Tony Curran

UTAS Home Dr Tony Curran

Tony Curran

Lecturer in Fine Art
Art | School of Creative Arts and Media

Room IA262 , Creative Arts and Media – Stone Building

Tony is a Lecturer in Fine Art in the School of Creative Arts and Media at the University of Tasmania.  His practice explores the impacts of touchscreen technologies on painted media and changing representations of the self in a post-digital society.

Tony graduated with a PhD in Fine Art in 2015 and has held solo exhibitions and participated in group shows between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. His works are included in the collections of Artbank, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Charles Sturt University and the Australian National University Art Collection. He has been shortlisted in national awards, including the Archibald Prize (2015), Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship (2014), and the Swan Hill Print and Drawing Award (2017).


Since 2009, Tony’s work has been focused on how conceptions of self-hood are expressed through drawing and painting practices.  In 2015 Tony graduated with a PhD in Fine Art from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW.  As part of his PhD research, he undertook visiting artist projects producing portraits of community members at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra (2013), Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (2015) and at the Museum of the Riverina in regional New South Wales (2012).

In 2016, Tony was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Visiting Artist Fellowship at the Australian National University School of Art & Design to research the feeling of human presence in human-made mark-making as compared with algorithmically generated marks.  The resulting project included a code-based moving image artwork made collaboratively with Dr Ben Swift at the ANU Research School of Computer Science.

Tony’s most recent solo exhibition explored the role of pixel-based colour in seducing tech-users and amplifying community polarisation. The works in Colour Separations (2021) at Megalo Print Studio featured a series of collaborations undertaken between 2019 and 2021 with print studios Cicada Press, VCA Editions, Megalo Co-Publishing and Throwdown Press.


Conference Proceedings

Curran, T., Wang, W., and Swift, B. 2020. “Artists and master-coders in the consensual domain' in Proceedings of 'Where Art Meets Technology: Integrating Tangible and Intelligent Tools in Creative Processes' Workshop at CHI'20.

Tony Curran. 2014. 'How can Portraiture Elicit Participation.' In ACUADS Conference 2013: The Future of the Discipline, Victorian College of the Arts & RMIT University, 2-3 October, 10 pages. Melbourne: ACUADS.

Tony Curran. 2013. 'Self Aesthetic: Towards an audience of one.' In ACUADS Conference 2013: Locations of Practice, Sites of Creativity:  From the Studio to the Cloud, 25 – 27 September 2013, College of Fine Arts, 11 pages. Sydney: ACUADS.  Accessible at - papers

Journal Articles

Dyson, M.L., Perez, D.M., Curran, T. et al. The role of claw color in species recognition and mate choice in a fiddler crab. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 74, 116 (2020).  Accessible at

Tony Curran, “Performative Portraiture:  Using Michael Frieds theories of tableau and morcueau to shift portraiture’s informative function to a performative function.”  Fusion Journal 8 (2016) 23 pages.  Accessible at

Tony Curran, “Picturing Performance Art:  An exploration into the logic of performance documentation.”  Fusion Journal 7 (2015) 33 pages.  Accessible at

Tony Curran, “Touchy Touchy”  Portrait Spring 2015. p51-55

Chapter in Book

Curran, T. “Scratching at Gesture”, in BEN RAK:  Pictures of Scratches, Ben Rak (ed) (Sydney: Throwdown Press, 2016). P2-4.

Tony Curran and Lucy Turner. “Porosensibility” in By the Throat:  Seeking a nexus between Glasgow and Edinburgh, ed. Richard Goodwin (Sydney:  University of New South Wales & University of Edinburgh, 2008). P112-3

2021               Colour Separations.  Megalo Print Studio & Gallery, Canberra

2020              FAKE NATURE, collaborative solo exhibition with Waratah Lahy.  Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra

2017                Random feels familiar. Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW

Loop.  Galerie Pompom, Sydney.

The unconscious is a rectangle.  M16 Artspace, Canberra

Instances of Fixed Proportions.  Nicholas Projects, Melbourne

Limiting Entropy collaborative solo exhibition with Lachlan Brown - ANCA Gallery, Canberra

2016                          Nothing is Abstract, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Almost Illegible Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman House, Canberra.

