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Brenda L Croft

1964

Artist, writer, arts administrator, curator, academic and consultant Brenda L Croft was born in Perth, Western Australia. Croft completed a Master of Art Administration, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, Sydney in 1995 and was awarded an Alumni Award in 2001. She went on to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Sydney in 2009. In 2011 Croft was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award 2012 and is undertaking her PhD at the National Institute for Experimental Art, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, where she has been Senior Research Fellow since March 2012.

In 1987, Croft was a founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Arts Cooperative in Sydney along with other prominent and politically active Aboriginal artists including Euphemia Bostock, Michael Riley, Tracey Moffatt, Jeffrey Samuels, Bronwyn Bancroft, Avril Quaill, Fern Martens, Arone Meeks and Fiona Foley. Croft was also the Boomalli Aboriginal Arts Cooperative general manager from 1990 till 1996.

The Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australian from 1999 till 2001 and the Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia from 2002 till 2009. Croft established the National Indigenous Art Triennial, with ‘Culture Warriors’ (2007) during her time at the National Gallery of Australian and in 2009 Croft participated in various associated public programs to the version of ‘Culture Warriors’ which toured to the Katzen Art Center, American University, Washington, USA.

Croft has also been involved in several independent curatorial projects including ‘fluent: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Yvonne Koolmatrie & Judy Watson’, 47th Venice Biennale + Australian tour (1997) with co-curator Hetti Perkins; ‘Beyond the pale: contemporary Indigenous art’, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Adelaide Festival of the Arts (2000) and ‘Stop(the)gap: international Indigenous art in motion’, Bigpond Adelaide International Film Festival (2011) with curatorial advisors Kathleen Ash-Milby (USA), David Garneau (Canada) and Megan Tamati-Quennell (Aotearoa/NZ).

From 2009-2012 Croft was lecturer of Indigenous art, culture and design at the David Unaipon College of Education and Research (DUCIER), Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia. In 1998 Croft was lecturer of Indigenous Visual Culture at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University. Croft has also presented lectures at various tertiary institutions throughout Australia and internationally since the early 1990s.

Over her career Croft has had a number of solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally including ‘Man About Town’, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne (2004); ‘Peripheral Vision’, Artplace, Perth (2005); ‘Walk, Talk and Chalk’, The City Gallery, Melbourne (2007); ‘She’ll Be Right Mate: Strangers in a Strange Land’, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide (2009); ‘Brenda L Croft’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2013) and ‘subalter/N/ative dreams’, Stills Gallery, Sydney (2016).

Croft’s works have also been included in a number of national and international group exhibitions including ‘homeland (Heimat)’, CACSA Projects 2010, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore (2010); ‘Making change: celebrating 40th anniversary of Australia-China relations’, National Museum of China, Beijing (2012); ‘My country: I still call Australia home’, QAGGOMA, Brisbane (2013); ‘Thicker than water’, Museum of Contemporary Native American Art, Santa Fe, USA (2013); ‘Bad Aboriginal photography’, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne (2014); ‘Post-Hybrid: reimagining the Australian self’, John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Perth (2015); ‘Resolution: contemporary Indigenous photography’, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and touring (2016) and ‘LOVE…more than a four letter word’, Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Queensland (2016).

Croft’s works are held in a number of national and international collections.