydney, Australia: Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A. (2011). The Treachery of Images: This is not the Great Barrier Reef. AAANZ 2011 Annual Conference : Contact, Wellington, New Zealand: AAANZ.

2010

  • Elias, A. (2010). Military Magic: Camouflage and Goodenough Island. In Prue Ahrens and Chris Dixon (Eds.), Coast to Coast: Case Histories of Modern Pacific Crossings, (pp. 139-151). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2009

  • Elias, A. (2009). 'Art Has No Country': Hans Heysen and the Consequences of the First World War. History Australia, 6(1), 04.1-04.16.
  • Elias, A. (2009). Camouflage and The Half-hidden History of Max Dupain in War. History of Photography, 33(4), 370-382. [More Information]
  • Elias, A. (2009). Camouflage Campaigners: Abbott H. Thayer and William J. Dakin. Leonardo, 42(1), 36-41.
  • Elias, A. (2009). Fantin-Latour in Australia. Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 8(2), 1-16.

2008

  • Elias, A. (2008). Fantin-Latour in Australia. 2008 AAANZ Conference:alpha alpha alpha november zulu, Queensland: AAANZ.
  • Elias, A. (2008). Flower Men: The Australian Canon and Flower Painting 1910-1935. emaj: electronic Melbourne art journal, 3, 1-17.
  • Elias, A. (2008). Flowers and Manliness: The Flower Paintings of George Lambert, Hans Heysen, and Arthur Streeton. Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, 10(2), 14-29.
  • Elias, A. (2008). War and the visual language of flowers: an antipodean perspective. The International Journal of the Humanities, 20(1-2), 234-250.
  • Elias, A. (2008). William Dakin on Camouflage in Nature and War. Journal of Australian Studies, 32(2), 251-263. [More Information]

2007

  • Elias, A. (2007). 'Exquisite Corpse: Flowers and the First World War'. The International Journal of the Humanities, 5(3), 31-35.
  • Elias, A. (2007). Hans Heysen: the displacement and alienation of a national hero. Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities: migration, connection, heritage and cultural memory, South Australia: Flinders University.
  • Elias, A. (2007). Moral Conflict, Cultural Pluralism, and Contemporary Visual Arts Education. In Angela Brew & Judyth Sachs (Eds.), Transforming a university: the scholarship of teaching and learning in practice, (pp. 39-46). NSW, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Elias, A. (2007). Paul Radford and the Philosophy of Practice. Paul Radford:Paintings 2002-2007, (pp. 1 - 5). Auckland, New Zealand: Remuera Gallery.
  • Elias, A. (2007). War, Flowers, and Visual Culture: the first world war collection of the Australian War Memorial. Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 40(Feb 07), 1 (online)-10.

2006

  • Elias, A. (2006). Floral Imagery During the First World War. Wartime, (35), 58-59.
  • Elias, A. (2006). Intimate Relations: On the Fascination of Matthys Gerber for Theo Schoon. Eyeline, (60), 32-37.

2005

  • Elias, A. (2005). Contemporary Visual Arts Education, The moral Minority and Freedom of Expression. ACUADS 2005 Conference, Perth, Western Australia: Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools.
  • Elias, A. (2005). Freedom of Expression and Contemporary Visual Arts Education. HERDSA, Sydney: Institute for Learning and Teaching, University of Sydney.
  • Elias, A. (2005). Peter Peryer. In Hannah Holm & Lara Strongman (Eds.), Contemporary New Zealand Photographers, (pp. 80-88). Auckland, NZ: Mountain View and Craig Potton.

2003

  • Elias, A. (2003). 'Most Secret' Australian camouflage artists in the Second World War. Art and Australia, 41(1), 102-108.
  • Elias, A. (2003). Camouflage and deception. Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Annual Conference, Australia: Coin/Acoft.
  • Elias, A. (2003). The organisation of camouflage in Australia in the Second World War. Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 38(April), 1-10.

2002

  • Elias, A. (2002). West and Warburton. Art and Australia, , 485-486.
  • Elias, A. (2002). When Art Became A Weapon: Australians created a masterpiece of deception in the SW Pacific in 1943. Wartime, , 26-27.

2001

  • Elias, A. (2001). Beautiful and True : Early Flower Paintings by by Nora Heysen. Art and Australia, 38(3), 404-409.

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