2015                         How you show yourself is how you’ll be seen.  ANU School of Art Gallery.  Australian National University School of Art.  Acton, ACT

Excerpts from an Ouroboric Gaze.  Art Atrium.  Bondi Junction, Sydney, NSW

STAY.  Links Gallery, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga NSW

2013                        Parts of You Are Dying.  Art Atrium.  Bondi Junction, Sydney, NSW

2012                         Die Sektions.  E3 Space.  Civic Square, Wagga Wagga NSW.

Face Value.  Annabel Wallace Gallery.  Murringo, NSW.
2011                         Finding Arthur Wicks.  H.  R.  Gallop Gallery.  Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW. 2012

Career summary


  • PhD, Charles Sturt University (CSU), AUS, 2015. Self Aesthetics:  Towards a Contemporary Poetics of Portraiture
  • BA (Visual and Performing Arts) (Hons 1), Charles Sturt University (CSU), 2011.
  • Masters of Art (Drawing), University of New South Wales (UNSW), 2008
  • BSc (Psychology), Macquarie University, 2006.


Professional practice

National Association for the Visual Arts (Professional Member)

Megalo Print Studio (Board Member)

Administrative expertise

Building community engagement in the Visual Arts

Managing a studio


Teaching expertise

Dr Tony Curran has over 10 years of teaching experience, including teaching technical drawing, life-drawing, painting, creative code, sound art, and model making.  In addition, he has taught extensively in art history and theory, with a particular focus on modern and contemporary art histories and popular visual culture.

FSP111 Painting 1

FSP214 Painting 2A

FSP215 Painting 2B

FXA102 The Family Photo Essay

Research Appointments

Megalo Print Studio board (2021 – current)

M16 Artspace board (2020-2021)

Research Invitations

Curran, T., The Artist as Luxury Shaman:  The cult followings of Marina Abramović, Olafur Eliasson and other new-age art stars. Guest Lecture, Contextualising Practice, Art and Place & Modernisms. RMIT University, Melbourne and Hong Kong (online), 2021.

View more on Dr Anthony Curran in WARP


  1. Tony uses traditions of drawing and painting in combination with digital image making to advance an understanding of changing perceptions of selfhood.  He partners with academics, computer scientists, printmakers and members of the health and wellbeing sector to re-vision contemporary subjectivity.  His creative works are regularly exhibited and represented in public collections across Australia.
  2. Contemporary painting practices
  3. Contemporary drawing practices

    Creative code

    Digital drawing practices


Tony’s PhD research involved partnerships with Museums and Galleries for visiting artist programs that engagedthe community.  In 2012 he partnered with the Museum of the Riverina in Wagga Wagga.  In 2013 he partnered with the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and in 2015 he partnered with the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.

More recently, his work has explored collaborative partnerships more directly, producing a series of works with poet Dr Lachlan Brown at Charles Sturt University and with Dr Ben Swift with the Australian National University Research School of Computer Science.

His most recent exhibition Colour Separations (2021) featured prints made in collaboration with Michael Kempson from Cicada Press, (UNSW, 2019 – ongoing), Adrian Kellett at VCA Editions (2019), Clare Jackson and Tim Pauszek at Megalo Print Studio, Canberra (2019-2021).


  • 2020 – ArtsACT HomeFront Grant
  • 2019 – ArtsACT Arts Activities Funding <$5k
  • 2016 – Australia Council for the Arts Development Grant
  • 2016 – Australian National University School of Art – Vice Chancellor’s College visiting Artist Fellowship
  • 2011 – Regional Arts NSW Country Arts Small Grant Program
  • 2008 – British Council Travelling Art Scholarship

Current projects

Tony is currently working on a project that tests the relationship between algorithmically generated mark-making and marks made by physical means.  His next exhibition will be held at Griffith Regional Art Gallery in May of 2023.

Fields of Research

  • Fine arts (360602)
  • Behavioural ecology (310301)
  • Digital and electronic media art (360503)

Research Objectives

  • The creative arts (130103)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)


Total publications


Journal Article

(4 outputs)
2020Dyson ML, Perez DM, Curran T, McCullough EL, Backwell PRY, 'The role of claw color in species recognition and mate choice in a fiddler crab', Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 74, (116) pp. 1-11. ISSN 0340-5443 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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2016Curran T, 'Performative portraiture', Fusion, (9) ISSN 2201-7208 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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2016Curran T, 'Using Michael Fried's theories of tableau and morceau to shift portraiture's informative function to a performative function', Fusion Journal, (9) pp. 1-17. ISSN 2201-7208 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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2015Curran T, 'Picturing performance art: an exploration into the logic of performance documentation', Fusion journal, (7) pp. 1-20. ISSN 2201-7208 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2014Curran T, 'How can portraiture elicit participation', Proceedings of the 2014 ACUADS Conference: the Future of the Discipline, 02-03 October 2014, Victorian College of the Arts and RMIT University, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9780994286802 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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2013Curran T, 'Self aesthetic: towards an audience of one', Proceedings of the 2013 ACUADS Conference: locations of practice, sites for creativity: from the studio to the cloud, 25-27 September 2013, University of Sydney, pp. 1-11. ISBN 9780975836095 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Other Creative Work

