Artistic excellence, diversity and exceptional leadership
are the consistent themes across the distinguished recipients of the 2015 Australia
Council Awards being presented at an inaugural event next week.
Bringing the individual art form awards
together for the first time, the 2015 Australia Council Awards ceremony will
pay tribute to the remarkable contributions made by
10 Australians to our arts and cultural landscape. Presented in Sydney
on Thursday 19 March, these prestigious national awards combine long-standing lifetime and significant achievement awards in
music, literature, community partnerships and visual arts, with new awards in
theatre, dance, and emerging and experimental arts.
Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony
Grybowski said the awards were the highest accolade the Council could bestow,
and that the 2015 recipients had a depth and richness to the contributions made
in their respective art forms, which embodied the kind of artistic and cultural
ambition the Council is committed to supporting.
“The awards are an acknowledgement of the
significant achievements and contribution an artist has made to the vibrancy of
Australian arts. The 10 recipients
are widely respected by their peers nationally and internationally, and these
awards give us the opportunity to reflect on their considerable body of work
and the impact they have had on the arts in Australia and overseas,” Mr
Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AM
congratulated the recipients on this recognition.
“Previous recipients include some of
Australia’s most esteemed artists and I am delighted that the 2015 awards
continue that tradition, celebrating individuals who capture our imagination,
push boundaries and inspire new ideas.” Mr Myer said.
The 2015 Australia Council Award recipients
Keneally (NSW) – Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature
Roach (Vic) – Australia Council Don Banks Music Award
Watson (Qld) – Australia Council Visual Arts Award (Artist)
Stubbs (NT) – Australia Council Visual Arts Award (Advocate)
(WA) – Australia Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in Emerging &
Stewart (SA) – Australia Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance
Gladwin (Vic) – Australia Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre
· Tony Doyle
(SA) – Ros Bower Award (Community Arts and Cultural Development)
Evans (NSW) – Kirk Robson Award (Community Arts and Cultural Development)
Herrmann (SA) – Kirk Robson Award (Community Arts and Cultural Development)
Keneally is an internationally acclaimed author of
bestsellers such as Schindler’s Ark,
made into the Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List by Hollywood’s Steven
Spielberg, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
and Australians. His many accolades include the Miles
Franklin Award and the Booker Prize.
About to turn 80 and having just celebrated 50 years as a professional
writer, this year he’s working on his fourth volume of Australians.
Roach is a celebrated Aboriginal singer/songwriter
with a career spanning three decades and 10 albums. As a member of the stolen generations - famed for his iconic
song, Took the Children Away - Archie
has become a powerful voice for indigenous Australians and one of this
country’s greatest storytellers.
He‘s shared the stage with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Tracy
Chapman, Billy Bragg, Paul Simon and Joan Armatrading.
Watson is an internationally recognised Indigenous
contemporary visual artist with work in collections around the world, including
the National Gallery of Australia, the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and
the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris.
She has represented Australia at the Venice Biennale and won the Moet &
Chandon Fellowship and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Award. This year she is exhibiting at the British Museum and completing public
arts project in Adelaide and Canberra, where her acclaimed installation fire and water is sited at
Stubbs is coordinator at the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka
Centre in Yirrkala, NT, and a passionate advocate of Indigenous arts and
Australia’s unique arts centres. A
former criminal lawyer, Will in 1995 began working with Yolŋu elders and
artists, such as Djambawa Marawili AM, Gawirrin Gumana AO and Wanyubi Marika.
The Yirrkala artists have since won 30 major art prizes and exhibited widely
and internationally, including Musee du Quai Branly.
Stelarc is an internationally recognised performance artist. He is well-known
for his visual probes and acoustic amplifications within his body, using
medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, virtual reality systems, the
internet and biotechnology.
Awarded the Prix Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts Prize, Stelarc is a
Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Alternate Anatomies Lab,
School of Design & Art, Curtin University, Perth. This year he will be
performing and exhibiting in Toronto, Auckland, Seoul and Perth.
