Create NSW Fellow Jeremy Hawkes brings his art practice to life during a residency in Berlin

Jeremy Hawkes at Berlin Art Institute (BAI). Berlin Artist Residency, Art School & Arts Incubator on 25 October, 2019. Photo courtesy the artist.

Jeremy Hawkes at Berlin Art Institute (BAI). Berlin Artist Residency, Art School & Arts Incubator on 25 October, 2019. Photo courtesy the artist.

As a recipient of Create NSW’s Creative Development Fellowship this year, Jeremy shared his experience with his recent residency and exhibition at 404, Berlin Art Institute.

As part of your Creative Development Fellowship you took part in a residency in Berlin and produced an exhibition – C(o)RPS(e) – An Exhibition of Paintings and Works on Paper. Tell us a bit about this experience.

As a recipient of a Create NSW Fellowship I had an incredible 16-week residency at the Berlin Art Institute, among other wonderful opportunities. It was extraordinary having a dedicated studio and time to develop and work on my arts practice, in an exciting and engaging environment, surrounded by artists from all over the world.

Towards the end of the residency, the Institute offered me an exhibition at their newly refurbished project space. I believe I was the first artist in over a year to be given the chance to exhibit. It was short notice, and I had so much work to do, but showing my work to an entirely new audience was a great opportunity, and the curators were incredible.

In my experience, something always comes out of exhibiting, even if it’s not immediately evident. I made a few sales, including being collected by the Berlin Art Institute, and an offer to be in a group show in May 2020.

Tell us a bit about how you are wanting to take your artistic practice into a new direction.
Part of wanting to go to Berlin was to be in a new environment – to be around artists who work in different ways and see what emerged.

I’m becoming more interested in BioArt as a means of exploring new media. What’s happened though is a return to the two dimensional, in particular painting in a gestural way. I’m also keen to explore performance or ‘live’ art as an avenue to look at the disabled body. I feel like I have a lot of momentum and much more to explore.

In addition to being a visual artist, you are also an advocate for people with disability in the sector. What would you like to see change in the sector for artists with disability?

There are many reports and statistics that highlight the income disparity between artists with and without disability, even though people with disability contribute a disproportionately higher amount to the arts in general. In 2019, there are still very real access issues that stops people with disability from contributing to the sector ¬– both as practitioners and as audience members.

There are very real problems with legislation, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, travel and so on. From my experience travelling overseas to fulfill international opportunities, such as the one provided by Create NSW, was nearly impossible.

Will you be celebrating International Day of People with Disability? (IDPwD)

I most certainly will! I’ve recently been invited by Arts Access Australia to attend their annual arts and disability conference, Meeting Place, in Canberra this year. It’s a chance to reconnect with my peers and community on such an important day.

‘Celebration’ is a term that is sometimes problematic when there is still so much disparity, but for people with disability it’s important to take the time to reflect and enjoy our achievements to date, and recognise our strengths and accomplishments.

 

Create NSW is passionate about creating real opportunities for people with disabilities to break into and sustain careers in the arts, screen and culture sector. We will be back with more initiatives and opportunities to level the playing field for people with disability in 2020.

Follow us on social media and on our Create enews and Screen enews to make sure you’re in the know.

Image: Jeremy Hawkes at Berlin Art Institute (BAI). Berlin Artist Residency, Art School & Arts Incubator on 25 October, 2019. Photo courtesy the artist.
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