Shortlisted recipients of distinguished Visual Arts Fellowship announced

The 2020 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship finalists: (From top left) Kate Brown, Julia Gutman, Tiyan Baker, Nadia Hernández, Dennis Golding, Akil Ahamat, Tarik Ahlip and Kirtika Kain.

The 2020 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship finalists: (From top left) Kate Brown, Julia Gutman, Tiyan Baker, Nadia Hernández, Dennis Golding, Akil Ahamat, Tarik Ahlip and Kirtika Kain.

Eight emerging visual artists from NSW have been shortlisted for the 2020 Create NSW and Artspace Visual Arts Fellowship.

In its 24th year with Artspace, the prestigious $30,000 Fellowship provides a NSW visual arts practitioner in the early stages of their career the opportunity to undertake a program of significant professional development and career advancement.

Create NSW Executive Director Chris Keely said the long-standing Fellowship is an invaluable opportunity for emerging visual artists to receive support and exposure to the industry and display their craft for NSW audiences and the arts community.

“The calibre of this year’s shortlisted emerging artists is once again at an impeccably high standard, and I am thrilled that through this partnership with Artspace, exciting new works will be delivered for NSW audiences,” Mr Keely said.

“Artspace’s annual commitment to collaboration and mentorship of each recipient is incredible to witness and the result is a must-see exhibition that enhances deeper engagement with the NSW contemporary arts community and wider audience.”

Curators Alexie Glass-Kantor and Elyse Goldfinch said: “As a community we are experiencing complex and difficult times, Covid-19 has impacted all facets of our lives and we are also bearing witness to profound and necessary social change. In this current moment Artspace and Create NSW believe that the 2020 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship offers a critical opportunity for professional development for emerging artists through curatorial advocacy and engagement. We are honoured to be working collaboratively with the eight outstanding artists who are all new to the Fellowship and to jointly shaping an exhibition that will offer unique insight into their practices. We warmly congratulate the finalists and look forward to welcoming audiences to Artspace for this highly anticipated exhibition.”

Shortlisted artists will participate in an open Artspace exhibition from Saturday 31 October – Sunday 13 December 2020. The Fellowship winner will be announced and live streamed at the official exhibition launch on Saturday 14 November 2020.

The 2020 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging) is part of a suite of Create NSW Creative Leadership and Fellowship programs. This Fellowship, delivered with the curatorial and exhibition support of Artspace, supports NSW visual arts practitioners in the early stages of their career to challenge, and expand their practice. Shortlisted applicants will receive mentorship from Artspace’s curatorial team over three months to develop new work for the Artspace exhibition toward the end of the year.

In addition to the Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging), Create NSW offers opportunities for individuals and groups to receive support through other Fellowships and the Arts and Cultural Funding Program.

The shortlisted visual artists are:

Mr Akil Ahamat
Akil is a multidisciplinary artist whose work draws upon his own online experiences to consider the physical and social isolation that often governs the shaping of identity in a contemporary context. Exploring the forms and techniques evident in autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) roleplay videos, Akil employs installation elements and audio technology as the interface between himself and the audience in the gallery. Within the public context of the gallery, this displaced virtual intimacy becomes a gently disarming platform for the artist to discuss the formation of his own identity.

Mr Tarik Ahlip
Tarik Ahlip is an artist whose studio practice focuses on sculpture and public art. Drawing from the artist’s background in architecture, Ahlip’s practice is informed by a concern for civics and architectural ideals, articulated across sculptural forms with a focus on casting and carving processes. For the past four years, Ahlip has been focused on the idea of working sculpturally
with photovoltaics (solar energy harvesting technologies) in order to explore their poetic, expressive potentials, and as a means to advocate for their social importance.

Ms Tiyan Baker
Tiyan Baker is an early career Malaysian Bidayuh/Anglo-Australian artist who practices primarily in video and installation. Baker’s practice engages with sites where contemporary crises around neoliberalism, neo-colonialism, environmental degradation and psycho-spiritual alienation are staged. Her work draws on field research and documentary techniques to explore the emotional experience of the self and the collective as embedded in greater sociopolitical contexts.

Ms Kate Brown
Kate Brown is an interdisciplinary artist working specifically with the human voice. She is fascinated by how it sits in the body, how it is produced, and projected out to be placed elsewhere. Accordingly, she has been focusing on live event-based performances in installation, outdoor environments, and gallery contexts.

Mr Dennis Golding
Dennis Golding is a Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist whose practice explores empowering representations of identity and race. Often referencing science-fictional narratives through the visual motif of the cape, Golding’s work focuses on varying relationships between pop cultural figures such as superheroes and Australian colonial histories. The works thereby present a critical view of social, political and cultural representations, challenging categorical boundaries from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous experiences.

Ms Julia Gutman
Julia Gutman is a multidisciplinary artist living and working on Gadigal Lands. She works with discarded textiles to produce sculptural deities and figurative tapestries. Drawing together disparate historical, mythological and personal threads, her practice takes materiality as form and the act of making as its conceptual core. Positioned within a queer feminist critical dialogue, Gutman is interested in appropriating the aesthetics of categorically feminine crafts in order to embody a rougher more fluid language of representation.

Ms Nadia Hernández
Nadia Hernández is an emerging artist originally from Mérida, Venezuela, currently based in Sydney, Australia. Her visual arts practice is informed specifically by the current political climate of her home country and her diasporic experience as a Venezuelan woman living abroad. Articulated through banners, sound, paintings and paper constructions, her identity allows her, or perhaps encourages her, to create work that negotiates complex political narratives through the personal, the institutional and their intersections.

Miss Kirtika Kain
Delhi-born, Sydney-based artist, Kirtika Kain examines caste and patriarchal structures that have been enforced upon and embodied by generations before her. Drawing influence from Dalit literature and historical archives, Kain incorporates a myriad of materials that relate to themes of valuation, corporeality, ritual and tools of manual labour, including brooms, religious pigments, rope, tar and leather. Through diverse alchemical and experimental printmaking processes, Kain attempts to transform and reclaim these everyday materials into aesthetic object of value; thus, re-defining and re-imagining a personal and collective narrative.

Image: The 2020 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship finalists: (From top left) Kate Brown, Julia Gutman, Tiyan Baker, Nadia Hernández, Dennis Golding, Akil Ahamat, Tarik Ahlip and Kirtika Kain.
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Published: 28 July 2020