Artistic proposal eoi for national participation at the australian pavilion, biennale arte 2019, venice

A two stage EOI process

Stage One: Expressions of Interest close midnight ADEST, Wednesday, 22 November 2017.
Shortlisted applicants will be notified in mid-December 2017.

Stage Two: Shortlisted applicants will be funded to provide a detailed proposal by Monday, 29 January 2018.
The successful proposal will be announced in February 2018.

About the opportunity

Expressions of Interest are now open for artistic proposals to represent Australia in the category of National Participation at the Australian Pavilion for the 58th International Art Exhibition, Biennale Arte 2019 (Venice Biennale).

Australia’s participation in the Biennale Arte provides Australian artists and curators with a high profile international opportunity that includes important international exposure to new audiences, markets and contexts. This exposure builds the profile of Australian contemporary arts and stimulates international cultural links, networks and dialogue for Australian artists and curators. The Biennale represents a significant platform to showcase contemporary Australian arts to a global audience.

Australia’s National Participation at the Biennale Arte in Venice is managed by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s principal art funding and advisory body in accordance with the requirements established by La Biennale. The exhibition and associated publication will be the result of a close collaboration between the artist/s and curator/s and the Australia Council’s Venice Project team from concept through to the development, installation and the course of the exhibition, including key moments such as the Vernissage.  

The Biennale runs from May to November 2019.

Click here to find out more about the Australian Pavilion.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for an artistic team with the concept, credentials and experience to represent Australia at this prestigious international platform.

In addition, a preparedness to liaise with key stakeholders, including audiences, media, corporate partners and donors is required, as is preparedness to enable an Australian presentation of the exhibition following the conclusion of the 2019 Biennale Arte

Proposals may focus on presenting one artist or relate to a number of artists and their practice. Similarly, proposals may include one curator or a number of curators.


A Venice 2019 Fellowship is provided to the Artist/s representing Australia in the Australian pavilion for the 58th International Art Exhibition, Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice, Italy. The Venice Fellowship is provided for the purpose of developing, creating, and producing new artwork(s) for the exhibition in the Australian Pavilion, Venice, Italy.

Support is provided to the Curator/s representing Australia to provide curatorial and editorial services for the exhibition and associated publication in the Australian Pavilion, Venice, Italy.

Details of the support will be provided to the successful artist/s and curator/s after notification.

The Australia Council also provides support for required domestic travel and international travel for up to two visits to Venice for reconnaissance (one week), and the exhibition installation and Vernissage period (up to four weeks).

An exhibition budget covering freight and equipment, pavilion preparation, install and deinstall will be managed by the Australia Council.

The Australia Council also will provide international and domestic PR and marketing support to the exhibition.  


Only individuals and groups may apply to this category. We will not accept applications from legally constituted organisations or partnerships.

All key personnel must be a practicing artist or arts worker and an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.

Conditions that would render your application ineligible are available here.

Selection Criteria

Your application will be assessed by a Venice Selection Panel comprising national and international visual arts experts. Names of assessors will be published at the conclusion of the assessment process.

The Selection Panel will consider the concept; the depth of experience of the artist/s and curator/s and the significance of their professional achievement; the viability of the proposal and the impact that the opportunity will deliver to the artist/s, curator/s and/or sector. 


  • the quality, readiness and appropriateness of the proposal to represent Australia on the world stage
  • a clear ability to produce work within the context of and prescribed by the Venice Biennale

Professional achievement

  • strength of artistic career/s and significance of body of work
  • national and international curatorial and critical recognition of previous work
  • quality of an ongoing exhibition history


  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use 
  • where applicants are employed by an organisation, please include confirmation that approval for participation has been granted by the employer. Please include this optional support evidence as part of your Biographies / Curriculum Vitae, in addition to your 2 pages.
  • the role of any partners involved, including confirmation of their involvement. Please include this optional support evidence as part of your Biographies / Curriculum Vitae, in addition to your 2 pages.
  • where proposals involve working with diverse audiences or communities, the panel will look for demonstrated cultural competencies and appropriateness


  • how this opportunity will strengthen your artistic practice
  • the impact of this opportunity on your career including extending and leveraging opportunities 
  • how this exhibition will increase national and international interest in and awareness of Australian contemporary arts practice

Your application

All three of the following Essential Support Materials must be submitted with your online application:

1.  Artistic proposal briefly outlining your ideas, approach and capacity to deliver a presentation of Australian art within the platform of the Biennale Arte 2019. All the criteria listed in the previous pages should be addressed and the full team including artist/s and curator/s must be identified.

