2014 Ruby Awards Shortlist Announced

Ian StrangeNominees for the 2014 Ruby Awards featuring some of South Australia’s top-notch arts and cultural productions, programs and places, have been announced ahead of the Awards Ceremony in December.

Named after celebrated arts devotee and patron Dame Ruby Litchfield, the Ruby Awards were started by the South Australian Government in 2006 and are presented by Arts SA. The Awards are one of the most visible ways the Government recognises the achievements of the State’s arts and cultural community.

“The Ruby Awards are our annual celebration of the people behind the many works and events that make our State a standout in the arts,” says Arts Minister Jack Snelling. “The high calibre of the nominees is testament to the quality of the dedicated makers and presenters who work hard year-round to provide arts that enrich and enliven.”

The winner of the prestigious Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement will keep company with past winners – Milton Moon, Robyn Archer, Michael Morley and Marjorie Fitz-Gerald among them – and be recognised with a gold nameplate at the back of a seat in the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Winners will be announced on Friday 5 December at an invitation-only celebration in Queen’s Theatre designed by local creative collaborators Geoff Cobham and Andy Packer. Winners will receive a ruby-coloured glasswork crafted by the Jam Factory.

Best Work:

Windmill Theatre Trilogy, Windmill Theatre
Girl Asleep, Fugitive and School Dance form a unique trilogy of rites-of-passage stories by Windmill’s acclaimed creative team. The Trilogy was programmed by Adelaide Festival’s Artistic Director David Sefton as part of an audience development strategy to forge connections with teenage audiences.

Between Light, Zephyr Quartet
Conceived by Zephyr’s Artistic Director Hilary Kleinig, Between Light stemmed from her interest in opposites: life and death, movement and stillness, light and dark. The show brought together two years of planning, five of Australia’s best jazz composers, an acclaimed lighting designer and Zephyr Quartet in the historic Queen’s Theatre.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, Memorial artists Lee-Ann Buckskin, Tony Rosella and Michelle Nikou
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, the first in Australia, honours the bravery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women during wartime. Encompassing both military and Aboriginal symbolism, the memorial was unveiled in 2013. South Australian artist Robert Hannaford completed the modeling and sculpting of the figures and Tim Thomson cast the figures in bronze.

Little Bird, State Theatre Company of South Australia
Little Bird is a dazzling song cycle and solo performance piece written by playwright Nicki Bloom and composers Quentin Grant and Cameron Goodall especially for Australian stage legend Paul Capsis. Described as a dark fairytale for grown-ups, it draws on mythology and song to create a compelling dramatic and musical journey.

Best Event:

2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart, Art Gallery of South Australia
Dark Heart, the 13th and largest biennial to date, presented the brave new visions of 28 contemporary Australian artists and collectives through photography, painting, sculpture, installation and moving image. Curated by Art Gallery of South Australia Director Nick Mitzevich, the biennial delved into gender and political power, intercultural relationships and our ecological fate.

FELTMAPS, FELTspace ARI
FELTmaps was a month-long ephemeral public art project run by the FELTspace committee. Enlivening the streets, laneways and empty spaces in and around Port Adelaide, the project aimed to shift contemporary art out of the traditional white-wall gallery space and into open, unexpected locations.

Adelaide Film Festival / Adelaide Festival of Ideas
The Adelaide Film Festival is a biennial 11-day celebration and exploration of contemporary Australian and international screen culture through unique programming and special events. In 2013, the Film Festival’s shift to October led to the coupling with the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, a distinctive intellectual public space and the first of its kind in Australia.

Community or Regional Impact under $100,000:

WATER 2013, Riverland Youth Theatre
A series of outdoor performances explored the shared significance of water through the stories and folklore of the Riverland’s Indigenous and diverse multicultural community. Water myths, legends and stories came to life through performances combining large scale puppetry, lanterns and music as part the most highly attended events in the region.

Sons & Mothers, No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability
A rich and moving tribute to mothers, Sons & Mothers showcases unconditional love and the unique bond women share with their sons. Written and directed by Alirio Zavarce and devised in collaboration with six performers with disability from the Men’s Ensemble of No Strings Attached, the production is a 55-minute love letter to mothers.

