Curators at Large

Over the last five years, The SUBSTATION has actively created space for the representation of diverse artistic and curatorial perspectives, from across art forms. In all our programs, we have welcomed new ideas and new approaches. We have explored unique collaborations and partnerships to create opportunities for artists and audiences to come together. In 2021, we will build on this approach through the appointment of four new Curators at Large.

We are excited to welcome Lawrence English, Emma Valente, Nikki Lam and Phuong Ngo as our new Curators at Large. They will work alongside our Artistic Director, Brad Spolding, to develop our future programs.


Emma Valente is a freelance director, dramaturg, lighting designer and occasional trouble maker. She is the Co Artistic Director and Co CEO of THE RABBLE.

THE RABBLE (Emma Valente and Kate Davis) has forged an unrivalled reputation for producing experimental theatre of the highest quality – theatre that interrogates the human condition through a combination of surreal and visceral aesthetics, a feminist sensibility, and the application of intellectually rigorous research.

Emma is the recipient of the Creators Fund grant from Creative Victoria and is a Sidney Myer Fellow. She has been on artistic advisory panels for Melbourne Worker’s Theatre, La Mama and St Martins. She founded an initiative to increase gender equity in the technical design sector (lighting, sound and video design) with Theatre Network Victoria and has been an advocate for change around Sexual Harassment and Bullying in the sector.


Phuong Ngo is a Vietnamese-Australian artist and curator living and working in Naarm (Melbourne). He is co-director of Hyphenated Projects, based in Sunshine West with Nikki Lam. His practice is concerned with the interpretation of history, memory and place, and how it impacts individual and collective identity of the Vietnamese diaspora.

Ngo’s collaborative practice with Hwafern Quach, Slippage, examines the cycles of history in conjunction with current geopolitical and economic issues through the lens of vernacular cultures, artifacts and language. Taking their Vietnamese and Chinese ancestry as a starting point and foregrounding their work in the personal, Slippage utlises ceramics as a medium to further critique issues closely linked to historic and contemporary forms of imperialism and global politics.


Nikki Lam is an artist, curator and producer based in Kulin Country (Melbourne). Born in Hong Kong, Nikki's work deals with the complexity of migratory expressions within and beyond the concept of diaspora. Working primarily with moving images, performance and installation, her work explores hybridity often through studies of rituals, language and representations, as well as the ephemeral medium of video.

Nikki is currently Co-Director of Hyphenated Projects, as well as board member at NETS Victoria. She has been the Artistic Director of Channels Festival (2014-2017) and has taken on programming and production roles at Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI), Next Wave Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Peril Magazine and Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (UK).


Lawrence English is composer, artist and curator based in Meanjin. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. He investigates the politics of perception, through live performance and installation, creating works that ponder subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception.

He is a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow, was awarded an outstanding doctoral thesis award in conjunction with his PhD in 2017 and has been supported by the Mike Kelley Foundation for Seirá, his city wide public sound project, in Los Angeles.

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