Naomi McCarthy

artist, writer, animateur

Shirley Daborn


cultural researcher, curator and collections manager

Shirley Daborn grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. As a child, many joyful Sundays were spent with her family exploring the wonders of the bush, picnicking and swimming in the National Parks’ Jellybean Pool. The expansive landscape helped fuel play, curiosity and imagination – only trumped by the icy cold lemonade and packet of chips made available to those weary travellers lucky enough to enjoy the charm of the country pub beer garden. 

Shirley always enjoyed drawing, eventually enrolling in a Bachelor of Visual Arts as a mature age student before following the allure of art history and theory. Inspired by the joy for knowledge displayed by lecturer, and mentor, Dr Philip Kent she became intrigued by the built environment and its interface with issues of public access, gender and cultural identity.




2016 'Portraits of a Place: Visual Responses', in Sydney's Martin Place, A Cultural and Design History, Judith O'Callaghan, Paul Hogben and Robert Freestone (eds), Allen & Unwin, pp. 51-67

2014 Big, Bright, Beautiful', The New Shopping Centres’, in Leisure Space, Paul Hogben and Judith O’Callaghan (eds), UNSW Press, pp. 

2013 'The Suburban Shoppingscape and the Reconfiguration of Urban Ideals', Architecture and Education Journal, Lusofona University, No. 8-9

2009 Anne Edmonds, Poesies, Sara Roney Gallery

2008 The Women of Meroogal, Insites, Historic Houses Trust, Autumn, p. 12

2003 All Roads Lead to Roselands, Regional Shopping Centres: A 60s Solution’, Progress, 20th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand, October, pp. 75-78

2002 'Polished Cities: Roselands Shopping Centre as an Everyday Space of Change', Additions to Architectural Theory, XIXth Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, October, p. 36

Creative Projects/Awards

2014 Truth and Dare on the Dual Caminos, Dandelion Projects

2001-2004 Australian Postgraduate Award 


2015 – current Lecturer, Art History, Federation University

2014 Lecturer, Arts Administration, University of Technology, Sydney

2012-2013 Lecturer, Museum Studies, University of Sydney

2006-2014 Curator and Collections Manager, Penrith Regional Gallery


Curator (PRG)

2015 Thoroughly Modern

2014 James Cant

2012-2013 Holiday + Memory (co-curator)

2013 In Conversation

2012 Hello Dollies

2011 Gathered Up – The Farley Gift

2010 No Right Turn, Drawing from Western Sydney


Publications (PRG)

2012-13 Holiday + Memory, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest (co-authored online catalogue)

2010-11 Gathered Up, Gathered Up – The Gurr Collection, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest

2010 The Undefinable Art of Drawing, No Right Turn, Drawing from Western Sydney, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest (online essay)

2009 The Cultural Currency of the Motorcycle, Born to be Wild, The Motorcycle in Australia, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest


Publication Project Coordinator (PRG)

2009 Sydney Ball – The Colour Paintings 1963-2007

2007-2008 The Visitors: The Australian Response to UFOs and Aliens

2007 Peter Upward, Frozen Gestures, The Art of Peter Upward

2006 For Matthew & Others, Journeys with Schizophrenia, University of New South Wales in association with Campbelltown Arts Centre and Joan Sutherland performing Arts Centre

Contact:  Shirley.dandelionprojects@gmailcom