(4 outputs)
2017Curran T, 'Just not enough blue to hold it down', Artbank, Sydney, pp. 1 (2017) [Acquisition]

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2017Curran T, Hodge G, 'Random Feels Familiar', Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, pp. 42 (2017) [Catalogue]

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2016Curran T, 'Cover Artwork for Rabbit a Journal for Notification Poetry', RMIT University and nonfiction LAB, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1 (2016) [Representation of Original Art]

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2012Curran T, 'Installation shot for 'Rapport with Materiality' Article by Adam Newcombe', Craft Arts International, Australia, pp. 47-51 (2012) [Representation of Original Art]

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(1 outputs)
2015Curran T, 'Self Aesthetics: Towards a Contemporary Poetics of Portraiture' (2015) [PhD]

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Other Public Output

(11 outputs)
2022Curran T, 'Touchy Touchy', Portrait 50 Magazin, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia, 08 December 2015, pp. 1-11. (2022) [Magazine Article]

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2022Curran T, ''Hello Print Friend', Interview with Miranda Metcalf', 31st Episode of Pine Copper Lime, Pipe Copper Lime, Australia, 22 January 2020, pp. 1-25. (2022) [Media Interview]

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2021Curran AG, ''Absorbing work that questions technologies', reported by Sasha Grishin: Tony Curran's colour separations at Megalo', The Canberra Times, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia, 28 August 2021, 1 piece (2021) [Newspaper Article]

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2021Curran T, ''Tony Curran: on paying attention' Review by Amy Walters', Review, Art Monthly Australia, Australia, 329 (2021) [Magazine Article]

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2021Curran T, ''Tony Curran: colour separations', Interview with the Australian Print Council's 'Imprint' Editor', Interview, Megalo Print Studio, Australia, 30 July 2021 (2021) [Media Interview]

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2020Curran T, 'New digital drawing forms to exhibit including online', Australian Capital Territory Governement, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 04 September 2020 (2020) [Award]

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2017Curran T, 'Artist Profile - Tony Curran', Magazine News Article, BMA Magazine, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 15 February, 2017, p. 1. (2017) [Media Interview]

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2017Curran T, Fitzpartick N, Franzi C, Fullerton J, Madeleine A, et al., '2016 Vice-Chancellor's College Visiting Artist Fellows', Vice-Chancellor's College Artist Fellows Scheme, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 15-25 February 2017, pp. 1-39. (2017) [Award]

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2015Curran AG, ''Archibald Prize Finalist', Interview with Samara Gardner', Wagga artist, Australian Television Network, WIN Corporation, Australia, 13 July 2015 (2015) [Media Interview]

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2013Curran AG, 'Tony Curran's drawing performance 'as long as you are here'', Secrets of a Portrait Master by Ewa Kretowicz, The Canberra Times, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 02 November 2013, pp. 1-6. (2013) [Newspaper Article]

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2013Curran T, ''Portraiture: as simple as taking a tablet', Interview with Genevieve Jacobs', ABC 666 Canberra Mornings, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia, 05 November, 2013 (2013) [Media Interview]

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2020  ArtsACT Homefront Grant - $10,000
2019  ArtsACT Arts Activities Funding $2,322.00
2016  Australia Council for the Arts Development grant $9,482.00
2016  Australian National University Vice-Chancelor’s College Visiting Artist Fellowship Scheme - $5,000
2014  Australia Council for University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS), PhD Scholarship $500
2011  Regional Arts NSW, Country Arts Support Program
2008  British Council Travelling Art Scholarship -$5,000


Research Supervision

Available to supervise on projects that explore practices of drawing in relationship with digital processes, technologies, and post-digital aesthetics:

Examples may include but are not limited to:

Mediated approaches to drawing and painting

Systems-based / algorithmic practices

Colour between screen and pigment




MastersMobile phones, image capturing and the social photo: The role of landscape painting in an online/offline world2022