Recognising talent and exceptional courage in their respective artforms, From across Australia, eight 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 2018 Sidney Myer Creative Fellows are: Sarah Blasko (Victoria – Music); Merindah Donnelly (Queensland – Dance); Nicola Gunn (Victoria – Theatre); Jonathan Jones (New South Wales – Visual Arts); Anna Krien (Victoria – Writing); James Mangohig (Northern Territory – Music & Community and Cultural Development); S.J Norman (Victoria – Live Art); and Nick Power (New South Wales – Dance).
For Nicola Gunn, the Fellowship “means everything to me. I just want to be a better artist and make better art.” While Merindah Donnelly said “The Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship delivers rare and meaningful support for arts innovators within our independent and small to medium arts communities. It’s a generous recognition of arts professionals that is invaluable. I’m excited First Nations artists have always been acknowledged in this prestigious program.”
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.
“I hope this Fellowship will free each artist from daily financial pressures and allow them the space to keep their creative practice flourishing,” says Andrew Myer AM, Chair of the Selection Panel. “We recognise their talent and passion and their belief in how the arts can make a positive contribution to society.”
Established in 2011, the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships have to date awarded over $11 million directly to 73 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 2018 Fellows comprised: Kate Fell, Jeff Khan, Sean Pardy, Elizabeth Walsh, and Clare Watson.
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: Sarah Blasko (image by Kylie Coutts), Merindah Donnelly, Nicola Gunn, Jonathan Jones, Anna Krien, James Mangohig (image by Elle Wickens), S.J Norman (image by Heidrun Lohr) and Nick Power (supplied)