Four Regional Artists receive $50K each to strengthen creative careers

Four Regional Artists receive $50K each to strengthen creative careers

Regional Arts WA

Four established regional artists from across Western Australia will receive $50,000 each, over two years, to strengthen their creative careers through Regional Arts WA’s inaugural Regional Artist Fellowships through the State Government’s Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program.

The Regional Artist Fellowships will go to Alana Hunt (Kununurra), Renee Schipp (penname PettittSchipp) (Albany), Helen Seiver (Capel), and Monique Tippet (Dwellingup). These remote artists will use their fellowships to cement their careers in the arts sector as well as contribute to their economy through local arts development and community activities.

  • Alana Hunt says; “…I think the form of a fellowship is really important for an artist. It’s different to a project grant that is often quite specific in its focus, outcomes, and timeframe. The longer, durational aspect of a fellowship, the fact it can support an artist in life and work, in a way that is not bound to one particular project is really important. It gifts time in a way that gives me permission to focus, which I hope will lead to greater rigour, braver steps and expanding horizons.”
  • Renee Schipp (penname Pettitt-Schipp) says; “The Regional Artist Fellowship allows me to continue writing a pivotal time in my career as a newly established artist. It gives me time to research the natural and built environment around me and has already enabled me to build on rich collaborative opportunities in my community. I look forward to meeting with scientists and elders, historians and academics, artists and activists over the next two years. However, the most important thing the fellowship allows me is time to think and create. Juggling two jobs and my doctoral studies, my creative life was almost at a standstill. Now I have time to move slowly, think carefully and research widely, a fitting response, I feel, to the complex times we now find ourselves in.”
  • Helen Seiver says; “For some time, I have been trying to understand and make sense of the concept of forgiveness and how does an artist create art about it. What does it look like? What materials support the concept. Experimentation and pushing the boundaries of my practice are the foundation of my studio work and this Fellowship will allow the time to look at a number of responses to the question that have been swirling around my consciousness: all the ideas I haven’t had time to pursue.”
  • Monique Tippet says; “I have a huge amount of work before me, and limited time, The funding through the… Fellowship will allow me to hire 2 or 3 casual arts workers in various roles including studio and admin assistance and material procurement. This will allow me more time to develop the work and finish it to the highest standard and on time.”

Regional Arts WA CEO Paul MacPhail says the Regional Artist Fellowships will provide pivotal support for established artists to strengthen their careers in Australia.

“We received an overwhelming number of applications for the inaugural Regional Artist Fellowships. There are many high calibre artists living and working in regional and remote WA who are ready to cement their careers nationally and internationally. Funding like the Regional Artists Fellowships is pivotal in enabling established artists to focus on their craft and hone their skills.

Through the Regional Artist Fellowships, the recipients have the freedom to experiment artistically, at their own pace, as well as strengthen their income pathways where they can further contribute to their local communities in a long-term sustainable approach. It will be exciting to see their progress over the next two years and discover how the fellowships will enhance their creative practices.”

Regional Artists Fellowships Recipients

1. Alana Hunt | Kununurra | $50,000 across 2 years

Alana Hunt lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia. As an artist and writer Alana Hunt’s activities are driven by the violence that results from the fragility of nations and the aspirations and failures of colonial dreams—on Miriwoong country and in Kashmir. With the Regional Artists Fellowship, Alana will follow this line of thought through two main activities: making new community-engaged art with Spaced:04 (International Art Space) and for a number of other exhibitions, and writing and publishing the life story of artist and lawman, the late Alan Griffiths. Alana will further cultivate professional relationships and cultural discourse, locally and internationally, through her involvement with Hearth, The Border Line, and the 2020 publication of her decade long work Cups of nun chai with the New Delhi based Yaarbal Books.

