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Tess Allas has worked in the field of Aboriginal art since the early 1990's. She has coordinated, curated or was the lead curator on a number of exhibitions including 181 Regent Street: Addressing Black Theatre in 2012 for the 2012 Festival of Sydney at Carriageworks; Shimmer, 2015/16 at Wollongong Art Gallery; With Secrecy and Despatch, 2016 at Campbelltown Arts Centre and Under Pressure, 2017/18 for Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She has curated a number of international print exhibitions in Montreal, Canada for the Montreal First Nations Festival; for the Gorman Museum at the University of California, Davis and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection in the United States as well as many smaller exhibitions on the South Coast of NSW.
In 2012 Tess was the recipient of an Arts Fellowship from Arts NSW for further study and investigation into the history and contemporary practice of shellworking in NSW Aboriginal communities. She has written hundreds of biographies on Aboriginal artists for the 'Storylines Project' which were published on the Design & Art Australia Online website. Her print publications include essays for the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (University of Virginia) as well as articles in Art Monthly, Art & Australia, Artist Profile and Artlink.
With Daniel Browning she co-edited the Blak on Blak edition of Artlink (Vol 30 No 1). Tess was the commissioning editor of the 2014 Artspace monograph on artist Frances Belle Parker. With fellow artistic collaborator, Charlie Schneider, Tess showed her video work Andy Warhol on Aboriginal Art at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Adelaide as part of the 2014 Adelaide Festival's visual art program. This video work was also shown at the Kallio Kunsthalle in Helsinki, Finland in 2016 with an accompanying print exhibition. The video was the result of a two-month residency in the Rocky Mountains, Canada in 2012, hosted by the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada