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Sydney Students Speak

Sydney Students Speak is a professional development program that offers tertiary students the chance to give a public talk at the Art Gallery of NSW. This is a great chance to get some hands-on experience in one of Australia’s major galleries and to add an interesting line to your CV.

This year, in conjunction with the 2016 Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial, we focus on exhibition themes: narrative, memory and experience. Throughout the history of art, artists have sought to engage viewers through expanded associations with history, memory and experience. How do artists engage with these ideas in making work, with or without direct representation?

Eight students will be selected to each deliver a 20-minute public talk on artwork of their choice in the collection of the Art Gallery of NSW, demonstrating the significance of narrative, memory and experience in art.

The talks will take place at 5:30pm on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 28 September 2016 as part of the Gallery’s Art After Hours program.

Successful applicants will be given an introduction to the Gallery, training in public speaking by the Gallery’s Public Programs professionals and the opportunity to deliver a public talk at the Gallery. Students will also have the opportunity to turn their talk into an Art Set, an online content platform hosted on the Gallery’s website.

Eligibility and key dates

To be eligible, you must be a student in art, art history or a related discipline in a senior year (2nd, 3rd, Honours) or post-graduate level at a NSW tertiary institution.

You must also be available on the following days, if selected:

  • Wednesday 10 August 2016 from 6pm for an audition
  • Saturday 20 August 2016 10am-3.30pm for a training day
  • Wednesdays 7 – 28 September 5.30–6.30pm for all the talks

How to apply

1. Register your interest by 5pm Friday 5 August 2016

To sign up for an audition, email with the following information:

  • your full name
  • contact phone number
  • email address
  • institution, degree name and major (if applicable)
  • student number
  • name, email address and phone number of a referee (current lecturer/tutor is ideal)
  • name of your selected artist and artwork for the audition
  • a description of what you hope to gain from participating in Sydney Students Speak (no more than 100 words)

Registered applicants will be contacted by email with further information regarding the audition.

2. Prepare for your audition

Plan a 5-minute talk on an artwork of your choice to present to the audition panel. Keep a general, non-specialist audience in mind. You may bring a PowerPoint presentation with no more than three images of the artwork you will discuss on a USB drive.

Self portrait with Leica, (1931, printed 1941) by Ilse Bing
The Selfie

Art Set: 19 items

See other Art Sets created by past participants of Sydney Students Speak