Name: Zoë Rodriguez
Job Title: Director
What year did you join the Artbank team: 2019
Describe your role and what you enjoy about working for Artbank:
As the director, I am responsible for leading Artbank’s strategic direction and making sure we live up to our two key policy objectives of supporting the Contemporary Australian art sector through acquisition of works, and providing broad community access to Australian Art through the art leasing scheme. It involves a lot of listening, reading and analysing a lot of reports and accounts, and making decisions with the team that will help us meet our key objectives.
There is no doubt that one of the greatest joys of working for Artbank is having the opportunity to wander the racks of Australian art. Artbank’s eccentric nature – with works constantly coming and going and being stored where space is available when they arrive, rather than by any traditional art categorisation system – means you can be travelling past media, styles, decades and thousands of kilometres with one sweep of your eyes. I also delight in working for a public institution that continues to deliver successfully on its two key public policy objectives and that can bring such joy to so many through its work. Artists always recount the first acquisition Artbank made of their work with huge fondness (often this seems to have marked their feeling of acceptance and arrival on the contemporary art scene). Then there are our clients, who tell us how much their staff and visitors love to engage with Artbank works – they start conversations and create lively atmospheres in spaces that can otherwise be alienating and sterile.
Select an Artwork to represent you:
#13939, Katherine Hattam, The Rights and Wrongs of Women, 2014, Book pages, book spines, charcoal and gouache on paper
Short explanation of your artwork selection:
This work evokes my childhood home and breakfast table and especially my mother’s feminism and activism through her art and poetry, and of course chimes in with the questions we are all asking in the wake of the MeToo movement. I grew up hearing about the choices women made and the reasons my mother decided on her own path. She encouraged me not to be constrained by traditional ideas of what a woman (or anyone for that matter) should do and be. I love the liveliness Hattam gives to domestic objects and her merging of the interior world with the exterior.