Recognising talent and exceptional courage in their respective artforms, ten exceptional mid-career artists from across Australia have been awarded a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. Unfettered in their artistic excellence, each Fellow has shown a passionate commitment to their practice and an unyielding belief in how the arts can make a positive contribution to community.
The 2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellows are: Angela Betzien (NSW) – writing; Emily Tomlins (Vic) – theatre; Genevieve Clay-Smith (NSW) – film; Hiromi Tango (NSW) – visual arts; Jade Lillie (Vic) – Cultural Community Arts and Development; Julia deVille (Vic) – visual arts; Kyle Page (Qld) – dance; Mark Leonard Winter (Vic) – theatre; Megan Washington (Qld) – music; and Yitzhak Yedid (Qld) – music.
Each Fellow is awarded a generous unrestricted grant of $160,000. The Fellowships are not tied to any specific outcome, instead, they provide an income over a two-year period, allowing each Fellow time to reflect and develop aspects of their creative practice without financial pressure. This uniquely places the Fellows and their artistic endeavours at the centre of the Fellowships.
For the artists, the Fellowship, :is a stunningly life changing and career defining moment,” says Kyle Page. “I am deeply grateful for the transformative opportunities that this fellowship will unlock over the next two years and am very much looking forward to sharing all that arises from these experiences with the Australian arts sector well into the future. Untold artistic adventures await.”
For Emily Tomlins, “it feels more important than ever, right now, for artists to be independent. This doesn’t mean ‘not responsible’ – it means being able to really take up the true responsibility that we have, to reflect and create something that speaks calmly and accurately; taking time and thought, so as to honour the time and thought our audiences give us.”
“It is also increasingly difficult,” she continues. “Australia boasts an extraordinary pool of talent, creativity and innovation; and yet getting support to do the work that speaks to our shared future is still limited. This, more than anything, is why Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship is an incredible initiative.”
“It recognises what it takes, and what it will take, to sustain and develop our culture. I am incredibly grateful for such an opportunity; to expand my horizons as an artist and a theatre-maker, and as an advocate for independence of thought and action.”
Established in 2011, the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships have to date awarded over $10 million directly to 65 mid-career artists. This uniquely places the Fellows and their artistic endeavours at the centre of the Fellowships.
To be nominated for a Fellowship, artists and thought leaders must be within seven and 15 years into their creative practice and meet two criteria: outstanding talent and exceptional professional courage. They are open to artists and arts managers across the entire spectrum of the visual, performing, interdisciplinary, new media and literary arts.
The national Peer Review Panel for the 2017 Fellows included: Charlie Cush, Clare Watson, Elizabeth Walsh, Fraser Corfield, Helen Marcou, and Sean Pardy.
The Fellowship program, is one of the many initiatives of the Sidney Myer Fund that support and enrich the cultural life of Australia. For more information, visit: www.myerfoundation.org.au for details.
Image: Emily Tomlins and Kyle Page (supplied)