Executive and Curatorial Biographies
Blair French Chief Executive Officer. Blair is an arts leader, curator and writer who has held curatorial and management roles at a range of key organisations: Australian Centre for Photography, Performance Space, Artspace (where he was Executive Director 2006-13) and most recently Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Director, Curatorial and Digital). Blair has a PhD from University of Sydney and has taught in universities in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as publishing extensively. He was also President of Contemporary Arts Organisations Australia, a formal nationwide network of contemporary art spaces, from 2006 until 2009. As a curator Blair has initiated and developed solo exhibitions and performances with a wide and diverse range of artists from Australia and around the world. He was curatorial convenor of the 6th (2010 – 2011) and curator of the 7th (2013) iterations of SCAPE Public Art: Christchurch Biennial, and one of the initiators and co-curators of the first edition of The National: New Australian Art presented at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and MCA in 2017.
Vanessa Duscio Director, Communications & Partnerships. Vanessa has helped shaped the agenda in media, marketing, content and fundraising for a range of Australia’s leading arts organisations and brands, including Carriageworks, Sydney Opera House and The Australian Ballet. As a member of the Executive team, Vanessa is responsible for growing investment and extending Carriageworks’ national and international profile. She leads a team in the execution of strategies reflecting the Artistic Program and is responsible for marketing, communications, development, ticketing and visitor experience.
Daniel Mudie Cunningham Director, Programs. Daniel is a curator and writer with a background as a video artist. He has held curatorial roles at Artbank and Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, and teaching and research positions at Western Sydney University, where he completed his PhD in cultural studies in 2004. Daniel is a widely published academic and arts writer having authored numerous artist monographs and edited publications, including the magazine Sturgeon (2013-16) and a book charting the history of MOP Projects, an artist-run initiative with whom he had a long association. As a curator Daniel has extensive experience working in exhibitions, collections and public art contexts. Most recently, he curated The National 2019: New Australian Art; initiated the Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship which partnered Carriageworks with ACCA and Mona; and is leading the curatorial delivery of a major public art strategy tied to the redevelopment of South Eveleigh.
Kri Leitner Director, Commercial & Production. Kri solves complex problems creatively. But what moves her the most is strategic management and execution by aligning resources with vision and strategy and transforming ideas and plans into action. As Director of Commercial and Production Kri’s focus is on developing opportunities, strengthening operations and ensuring the team are strong working toward common objectives and intended outcomes/results.
Oscar Reyes Chief Financial Officer. Oscar is a specialist in Financial modelling via (PPP) Public-Private Partnerships and Process improvements. His career has focused in financial reporting and specialising in process optimization using Six Sigma methodology with a highlight on developing automation processes in various areas, such as Marketing, Commercial, Manufacturer, Finance, Logistics and Customer Services. His background is in various field sectors as a Financial Manager and Consultant (Consulting Firms, Pharmaceuticals, Telecommunications, Retail, Financial, Energy and Construction). Oscar has worked with companies including Coopers & Lybrand (PwC), Upjohn, Makro Colombia, AT&T Colombia, Schneider Electric, GMAC Financiera). Oscar studied an MPA in Holmes Institute (Sydney) and an MBA from Charles Sturt University (London).
Rosie Fisher Head Curator, Performance. Rosie has worked at Carriageworks since 2012. At Carriageworks she has worked with Back to Back Theatre, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker- Rosas, Nick Cave, Ryoji Ikeda, Miguel Gutierrez, Sarah Michelson, Mårten Spångberg, Meg Stuart, Lemi Ponifasio and on a major new commission, Event for a Stage, 2014 with internationally renowned artist Tacita Dean in association with the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire. Rosie has extensive experience in art organisations in Australia having held positions at Performance Space, Belvoir, Griffin Theatre Company and Australian Theatre for Young People. Rosie was the co-founder and co- director of the Imperial Panda Festival [2007-11]. She has independently produced works for the Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company and Belvoir’s B Sharp program and worked for Underbelly Arts, Tiny Stadiums and Firstdraft.
Hannah Donnelly Head Curator, Aboriginal Programs. Hannah is an award-winning Wiradjuri writer and producer interested in Indigenous futures, speculative fiction and responses to climate trauma. Winner of the National Indigenous Story Award in 2018, her recent publications include essays and poetry in Sovereign Words: Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism by the Office of Contemporary Art Norway, Artlink Issue 39:2, Acclaim magazine, Writers Victoria and Cordite Poetry Review Issue 89. Her writing and sound work have been included in exhibitions such as Long Water at Yirramboi Festival (2017), The Public Body .03 at Artspace (2018), The Future Leaks Out at Liveworks (2017), and Future Eaters, at Monash University Museum of Art (2017). In 2016, she was the lead artist in Refuge, an Emergency Relief Centre simulation produced and directed by Arts House and City of Melbourne. After a number of years working in Indigenous social justice at the Human Rights Commission and other community organisations, Hannah worked as a producer on Next Wave Festival 2018 and Laukatim Solwara AsiaTOPA 2017. Performing regularly as DJ SOVTRAX, she curated First Nations events and playlists, and hosted a feature segment on PBS Radio. She is currently a participant in the Australia Council Custodianship 2020 program.
Jessica Abrahams Producer, Food Events. Jessica has over 20 years’ experience in producing events and managing partnerships at a range of key media organisations, arts and cultural institutions including Walker Books (1998-2001), The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design (2001-2005), Fairfax Media (2005-2016) and Sydney Living Museums (2016-2019). Jessica’s experience has seen her managing commercial events, trade partnerships, marketing and public programs to deliver a wide range of events and experiences from brand activations to artisan food markets, cooking demonstrations, hands-on food experiences, large scale public festivals and prestigious food industry events such as the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards (2005-2013). Working extensively with marketing, editorial teams and museum curators, Jessica has built relationships with a wide cross section of collaborators, from local farmers, community groups and small-scale producers, to government, councils and major commercial partners. She has a passion for educating people around making sustainable, ethical food choices and exploring issues around food waste and food security.