Community or Regional Impact over $100,000:

Pom Pom: Children’s Contemporary Art Space, Carclew
Pom Pom is an open access contemporary visual art space in Davoren Park for children aged 12 and under, and their families, carers and guardians. Pom Pom opens the door to exceptional arts experiences, through which children are empowered with the confidence to be active creators of a better world.

Adelaide Writers’ Week, Adelaide Festival
Featuring distinguished writers from across Australia and the world, Writer’s Week is a mainstay of the March festivals’ calendar. Established in 1960, it is the nation’s oldest literary festival, presenting sessions running over six days in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, Memorial artists Lee-Ann Buckskin, Tony Rosella and Michelle Nikou
The vision for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Memorial was to provide a nationally significant structure to educate and acknowledge the efforts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in wartime and in turn to build a stronger, more cohesive community. The conceptual focus of the artwork gives attention to fulfilling both Aboriginal rituals and those of the Armed Forces.

Innovation:

Children’s Map Project, Carclew
The Children’s Map Project was a creative collaboration between Carclew, a team of professional teaching artists and 62 preschool children and educators from four inner-city preschools. Guided by teaching artists, each child learned basic digital photography skills before embarking on journeys across the city of Adelaide to document what they saw.

Little Bird, State Theatre Company of South Australia
Little Bird’s unique collaboration for more than a year and three successive workshops allowed the relationship between script, music, lyrics, performance, design and direction to develop organically with each element. The work went through rigorous creative development, resulting in a creative unity between the disciplines.

ADHOCRACY, Vitalstatistix
Vitalstatistix’s national arts hothouse is now in its fifth year, supporting the creative development of new, experimental and interdisciplinary arts projects. Artists from around Australia converge in an open studio environment in Port Adelaide during the Queen’s birthday long weekend to develop new works spanning performance, live art, sound, installation and more. This is followed by evening public programs of artist talks.

Arts Enterprise:

GreenRoom arts membership, Adelaide Festival Centre
A youth arts membership program for 18 to 30 year olds, GreenRoom was created in 2007 as an Adelaide Festival Centre audience development and sustainability strategy. GreenRoom aims to encourage young people to engage in the arts via a number of opportunities with artists and events.

Bowerbird – Adelaide’s Design Market, Bowerbird Bazaar Pty Ltd
Twice a year more than 120 Australian artists, designers and makers fill stalls in an Adelaide Showground pavilion where thousands of enthusiastic visitors pour in to shop the three-day design market. Unique to South Australia, Bowerbird is a self-funded platform for artists and designers to promote directly to the public.

South Australia Living Artists publications – published by Wakefield Press, SALA Festival
Published by Wakefield Press, the annual South Australian Living Artists publication is a high-quality book profiling a prominent South Australian visual artist. Unique in Australia, the book is designed to position South Australian visual artists in a national and international context, and has enhanced the professional reputation of featured artists.

Sustained Contribution by an Organisation or Group:

The Little Big Book Club
The Little Big Book Club was established in 2005 as a program of The Big Book Club to actively encourage parents and carers to engage with their children through books and reading. Its aims include raising awareness of the importance of reading aloud to children from infancy, and developing a lifelong engagement with art and culture through literacy – words, music, theatre and art.

Helpmann Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts
A not-for-profit arts organisation, the Helpmann Academy has supported and promoted emerging South Australian artists through grants, awards, exhibitions, mentorships and residencies since it was founded in 1994. The Helpmann Academy has directly funded more than 5000 emerging artists and offered support and advice to many more.

Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia for its publication: Contemporary Visual Art + Culture Broadsheet
Contemporary Visual Art + Culture Broadsheet magazine is the only nationally/internationally distributed free magazine and has been published by the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA) since 1954. The magazine has consolidated CACSA and South Australia’s international engagement, operating as a brand for the presentation and promotion of Australian/South Australian contemporary art and culture globally.

The Winners of the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement; Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award; and Sustained Contribution by an Individual will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Friday 5 December. For more information, visit: www.arts.sa.gov.au for details.

Image: Ian Strange, Landed 2014, exhibition view at Dark Heart – Art Gallery of South Australia

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