New funding for artists to take on climate change as part of State Library Victoria’s 2024 Fellowships program

AAR-State-Library-VictoriaVictorian artists are invited to respond to climate change, with State Library Victoria announcing two new fellowships worth $15,000 each.

The Climate Futures Artist Fellowship aims to empower creatives to examine the social impact of climate change on future generations, and to imagine a future where art and climate intersect in profound and meaningful ways.

The new fellowships are part of the Library’s $200,000 Fellowships program which supports 15 creatives and scholars to spend one year delving into the State Collection with the support of a dedicated expert librarian and bring new perspectives to Victorian life and history.

The Fellowships have helped support the work of dozens of talented recipients during its 22-year history, including Dr Grace Yee, recently named winner of the prestigious 2024 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and Poetry Prize.

Dr Yee’s $15,000 Creative Fellowship in 2019 assisted her research into early settler Chinese Australian histories for a collection of soon-to-be-published poems, Light Traps: A History.

This year’s program again includes two $15,000 Creative Fellowships as well the return of the $15,000 John Emmerson Research Fellowship for a project researching England in the early modern period.

Recipients are invited to be inspired by, repurpose, transform or imaginatively respond to published or original sources, including manuscripts, maps, music, newspapers, oral histories and rare printed material, in any way they choose.

State Library CEO Paul Duldig said the new Climate Futures Fellowship for Artists is a wonderful opportunity for creatives and thought leaders to help shape the future of art in an era defined by dramatic climate change.

“The State Collection holds a vast array of material which documents the history of our relationship with Victoria’s environment and climate – rare books, manuscripts and newspapers, to fine art, photographs and ephemera,” he said.

“Some of the rare and remarkable items include a makeshift barrel to filter sea water for drinking, fashioned by early European settlers desperate for fresh water.”

“There are invaluable records of the traditional knowledge and land practices of Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal people as well as incredible photographs documenting the Mallee dust storm that engulfed Melbourne in 1983 and of course William Strutt’s apocalyptic masterpiece Black Thursday, February 6th, 1851,” said Mr Duldig.

2023 Creative Fellow Professor Barry Golding has been studying the land management of the six mountains of the Great Dividing Range in central Victoria, the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung Nation. Professor Golding’s book, Six Peaks Speak, is set to be published in October 2024.

“The fellowship has been an amazing opportunity. I’ve used a wide range of sources including original documents from the State Library Victoria, as well as the Public Records Office of Victoria and TROVE. Having access to State Library records, particularly rare books and original documents, and mentor support as well, has been invaluable,” said Professor Golding.

Artist and photographer Nicholas Hubicki was the 2023 recipient of the Tate Adams Memorial Residency at Baldessin Studio, and through the fellowship produced Chimeras, a photographic series depicting imaginary botanical specimens forced to “hybridise” to survive the changing climate.

“I feel very fortunate to have been granted the fellowship. The team at Baldessin Press have been incredibly welcoming and generous with their expertise. I have learnt so much about printmaking and photogravure. The response to the work produced through the fellowship is the best I have had in my career so far,” said Mr Hubicki.

State Library Victoria’s 2024 Fellowships program comprises:

  • 2 x Creative Fellowships ($15,000 each)
  • 2 x Climate Futures Fellowships for Artists ($15,000 each) NEW
  • 1 x Children’s Storytelling Literature Fellowship ($15,000)
  • 1 x Amor Residency at Baldessin Studio ($5,000 cash and $5,000 in kind)
  • 1 x Tate Adams Memorial Residency at Baldessin Studio ($5,000 cash and $5,000 in kind)
  • 1 x John Emmerson Research Fellowship ($10,000)
  • 1 x Georges Mora Fellowship ($10,000)
  • 1 x Kerri Hall Fellowship for Performing Arts ($15,000)
  • 1 x La Trobe Society Fellowship ($15,000)
  • 1 x Redmond Barry Fellowship ($15,000)
  • 2 x Regional Fellowships – Marion Orme Page & Regional Arts Victoria ($15,000 each)
  • 1 x Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellowship ($15,000)

Fellows receive access to a desk space in a shared office for 12 months (July 2024 – June 2025), access to collections and staff expertise.

For more information about the State Library Victoria’s 2024 Fellowships program, visit: for details.

Image: State Library Victoria (supplied)