About the Author
Susan Ingham is a writer and researcher involved in disparate areas from international art to local activism as well as sailing – these activities often undertaken at the same time. Having majored in Art History at Melbourne University, she set off overseas to see the art world and returned a few years later with an Englishman as a souvenir of her travels who she met and married in Italy. Back in Australia, they raised two sons and continued to adventure together for over 50 years.
A parallel thread in Susan’s life has been teaching art history to art students. She extended her knowledge of contemporary practice by accumulating further qualifications until finally undertaking a PhD in contemporary Indonesian art. This involved travelling to Indonesia over six years, interviewing artists and curators and building a picture of the Indonesian art world in the post Suharto era. Part of her thesis can be found online at reformasiart.com.
Age and injuries from a car accident caught up with her, and even sailing had to be curtailed. That’s when local activism drew her in the battle to mend and protect the environment, and the precious green spaces of Sydney’s suburbs which in comparison are so rare in other cities. Susan is a member of the Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society whose environmental aims extend beyond the local area.
Woodford Bay, 1964
It was her husband who taught her to sail on Sydney Harbour and like all things, there’s a story in this too which is recounted in her book. Susan wrote:
I came to sailing in my late thirties because of a car accident that kept me in and out of a number of hospitals for a year. My birthday was coming up so my husband, Tim, asked me what I would like to celebrate.
“A boat,” I replied.
“Ha, ha, after the Rolls Royce,” he said.
“No, I’m serious. Sydney Harbour is so special and we always talked of sailing but although you can crew with friends, I have never learned to sail. The car accident has made me feel I should do these things now while I can.”
So we went to a club at the bottom of the Longueville peninsula, the Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club. They had these small fibreglass or marine ply hulls – they look all right, hey? Learning to sail in one of those could be fun and not too expensive – what could go wrong?” Oh yes?
Like the female sailors in Hold Your Course, Susan entered the male world of sailing and had a lot to learn about the hurdles but also the extreme pleasure of helming a hull through the water powered only by the wind.
- PhD: 2008, University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts
Thesis: Powerlines: Alternative art and infrastructure in Indonesia in the 1990s
- M.A. Prelim: 1990, University of Sydney, Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture
Thesis: Art Commissions in New Parliament House
- B.A. (Visual Arts): 1987, City Art Institute (now the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts)
Majors: painting, printmaking
- Diploma of Education: 1965, University of Melbourne
- B.A.: 1964, University of Melbourne
- 2020: “Hold Your Course – The participation of Women in the lane Cove Sailing Clubs”, Lane Cove History Prize
- 2011: “Expo Art: Indonesian Art and International Exhibition“ in Serenella Ciclitira, ed., Indonesian Eye, Contemporary Indonesian Art, SKIRA.
- 2010: “Indonesian Art, Entering the Global“, Contemporaneity: Contemporary Art of Indonesia catalogue in association with the exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China, July – August, pp. 80 – 88.
- 2010: “Two Women from Indonesia“, Asian Traffic, published in retrospect after the travelling exhibition in 2004 – 2006, Gallery 4A, Sydney Australia, pp. 42 – 47.
- 2009: “Dadang Christanto – Art, Activism and the Environment“, C Arts, September – October, pp. 112 – 115.
- 2008: “Melissa Chiu – A Career in Asian Contemporary Art“, C Arts, September – October, pp. 44 – 46.
- 2008: “Sisa – Under the Radar: thoughts on Indonesian exhibition strategies“, Gang re:Public, Indonesia-Australia creative adventures, Alexandra Crosby, Rebecca Conroy, Suzan Piper and Jan Cornall, eds, Gang Festival, Newtown, NSW, pp. 156 – 161.
- 2007: Co-authored with Wulandani Dirgantoro, “Identity, Religion, Repression or Fashion? The Indonesian Jilbab“, Contemporary Arts+Culture Broadsheet, Volume 36 (Issue 1), pp. 25 – 29.
- 2006: “Pressure Points: Cultural Issues and Indonesian Biennales“, Contemporary Arts+Culture Broadsheet, Volume 35 (Issue 2), pp. 84 – 87.
- 2003: “Art and Political Activism in Indonesia“, Asian Art News, Volume 13 (Issue 2), pp. 62 – 67.
- 2003: “Witnesses from Indonesia“, TAASA Review, Volume 12 (Issue 4), pp. 22 – 23.
- Dadang: They Give Evidence – An analysis of a work by Dadang Christanto titled They Give Evidence, in the possession of the Art Gallery of NSW
- History of Indonesian Participation in the Venice Biennale
- The Indonesian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2013
- Arahmaiani: New York Exhibition 2014
- Jakarta Biennale: background and report 2013 A report by Carla Bianpoen
- Arahmaiani in Tibet – environmental projects undertaken by Tibetan monks with the artist.
- Modernities and Memories – recent works from the Islamic world: a satellite exhibition held during the Venice Biennale in 1997
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