Avril Quaill is an Indigenous artist and curator. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. She is a Noonuccal woman with clan associations to the Goenpul and Nuigi people of Moreton Bay (Quandamooka) in south-east Queensland. Quaill began practising as an artist in the 1980s. In 1987 she took part in workshops at the Raminginning Arts Crafts centre (later called Bula’bula Arts) in Arnhem Land as a result of a Visual Arts Fellowship awarded by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Quaill’s early work is distinctly political. Her 1982 screen-print titled Trespassers Keep Out! uses the motif of the Aboriginal flag and speaks of “the exclusion of Indigenous Australians from Australian political and social life” (Matthews, 2000, p. 681). The work is now held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.
In 1987 Quaill was directly involved with the establishment of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney, becoming its chairperson in 1989. Her entre into curatorship came at about this time with her participation in the 1989 Australian Perspecta in Sydney; her major curated exhibition for the perspecta was titled 'A Koori Perspective’ and “aimed to bring public attention to the art of urban Aboriginal artists” (Matthews, 2000, p. 681).
In 1995 she joined the curatorial team in the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and in 1995/96 she curated the gallery’s focus exhibition 'Papunya Pictures: The First 10 years’. She was part of the curatorium that produced the exhibitions 'The Eye of the Storm: Eight Australian Indigenous Artists’, which was shown in India in 1996 at the Museum of Modern Art, New Delhi, and later at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, 'The Painters of the Wagilag Sisters Story 1937-1997’ and 'Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds’ (1999) the National Gallery Australia’s major touring exhibition, which travelled to Switzerland, Germany and the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.
Quaill is author of Marking Our Times: Selected works of art from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection at the National Gallery of Australia (1996).
In 2002 Quaill was appointed Associate Curator, Indigenous Australian Art with the Queensland Art Gallery. She assisted with the Indigenous arts component of the 'Asia Pacific Triennial’, and also with the major exhibition 'Story Place: Indigenous Art of Cape York and the Rainforest’ in 2003. In July 2004 she assisted Djon Mundine in developing the exhibition and conference 'Blak Insights: Contemporary Indigenous Art from the Queensland Art Gallery Collection’.
In October 2004 Quaill was seconded to the position of Principal Project Officer at the Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency (QIAMEA) in the Department of State Development and Trade for the Queensland Government. QIAMEA promotes Queensland’s Indigenous arts industry through marketing and export activity at the state, national and international level. Her appointment was made permanent in 2006.
She was a member of the Indigenous Reference Committee for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (2003-06) and a member of the Selection Committee for the Xstrata Coal Emerging Indigenous Art Award (2005-06) at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.
Quaill was re-appointed to the National Cultural Heritage Committee, Environment Australia in September 2006.
Recent authorship includes contributions to the catalogue accompanying the exhibition 'Interesting Times: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2005.

Quaill, Avril
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