Gretchen Coombs


Dr Gretchen Coombs is an independent scholar and writer based in Naarm / Melbourne. She writes creative ethnographies about artists and designers whose work falls at the intersection of art and activism. Her research methods have included driving with artists in cars, drinking with artists in bars, and listening to artists speak at conferences. These artists seek alternative forms of community engagement, imagine new forms and structures of care, and perform interventions into institutional structures. She was recently interviewed on ABC Late Night Live about her monograph The Lure of the Social: Encounters with Contemporary Artists. She is a co-author of Creative Practice Ethnographies (2019) and most recently, co-editor of Care Ethics and Art (2021), which explores how care practices can offer an alternative to the neoliberal structure within which art generally resides.

Conference Schedule

Feminist activism, resistance, social activism, policing and politics of space, environmental activism, public activism

Title of Paper

Welcome back to the party: togetherness and art-the-ineffable