Alana Hunt says:

“In the second half of 2020 I’m in the final stages of producing Cups of nun chai as a book with Yaarbal Books – a fantastic small publishing house in Delhi founded by Sanjay Kak, a documentary filmmaker and writer from Kashmir. He is a world of wisdom with an imagination to match. I’m also about to embark upon the first stage of a residency with Spaced 04: Rural Utopias and the Kimberley Land Council have come on board as my ‘host’ organisation. I’m the first artist in the history of the Spaced program to live in the region within which they’re working. And while I don’t come to this with a blank slate, I am looking forward to the thinking and making that will emerge from coming together.”

“For me this fellowship is less about a particular “project” and more a wholistic frame that will provide invaluable support over two years to the many different though interrelated elements of my practice including art making, writing, conversation and collaboration, and their circulation through events, publishing and exhibitions. All of this work is, generally speaking, underpinned by experiences, ideas, life that is entwined with the violence that results from the fragility of nations and the aspirations and failures of colonial dreams—here in Kununurra and in Kashmir.

To have a degree of financial stability to pursue this work at this particular moment in time is an incredible gift. I’ve split the fellowship into a weekly stipend of $300, and a bucket of money for art materials, collaboration with others, and (perhaps) travel.

I think the form of a fellowship is really important for an artist. It’s different to a project grant that is often quite specific in its focus, outcomes, and timeframe. The longer, durational aspect of a fellowship, the fact it can support an artist in life and work, in a way that is not bound to one particular project is really important. It gifts time in a way that gives me permission to focus, which I hope will lead to greater rigour, braver steps and expanding horizons.”

2. Renee Schipp (penname Pettitt-Schipp) | Albany | $50,000 across 2 years

Renee Schipp (penname Pettitt-Schipp) will undertake the development of a manuscript, ‘All the Stories We Do Not Know’, researching local history and the biodiversity in the Great Southern and to a lesser extent, the Wheatbelt region, to inform a collection of poetry. The Great Southern is a unique biodiversity hotspot under enormous pressures from human impacts such as land clearing and climate change, steeped in a largely unknown and uncelebrated Noongar history. ‘All the Stories We Do Not Know’ seeks to explore the tensions and contradictions in what it means to be a seventh generation white West Australian living in the shadow of a complex colonial history as well as in the contemporary context of a climate emergency, while being surrounded by abundance and beauty.

Renee Schipp (penname Pettitt-Schipp) says:

“My partner and I arrived in the Great Southern two years ago. We left our home near Fremantle in part due the devastation wrought in our community as a result of the Barnett government’s attempt to build a highway through our local wetland. I craved wild spaces, to again be around abundance, to see life thrive. While I was surrounded by beauty in my new home in Denmark, the impacts of land clearing, climate change as well as the legacy of a complex colonial history, were evident amongst all that thrived around me. This project aims to write into that complexity in the form of a collection of poetry, to ‘bear witness’ through an examination of the area’s oral and written history as well as paying attention to my new environment, to reach a richer understanding of country and my relationship to it.”

“In 2018 I won the WA Premier’s Literary Award for an emerging writer for my first collection of poetry, The Sky Runs Right Through Us (UWAP). This saw a dramatic shift in the way I was perceived by the writing community and many amazing opportunities began to open up for me. Early this year I also completed a 100 000 word creative non-fiction manuscript as part of a doctorate at Curtin University that I hope to publish as my second book. The Regional Artist Fellowship allows me to continue writing a pivotal time in my career as a newly established artist. It gives me time to research the natural and built environment around me and has already enabled me to build on rich collaborative opportunities in my community. I look forward to meeting with scientists and elders, historians and academics, artists and activists over the next two years. However, the most important thing the fellowship allows me is time to think and create. Juggling two jobs and my doctoral studies, my creative life was almost at a standstill. Now I have time to move slowly, think carefully and research widely, a fitting response, I feel, to the complex times we now find ourselves in.”

3. Helen Seiver | Capel | $50,000 across 2 years

Helen Seiver is a visual artist from Capel, Western Australia. Helen’s practice explores personal narrative through sculpture. Helen regularly use found objects and materials, exploring their unique quality of suggesting time, place and era. Artistic processes often involve long and sometimes quite laborious and repetitive processes which allows time to reflect deeply on the issues she is discussing or working through. Making art gives her processes to investigate, and a platform from which to talk about, the things that really matter to her; be they environmental, political or intensely personal issues. Helen has a fundamental belief in the strength and power of women that is drawn from the everyday and her work reflects this. Frequently Helen is reshaping and reformatting traditional female identified processes with non-traditional welding, woodwork and needlework.

