About |notfair| 2021

|notfair| was founded in 2010 by artists Sam Leach and Tony Lloyd – who then invited writer  Ashley Crawford to join their curatorial team –  as a satellite event to the Melbourne Art Fair, in order to showcase independent artists who often do not fit the commercial mould and are overlooked and under-recognized. The initial grass roots event has grown into a well-known and popular event on the Australian arts calendar. Now in its 10th year |notfair| has launched many artists into successful careers, while the nature of the event is still unchanged: we do things differently.

|notfair| aims to be a low-cost event in order to ensure that the artists can secure a higher percentage of the sale price. This also ensures that |notfair| can continue to take risks, exhibit the unusual and the experimental. The glue that binds this, say the curators, is the choice of artists who carry integrity, talent and devotion to their craft while being unafraid to take risks. Most of our participating artists are independent and are not represented by a commercial gallery. |notfair| becomes a stage where artists, dealers, collectors and art lovers find each other and new relationships are formed.

Writing in The Age in 2016, Annabel Ross noted that: “Representing those without gallery representation, |notfair| is a platform for emerging and independent artists to exhibit their works. It’s the antithesis of trade art fairs such as the Melbourne Art Fair, dominated by galleries and gallery-backed artists.”

Our venue changes every time: we use vacant, often abandoned  spaces like the former Nuttelex factory in Windsor that was transformed into a pop-up museum for our 2017 event. Our 2020 venue will be even more spectacular and more spacious; our 10th  anniversary event will be our biggest event yet, enabling more artists to participate.

Two major art awards are connected to the event. The $5,000 non-acquisitive Arkley Award – established in honour of the great Howard Arkley – focusses on talent in painting and photography. The $5,000 non-acquisitive Anne Runhardt Art Award is dedicated to uncover and enable outstanding talent – experimental and thought provoking – deserving of a public profile. All participating artists of |notfair| are considered finalists of both awards.

Our entire team consists of volunteers who tirelessly contribute out of love for the arts. We would like to extend our gratitude to all of you who have helped us over the years to make |notfair| possible.


It was great to be part of Not Fair in 2010. I met a lot of artists who I had never met before and have kept in contact with many of them, it was definitely a positive way to engage with the Melbourne art scene. I hope that Not Fair continues as it provides a rare opportunity for emerging and under-represented artists to share their work outside of an institution, amongst peers and in a nurturing environment. It’s a really great opportunity for exposure and I think that will always be relevant despite the changes in the art industry.

Heidi Yardley 2017.


Participating in Not Fair allowed me to put my works before a wider audience than I had been able to in the past, from which, many local and interstate opportunities arose. The exposure also led to gallery representation in two states, as well as meeting people who are dedicated to growing the arts in Australia. Winning The Arkley Prize enabled me to buy materials and pay studio rent which was a welcome relief after working from a small desk at home. I hope Not Fair continues to offer unrepresented artists exposure to a critical audience. It is a unique opportunity to contribute to the broader artistic dialogue, and expand the careers of participating artists.

Simon Finn 2017.

People |notfair|

Drs. Anne Runhardt – Chair, |notfair| Art Foundation

Dutch born, Melbourne based art historian Anne Runhardt graduated with a doctoral degree in art history from the University of  Groningen the Netherlands in 1999 with a specialisation in modern and contemporary art. Since then she has pursued a career in the arts  in various capacities – mainly within the international auction and gallery circuit – and participated in a myriad of art projects, including numerous exhibitions, extensive travel and book research. Anne has contributed to the advancement of both the visual and performing arts in Melbourne and Amsterdam.  She joined the |notfair| board in 2017 and became our chair in 2019.

Dr Sam Leach – Founder & Curator

Sam Leach is a highly acclaimed contemporary artist living and working in Melbourne. He was granted a Doctorate in Philosophy at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2016. As a visual artist he explores the intrinsic relationship between humans and animals and the symbiosis between science and art. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia and abroad and his work in represented in prominent private and public collections. A co-founder of |notfair|,  Sam has curated many exhibitions and has an extensive knowledge of the Australian contemporary art scene.


