2016 Australia Council Fellowships announced

Danie Mellor - courtesy of the Australia CouncilSeven accomplished Australian artists are recipients of the 2016 Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship grants. Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski congratulated the seven artists receiving this year’s prestigious Fellowships, worth $80,000 over two years, supporting outstanding, established artists’ creative activity and professional development across diverse art forms.

This year’s recipients are: Bec Reid – Community Arts and Cultural Development; Brooke Stamp – Dance; Dr Sarah Jane Pell – Emerging and Experimental Arts; Julia Leigh – Literature; Sandy Evans – Music; Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy – Theatre; and Danie Mellor – Visual Arts. You can read more about each artist below!

Mr Grybowski said that Fellowships are an important part of the Australia Council’s grants program, providing artists with the opportunity to broaden their professional experience and build upon their significant body of work.

“Fellowships are awarded to established artists who are recognised for excellence in their practice at a local and international level. This will enable them to develop, experiment, research and explore new opportunities and approaches in their chosen art form,” said Mr Grybowski. “A once-in-a-life opportunity, Fellowship recipients are chosen by their peers.”

“This program is a key part of the Australia Council’s commitment to investing in the professional development of artists, and to supporting creative innovation and collaboration which will enhance the profile of Australia’s rich artistic culture.”

Australia Council Fellowships are offered once a year and applications are assessed and awarded by a peer panel made up of area practice experts in the specified art form. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship recipient will be announced at the National Indigenous Arts Awards on 27 May 2017 along with the Red Ochre and Dreaming Awards.

Applications are now open and the next round of Fellowship closes on Tuesday 6 June 2017. For more information, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.

Image: Danie Mellor – courtesy of the Australia Council

About the Artists:

Bec Reid – Community Arts and Cultural Development
Throughout her 16 year career, three themes – participation, large-scale projects and physical experiences – have persisted for Bec Reid, the Australian Council Fellowship recipient in Community Arts and Cultural Development. Producing participatory arts projects from across the community: children through to seniors; from urban, regional and rural areas; and involving many ethnic and cultural affiliations, Bec will use her Fellowship to collaborate internationally with acclaimed German theatre-makers Rimini Protokoll, deepening her knowledge of their renowned approach and of engaging participants as ‘experts of the everyday’ and also collaborate across communities in the Northern Territory.

Brooke Stamp – Dance
Bridging a 17 year-dance career as an artist, performer, choreographer, teacher and dramaturgical mentor to emerging artists, Brooke Stamp intends to use the Australian Council Fellowship in Dance to explore the choreographic body as the central force against ephemerality through sound, vibration, body as sculpture and improvisation. Earning nominations for Green Room and Helpmann Awards in 2008, 2011 and 2012 for best dancer, Brooke intends to develop rich new creative research in interdisciplinary practice and explore new platforms to contextualise her work by engaging with significant spaces and communities in Australia, USA and Europe.

Dr Sarah Jane Pell – Emerging and Experimental Arts
International exhibitor, commercial diver and award-winning artist, Dr Sarah Jane Pell receives the Australia Council Fellowship in Emerging and Experimental Arts and will create a new work to be performed live during the Project POSEIDON: 100 day Undersea Mission. Dr Pell has 17 years’ experience as a visual artist and interdisciplinary researcher. Australia’s first TED Fellow, Dr Pell is also an Astronaut candidate for Project PoSSUM: NASA’s polar suborbital experiment, and Simulation Astronaut for Project Moonwalk – Europe’s lunar EVA simulation underwater trials. She is known for large scale collaborative art and science research with a specific emphasis on the performing arts, human movement, and underwater diving and habitat technologies.

Julia Leigh – Literature
Accomplished Sydney-based award winning author and feature film writer/director, Julia Leigh receives the Australia Council Fellowship in Literature to assist in research, developing and finishing her next novel. As an author of two internationally acclaimed and widely translated novels The Hunter (1999) and Disquiet (2008), Julia recently released a memoir early this year entitled Avalanche, which detailed her emotional journey through the IVF process. Her film Sleeping Beauty was nominated for the Palme D’Or at the Festival de Cannes in 2011.

Sandy Evans – Music 
A saxophonist and composer with 38 years-experience of at the forefront of jazz and improvised music in Australia and internationally, Sandy Evans has toured extensively throughout Australia, Europe, North America and Asia. Recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship in Music, Sandy will compose, collaborate and play saxophone for a new body of work with internationally renowned musicians in the areas of jazz, free improvisation and intercultural music in Australia, Singapore, India and Europe.

Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy – Theatre
Graduating from the VCA 20 years ago as a theatre director, Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy worked in the Melbourne performing arts scene before radically shifting her practice in 2006. Since then she has developed a rich body of intimate, immersive and participatory live art works with her company Triage. Katerina has worked locally, nationally, and internationally and is the recipient of the Australian Council Fellowship in Theatre. Using her extensive directorial and dramaturgical experience, Katerina will use her Fellowship to extend the scope of her creative practice by engaging in sound and screen-based research. She will develop a new suite of performance installations for participating audiences to be presented in Australia, Europe and Asia.

Danie Mellor – Visual Arts 
Receiving the Australia Council Fellowship for Visual Arts, international and award-winning artist Danie Mellor will be exhibiting his work in China, Art Basel Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Paris, New Zealand and Australia exploring ideas connected with landscape, history, post-colonialism and culture. Working across mediums using imagery, sculpture and installation, Danie is interested in the intersections between cultural knowledge and philosophy, and ecologies of the natural world through which concepts of otherness and the uncanny are understood.