Stewart has been since 1999 the Artistic Director of
Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide, which this year celebrates its 50th
anniversary. He has studied and
collaborated with artists working in robotics, photography, architecture,
animation and 3D technology. A
prolific choreographer here and overseas - particularly acclaimed for his
reworking of ballet language into contemporary forms - his award-winning work
includes Birdbrain, The Age of Unbeauty,
Nothing, HELD, Devolution, G, Be Your
Self, Worldhood, Proximity and Honour
Bound about the incarceration of David Hicks.
Gladwin has been the Artistic Director of Back To
Back Theatre since 1999. Under his
stewardship, this Geelong-based ensemble of performers perceived to have
intellectual disabilities has presented shows in more than 70 cities across 20
countries. Shows include Small Metal Objects, at the Vienna
Festival in June, and the multi-award-winning hit, Ganesh Versus The Third Reich, touring Europe in May.
Doyle is an award-winning director and musician
skilled at producing community programs, disability arts projects and events
and festivals. His work in
disability arts and advocacy over the past 25 years has had a positive impact
locally, nationally and globally.
Born with a sight impairment and now totally blind, Tony this year
continues in Adelaide a busy community timetable of music workshops, dances,
cabarets and performances.
Evans has worked around the world as a performer,
theatre-maker and community artist, with a particular focus on cultural
development and social change. In
the Northern Territory Alyson has made theatre with remote Indigenous
communities, young people, people with disabilities and mental illness,
prisoners and former refugees, as well as in Cambodia, the United Kingdom and
New York. Alyson is a Teaching
Artist for Sydney Theatre Companyʼs School Drama program and manages Rozelle
Neighbourhood Centreʼs accessible arts programs.
Herrmann is a writer, theatre maker, cultural
producer and advocate who uses performance and civic action to inspire
individuals and communities to reclaim and reinterpret their personal stories
as art. A self-confessed teenage
mum, high school drop-out and busy blogger, Alysha’s recent awards include the
2014 Channel 9 Young Achiever Arts Award and SA Life naming her one of South
Australia’s fastest rising stars under 30.
An exhibition celebrating the winners will be
at the Australia Council office in Surry Hills from 11 March until 8 May.
For more information on the award winners: www.australiacouncil.gov.au
ABOUT THE AWARDS
Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, formerly the Writers’ Emeritus Award, acknowledges the achievements of
eminent literary writers over the age of 60 who have made an outstanding and
lifelong contribution to Australian literature. Past winners include Bruce Dawe (2000), the late Christopher
Koch (2007), Herb Wharton (2012) and Frank Moorhouse AM (2013).
Australia Council Don Banks Music Award honours
a distinguished artist aged over 50 who has made an outstanding and sustained
contribution to music in Australia.
Its name honours Don Banks, an Australian composer, performer and the
first Chair of the Music Board.
Past winners include Mike Nock (2014) Kev Carmody (2013), Jon Rose
(2012) Belinda Webster (2011) and Warren Fahey (2010).
Australia Council Visual Arts Awards acknowledges
the exceptional achievements of an Australian artist and an arts professional
who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Australian
art. Past winners include Fiona
Foley and Julie Ewington in 2014, Tracey Moffatt and Juliana Enberg in 2012,
and Fiona Hall and Ron Radford in 2011.
Ros Bower Award is given to artists with a proven
record of high achievement in community arts and cultural development, driven
by the principles of equality, respect, and diversity. Its name honours Ros Bower, a
journalist, television producer, community arts pioneer and founding Director
of Council’s first Community Arts Board. The
Kirk Robson Award recognises outstanding leadership from young people working
in community arts and cultural development, particularly in reconciliation and
social justice. It was established
to honour Kirk Robson who tragically died in a car crash in 2005. He received
the Council’s Young and Emerging Artists Initiative and was the Artistic
Director of The Torch Project.
Past winners of the Ros Bower and Kirk Robson awards include Lockie
McDonald, Steve Payne, Alissar Chidiac, Shakthi Shakthidharan, Jade Lillie and
The Australia Council Awards for Emerging &
Experimental Arts, Dance and Theatre are new awards which recognise the outstanding
achievements and considerable contribution of artists in those artforms. The
recipients’ potential to continue to contribute significantly to the Australian
arts sector was also considered.
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