Dr Ashley Crawford – Founder & Curator

Ashley Crawford is a writer, curator and freelance cultural critic based in Melbourne. He writes regularly on the arts for a variety of magazines and newspapers and is the author of a number of books on Australian and international art including: Dark Gnosis: Religious Imaging in Millennialist America , Transformations: The Work of Sonia Payes, Spray: The Work of Howard Arkley, Wimmera: The Work of Philip Hunter, Gelderland: The Work of Stephen Bush (Sante Fe Museum, USA) and First Life, Xin Dong Cheng (Beijing). He is the former editor of World Art, 21.C and Photofile magazines. He has curated numerous exhibitions including shows for public art organizations He was granted a Doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne in 2016.


Tony Lloyd – Founder & Curator

Tony Lloyd is an Australian contemporary artist who shows internationally. His paintings of remote landscapes combine a cinematic sensibility with a dreamlike strangeness. Tony Lloyd completed his Masters degree at RMIT University in 2001 and has since received many recognitions for his work including the John Leslie Art Prize and grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts Victoria. His work is represented in numerous notable public and private collections and has been featured in many publications.
An original founder of |notfair|, Tony has curated many exhibitions and is a keen observer of the Australian contemporary art scene.


Simon Strong – Director of Communications

Simon Strong is a photomedia based artist, exhibiting solo work and collaborative work with Robert Doble as Doble & Strong. Simon completed a Bachelor of Graphic Design at Swinburne University of Technology and works as a freelance graphic designer, photographer and web developer.


Gary A. Hershan – Treasurer

Gary Hershan is a Chartered Accountant with over fifty  years of experience working in private practice. Throughout his career Gary has served on numerous boards of companies and not-for-profit organisations. Gary is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was a Fellow of the Taxation Institute and was  a Chairman of the Victorian Division of the Taxation Institute.  Gary graduated from the University of Melbourne  having completed a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours Gary is currently the Chairman of the Caulfield Park Community Financial Services Limited that operates as a franchisee of  Bendigo Adelaide Bank Limited.

Michael Landy – Vice Chair

Michael Landy has been engaged in the financial services industry for the past 37 years. He has been a financier and financial adviser since 1972 and he is the Director of Eagle Financial Solutions in Melbourne. He specialises in capital raising, company reconstructions and problem solving. His management experience includes directorships and management of finance, manufacturing and technology companies. Landy is a Justice of the Peace of Victoria.

Helen Bogdan

Helen Bogdan is a retired International Public Affairs Consultant. She was the principal of a specialized Public Affairs Consultancy based in Melbourne with overseas offices in London and Los Angeles. Bogdan worked with governments, large corporations and was on several boards, including the Royal Women’s Hospital. Bogdan’s creative work included feature films and documentaries as a producer and as a writer. Her media work over the years has been with major international television networks. In retirement Bogdan has an active role in the visual arts and music. She hosts a performance and exhibition artspace in an historic building in Richmond, The Lennox.


Sonia Payes

Sonia Payes is a  highly acclaimed, award winning conceptually-based artist working with photography, multi-media, animation and sculpture. A strong environmental narrative permeates Sonia’s  works and the cycle of re-creation is explored in her wildly dystopian landscapes and portraits. Melbourne based Sonia has exhibited in national and international galleries and art fairs and her work is represented in numerous public galleries in Australia and prestigious private collections in Australia, Shanghai, Beijing, Switzerland and Belgium. Publications include: Transformations: The Art of Sonia Payes, by Ashley Crawford and UNTITLED. Portraits of Australian Artists on 60 Australian artists, at the NGV Melbourne.


Roy Chu

Roy is a freelance professional photographer and artist. Born in Taiwan, Roy came to Australia and studied Media Studies at RMIT University. Roy works tirelessly in various facets of the Arts industry to produce, support, motivate, inspire and market local artists and events. He recently completed a Masters degree at the Victorian College of the Arts.