Exhibition: Visual Arts Fellowships
Visual Arts Fellowships Exhibition
The Australia Council for the Arts, window façade and foyer.
372 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Monday- Friday 9-5
14 November 2014 – 26 January 2015
Robyn Backen, Lindy Lee and Hilarie Mais were awarded fellowships for two years to undertake ambitious new projects and develop their artistic careers. Fellowships are only granted once in an artist’s lifetime with substantial support to research, reflect, create work, and expand their practice. Robyn Backen, Lindy Lee and Hilarie Mais are all celebrated contemporary artists, working across drawing, projections, sculptural form and installation. The Australia Council has also created a fellowships focus film to accompany the exhibition which profiles each artists practice and their personal tips when applying for funding from The Australia Council.
About the artists:
Robyn Backen is an interdisciplinary artist and recipient of the Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship for the period 2012-14. Backen's recent work evolves from her research into the acoustics of ancient whispering architecture. Her installations are often technologically complex yet are minimal in appearance. Systems become the subjects of her work, like those of language and code, classifying, remembering.
Backen has completed many large public commissioned artworks such as Weeping Walls, Sydney International Airport 2001; Delicate Balance at Ballast Point Park for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority 2009 and Walls that Whisper Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra 2009.
Born in Brisbane in 1954, Lindy Lee is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists and recipient of the Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship for the period 2012-14. Lee’s work explores her Chinese heritage through the prisms of identity, selfhood and Zen Buddhism. ‘Almost all of my life I’ve been preoccupied with the nature of ‘self’ in the world. For me it has to do with being a divided self – Chinese and Australian – and the feeling of being neither this, nor that, but both.’
Lindy Lee’s recent bronze sculptures are inspired by Chinese ‘flung ink’ painting. In this practise, Buddhist monks meditate before spilling ink onto blank paper. The resulting mark represents the release of the ego or the self, in favour of a unified mind, body and universe.
Hilarie Mais was born in Leeds, United Kingdom in 1952 where she trained at the Winchester and Slade Schools of Art before moving to New York. She has lived and worked in Sydney since 1981 and was recipient of the Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship for the period 2012-14. Mais is known for grid-based structures, which define and partition space with their lines and shapes.
Mais’ works are not pre-conceived or pre-determined, rather they are allowed to form organically, evolving patterns as they grow and respond to their environment. Many of Mais’ works have developed out of observing natural growth processes. In the growth of shells, leaves and other natural forms, Mais found they had genetically-determined growth patterns and sequences. Mais has exhibited extensively internationally and nationally and is held in many major collections worldwide.