Helen Seiver will undertake a creative development concerning the creation of a deeply personal body of work that speaks to forgiveness and transformation, with wisdom and discernment. The work will attempt to express those concepts, which in truth, ‘represent the incomprehensible and non-representational’ (Anslem Keifer). The Fellowship will allow financial support, space and reflection time needed to work through and experiment with ideas that life has pushed aside: allowing Helen to extend the boundaries of her practice, concepts materials and processes.

Helen Seiver says:

“The project is intensely private and an exploration of grief, forgiveness, healing and ultimately transformation.” “For some time, I have been trying to understand and make sense of the concept of forgiveness and how does an artist create art about it. What does it look like? What materials support the concept. Experimentation and pushing the boundaries of my practice are the foundation of my studio work and this Fellowship will allow the time to look at a number of responses to the question that have been swirling around my consciousness: all the ideas I haven’t had time to pursue.”

4. Monique Tippet | Dwellingup | $50,000 across 2 years

Monique Tippett is a visual and sculptural artist based in Dwellingup, in the Peel region of Western Australia. She will undertake two years of intense, artistic output and creative innovation, culminating in three distinct solo exhibitions. Significant invitational shows at Gallery 25 Edith Cowan University, Holmes á Court Gallery in West Perth and Bunbury Regional Art Gallery. Monique will also be creating new work as one of seven headline artists for the 2021 Indian Ocean Craft Triennial. Monique’s artist run initiative, Lost Eden Creative in Dwellingup, is also a satellite venue for the Triennial and will be curating, participating in, and hosting a group exhibition as part of this significant cultural event for Perth and Indian Ocean rim countries.

Monique Tippet says:

“…I have been invited by three prominent galleries to produce solo exhibitions. Gallery 25 at ECU Mt Lawley in November 2020; Holmes a Court Gallery, West Perth in June 2021 and Bunbury Regional Art Gallery in December 2021. I will also be a headline artist representing WA at the inaugural Indian Ocean Craft Triennial. This will involve the creation of an installation piece and large wall sculpture to be exhibited in John Curtin Gallery during October and November 2021. My artist run initiative, Lost Eden Creative, in Dwellingup is also acting as a satellite venue for the triennial and I will be curating and presenting a group show of fine woodcraft from some of WA’s leading practitioners. I am very excited about this international triennial and my multifaceted involvement in it. Before me lies a full on schedule of meetings and making, resulting in new works and perhaps new directions.”

“These exhibitions will expand my catalogue of solo shows and expose my work to new collectors and appreciators. The Holmes a Court Gallery show in particular has the potential to expose my work to eastern states collectors, which is a market I am keen to explore. The Indian Ocean Craft Triennial will place my work in an international context at one of Perths premier art galleries, John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University. The satellite exhibition for this triennial at Lost Eden Creative will further my curatorial skills and raise the profile of this exciting new artist run initiative.”

“My work centres on my relationship with the Darling Scarp, at present the only Jarrah forest in the world is under threat from many angles; climate change, introduced pests, unsustainable logging and strip mining. Through the Regional Artist Fellowship projects I will strive to bring awareness to the fragility of this environment and its importance as an asset against the global climate threat.”

“I have a huge amount of work before me, and limited time, The funding through the… Fellowship will allow me to hire 2 or 3 casual arts workers in various roles including studio and admin assistance and material procurement. This will allow me more time to develop the work and finish it to the highest standard and on time.”

Acknowledgments

This project is part of the Regional Arts and Culture Investment Program, supported by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program.

The purpose of the program is to drive the creation of jobs, drive economic development and tourism and improve social cohesion by supporting the creative and cultural industries in regional Western Australia. Through strategic investments, the program aims to build capacity in the regions and contribute to liveability and vibrancy of regional communities.

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