  • Maximum 2 pages submitted as one PDF.
  • Please name and submit your file with the title ‘1. Artistic Proposal’

2.  Biographies / Curriculum Vitae of key personnel

  • Maximum 2 pages submitted as one PDF.
  • Please name and submit your file with the title ‘2. Biography’.

3.  Examples of past work

  • Maximum 4 pages submitted as one PDF. 
  • Please name and submit your file with the title ‘3. Past work ’.

Selection Process

All proposals will be acknowledged by the Australia Council by 28 November 2017.

Proposals will be shortlisted by the Venice Selection Panel.

Successful shortlisted applicants will be notified in mid-December 2017 when they will be provided with full details of Stage 2 submission requirements.

Stage 2 applicants will be funded to provide a detailed proposal by Monday 29 January 2018 for consideration by the Venice Selection Panel.

The successful proposal will be announced in February 2018.

How to submit

Expressions of Interest must be submitted via Australia Council Online.

We do not accept applications submitted via post. Applications received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender.

Click on the ‘Submit an EOI’ button at the bottom of this page or click on ‘Grants & Grant Reporting’ and choose ‘Expressions of Interest (EOI)’.

You must submit the three Essential Support Materials with your online application.

  • use the file names provided when naming and submitting files with your application
  • the online application has a total size limit of 75MB. Video files must be provided as a URL
  • only the Essential Support Materials can be submitted with your application and no other support material will be accepted

The EOI application form will ask you to complete the following fields:

  • a working title for your Venice exhibition: enter your working title (100 characters)
  • a detailed description of your Venice exhibition: enter “Refer attached”
  • grant amount: please note that this has been set to $1.00 and does not reflect the actual funding amount for either artists/s or curator/s.  Funding levels will be determined based on the successful proposal.  

Note, this is an expression of interest and not a grant application. It does not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.

The Australian Pavilion

The award-winning Australian Pavilion designed by Denton Corker Marshall was officially opened in May 2015. It provides an elegant home to showcase the best of Australian art and architecture. The Australia Council for the Arts owns and manages the Australian Pavilion.

The Australian Pavilion is one of 29 national pavilions within the Giardini della Biennale, the Biennale Gardens. The Australian Pavilion is the first 21st Century building to be constructed in the Giardini. The original pavilion designed by Philip Cox opened in 1988 and hosted 22 artists during its lifetime.

The development of the Australian Pavilion was made possible through a public-private partnership led by the Australia Council and the then Commissioner for Australia, Simon Mordant AM, affirming Australia’s commitment to the Venice Biennale and to presenting the best of Australia’s contemporary art and architecture.

The artistic proposal may utilise both the internal gallery space of the Australian Pavilion and selected external areas. The Australian Pavilion features the following external elements which, subject to approval by La Biennale, may or may not be utilised:

Up to three operable panels, two on the eastern façade, and one on the western façade Hanging rail along the roofline for hanging of lightweight material (for example, banners or lightweight cloth) to cover the black granite exterior.

An external element may be possible on the deck at the entrance of the pavilion (refer to visuals).

The Pavilion floorplan and visuals will be provided upon request.


To discuss your expression of interest, please contact Tara Kita, Senior Project Officer, Venice on 02 9215 9176 or

Closing date

The EOI will close midnight AEDST on Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Technical and administrative support will not be available after 5pm ADST on the closing date.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within four weeks of the closing date.

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