Seven months after the opening and over 600,000 visitors later, architect Sam Marshall, MCA Curator Rachel Kent, artist Julie-Anne Long and a member of the public discuss how the new building works for visitors, artists and Museum staff.
Sam Marshall is the principal of an award-winning private architectural practice Marshall Architect, headquartered in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Marshall was awarded the 2000 RAIA Wilkinson Award, President’s Award for Recycled Buildings and the Conservation Award for his design involving a warehouse conversion in Darlinghurst. He is a recipient of the Dulux Colour Award for Best Interior, the Marrickville Medal and the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship, for which he mounted the exhibition Supermodels. Notable completed works include numerous residential projects; the cutting edge design for Dinosaur Design retail stores in New York and Paddington; interiors for four film production studios; and works to art galleries including Sydney’s Darren Knight Gallery and Object Gallery. He has been a member of the NSW Ministry for the Arts Capital Infrastructure Committee and is currently a Board Member of the Australian Centre for Photography.
Rachel Kent is the Senior Curator at the MCA, having joined in 2000 in the role of Curator. From 1995 she held the position of Curator at The University of Melbourne Museum of Art, working across the university’s extensive collections, temporary exhibitions and artistic residency program.
In 2008 she curated the survey exhibition Yinka Shonibare MBE for the MCA which travelled to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC in 2009-10. She edited a monograph by Prestel Publishing and the MCA to accompany the exhibition. In 2011 she collaborated with the Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal, Canada on a solo exhibition and new film commission by Runa Islam. She is the curator of Marking Time, a major thematic exhibition which celebrated the reopening of the MCA in March 2012.
Julie-Anne Long is an award winning independent dance artist, based in Sydney. Her work Val, The Invisible was part of the opening season project Local Positioning Systems curated by Performance Space and presented by the MCA. For this durational performance Julie-Anne intervened in the gallery spaces enacting menial everyday tasks – the insignificant, but essential things we do in life that are often taken for granted. During this time she became familiar with navigating the MCA building and with how gallery visitors moved throughout the new gallery spaces.
Presented as part of the Sydney Architecture Festival
Exterior of the new MCA on Circular Quay West
Image courtesy and © the Museum of Contemporary Art Limited
Photograph: Brett Boardman