Join multi prize-winning painter Del Kathryn Barton and rising art star, ceramic sculptor and installation artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, as they...

Business or Pleasure: The Commerce of Creativity in the Australian Art Scene


Golden Age Cinema
2010 NSW

Come Deeper - Del Kathryn Barton



CEO and Director, Sydney Contemporary

Barry Keldoulis holds over three decades-worth of professional experience in the contemporary art world. His career launched in New York where he worked as the Private Secretary and Chief of Staff for the Honorable Henry Geldzahler, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York, and the first Curator of 20th Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After 15 years in America and Europe, Barry returned to Australia where he worked at Djamu, a branch of the Australian Museum dedicated to exhibiting their Indigenous collections alongside contemporary Indigenous art. Keldoulis then entered the commercial sector as a Senior Manager, Collections Development for the renowned Sherman Galleries, Sydney.

Recognising a gap in the local market, in 2003 Keldoulis opened his own gallery to create a platform for young artists to exhibit their work between showing at artist-run spaces and major commercial galleries. As a testament to his success, works by artists from his stable are represented in all the country’s state galleries and within the National Gallery of Australia. Many now exhibit in museums and private galleries around the world.

In 2013 Keldoulis was appointed the CEO and Director of Sydney Contemporary, Australasia’s international art fair where he continues to work. He is also the Chairman of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Del Kathryn Barton


Born in Sydney where she currently practices, artist Del Kathryn Barton has exhibited professionally since 1995. In 2008 she won Australia's most prestigious portrait painting award, The Archibald Prize. She firmly cemented her place in the Australian art scene when she won again in 2013.  

In addition to her widely recognised practice of creating large scale canvases and works on paper, Barton has co-directed an animated short film, The Nightingale and the Rose (released 2015), retelling Oscar Wilde’s short story with her artwork, also producing an illustrated print version of the tale. She also collaborated with the Sydney-based fashion label Romance was Born from 2006-2008 for their ready to wear clothing and accessories ranges.

In 2012, a solo exhibition of Barton’s work was presented at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She has also been included in notable group exhibitions such as Art Basel, 2016, Hong Kong; Dark Heart, 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2014); Express Yourself, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014); Australia: Contemporary Voices, The Fine Art Society, London (2013); Louise Bourgeois and Australian Artists, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2012); Theatre of the World, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart (2012); Lightness and Gravity, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); Wilderness, Balances Contemporary Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2010); and Feminism Never Happened, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2010).

Barton’s work is represented in major museum collections in Australia including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart.



Artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran lives and works in Sydney. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1988, he holds a BA (UNSW), BFA (Hons. Class 1) and a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from UNSW Art & Design.

He was the winner of the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Australia’s richest and premier award for artists working in the medium of ceramics, and was awarded the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (emerging) administered through Artspace and Arts NSW. He is the recipient of numerous other grants, awards and prizes including the Freedman Foundation Travelling Art Scholarship; Artstart, The City of Sydney’s William Street Creative Tenancy; The Australian Artist’s Grant (NAVA); a travel grant from The Ian Potter Cultural Trust; and an Australian Postgraduate Award. In addition, Nithiyendran was a finalist in the Blake Prize (2013) and the John Fries Award (2014).

Forthcoming exhibitions include solo contemporary projects at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne. Nithiyendran’s work will also be included in the 4th Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (opening December 2016).

Nithiyendran has exhibited at various spaces including the Art Gallery of South Australia's flagship exhibition and the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. His work has also been shown at the Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria; Firstdraft, UTS Gallery, Alaska Projects, Casula Powerhouse, Gallery 9, Galleries UNSW and Artspace, NSW; The Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and the Canberra Contemporary Art Space.

His work has been featured in various publication, most notably including: Art Monthly Australia, Belle, Art Asia Pacific, Australian Art Collector and Oyster magazine, and has featured on the cover of Vault and Art Almanac Australia with supporting editorial.

Nithiyendran’s work is represented in major museum collections in Australia including Artbank, Sydney, The Art Gallery of South Australia and the Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria. 

Event Details

Join multi prize-winning painter Del Kathryn Barton and rising art star, ceramic sculptor and installation artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, as they thrash out what constitutes ‘success’ in today’s art world. Together with Barry Keldoulis, a former gallerist and currently the trailblazing CEO and Group Fairs Director of Art Fairs Australia – organiser of the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair and the Melbourne Art Fair – all three will deliver sharp debate peppered with lashings of introspection on the Australian art scene and how they view the worth and credibility of their own practice and initiatives within it.

Recognised as one of Australia's leading figurative painters, Barton’s large-scale works in their most potent form present male and female figures in states of physical rapture with an array of exotic creatures and fauna in utopian settings as portals to alternative worlds and unconscious states. She has also collaborated with the visionary Sydney-based fashion label Romance Was Born.

Winning a slew of awards in recent years, Nithiyendran’s bulging, oozing and and at times fierce creations are both captivating and disturbing, but above all, bewitching. The Sri Lankan born artist draws on diverse influences from Hindu devotional sculpture to erotica to explore religion and gender, resonating strongly with his cultural background and sexuality.

Topics explored:

·      What constitutes ‘success’ in the art world

·      The rise in popularity of art fairs and their role in promoting local work

·      The influences of biennales (both in Sydney and abroad)

·      Australia’s appetite for collecting art

Organised by The Office Space, Sydney’s boutique share office provider, this key event forms part of their popular monthly Insight talk series. Held within the intimate Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills, it promotes the endeavours of innovative individuals across various fields.

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*Booking and transaction fees may apply

Image credit: Artwork "Come Deeper" by Del Kathryn Barton

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