Applause: Latest funding and awards announced

Reko Rennie awarded Artbank and ACMI commission, winners announced for 2019 Our Mob emerging artist and MIFF Audience Award, plus more.
Applause: Latest funding and awards announced

Leshaye Swan won the OUR YOUNG MOB Award for his portrait of Margaret Ngupulya

2019 OUR MOB Emerging Artist prize winner announced

Ngarrindjeri, Nurungga, Ngadjuri woman, Sonya Rankine, has won the $5,000 Don Dunstan Foundation OUR MOB Emerging Artist Prize during the 2019 OUR MOB opening at Adelaide Festival.

Rankine won with her sculpture titled, Lakun Mara 13 - Pinyali Pempandawi (Emu Basket) and Lakun Mara 14 - Partar Pempandawi (Rock Basket) made from jacaranda stalks, beach stone, waxed linen thread, palm inflorescence and emu feathers.


She said of the win: ‘I’ve been weaving for 25 years. I first learnt from Aunty Ellen Trevorrow, the traditional Ngarrindjeri technique using reeds from the Coorong. Since then I have continued to have a strong cultural interest and passion for weaving. This was strengthened by attending the 2019 National Basketry Gathering delivering a workshop and learning many more styles to incorporate.’

‘My weaving is about reviving and maintaining culture and the tradition of Ngarrindjeri weaving through creating contemporary Aboriginal art.'

Two other prizes were awarded on the night: the Country Arts SA Professional Development Initiative Award to Rowena Williams of Coober Pedy; and the Ku Arts OUR YOUNG MOB Award to 18 year old Leshaye Swan of Adelaide.

Reko Rennie awarded Artbank + ACMI Commission

ACMI and Artbank have announced Reko Rennie as the recipient of the second $70,000 Artbank + ACMI Commission for his proposed new video work, What Do We Want.

Shot on cinematic 4K, What Do We Want will draw on 1970s Blaxploitation films and Rennie’s own martial arts practice to explore political, environmental and social questions through an Aboriginal Australian lens.

‘I'm very excited and honoured to be offered this award by Artbank + ACMI to make my new video work, What Do We Want,’ Rennie said. 

ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick said: ‘Reko Rennie is a vital voice at the forefront of Australian contemporary art and we are thrilled to award Reko the Artbank + ACMI Commission, providing him with the support to pursue and extend his practice. Reko’s probing cinematic artworks defy categorisation and it’s exactly these types of works that the Artbank + ACMI Commission was designed for.’

Established in partnership with Artbank, the federal government’s flagship support program for Australian contemporary artists, the Artbank + ACMI Commission is a three-year commissioning program that will enable Australian artists and filmmakers to create new works that are conceived at the intersection of art and cinema.

Reko Rennie has won the Artbank + ACMI commission for his new work What Do We Want.

MIFF reveals winners of 2019 Audience Awards

The Melbourne International Film Festival has revealed the winners of its 2019 Audience Awards with Daniel Gordon’s documentary The Australian Dream, about AFL player Adam Goodes winning the Feature Documentary prize. 

Other winners include Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which took out Best Narrative Fiction about a beautifully calibrated, incandescent romance between a painter and her subject, which took home both Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes. For more information on MIFF Audience Awards winners visit:

Finding Focus - Penelope Hunt

Winners Ballarat International Foto Biennale Prizes

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has announced Penelope Hunt's Finding Focus - a portrait of Australian artist and ceramist Alan Constable the winner of the $15,000 Martin Kantor Portrait Prize, and Yichen Zho's series Daily Talk, the winner of the $10,000 Alane Fineman New Photography Award.

Hunt has taken this year's prize, judged by panelists Susan Van Wyk - Senior Curator of photography at NGV, Max Delaney - Artistic Director at ACCA and Pippa Milne - Senior Curator at MGA.

The jury said: 'Alan Constable is a distinguished artist whose work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Penelope Hunt’s portrait gives a strong feeling for the very tactile nature of his ceramics sculptures and drawings. The portrait is an intimate, complex representation of the subject, and its unorthodox framing and composition aligns strongly with Alan Constable’s work.

'The relationship between viewing devices (cameras and binoculars) and sight is a recurrent theme in Alan Constable’s work and life experience. The return of the photographer’s (and by extension the viewer’s) gaze is also important, as is the awareness, participation (and possibly resistance) of the subject in this process.

'We were also pleased to learn Penelope Hunt has worked with Alan Constable for over a decade, and this relationship, intimacy and understanding is apparent in the work.'

The 28 shortlisted works will be exhibited at this year’s Ballarat International Foto Biennale, a two month-long festival event that immerses the historic town of Ballarat in photographic art from August 23 – October 20, which will this year be headlined by an Australia-first exhibition of the work of Chinese photographer and social activist, Liu Bolin, and a career-spanning retrospective of the work of celebrated artist and Badtjala woman Dr Fiona Foley.

Comedy duo win 2019 Primay Times Children’s Choice Award

Australia’s kidult comedy duo The Listies (Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins) have won the 2019 Primary Times Children’s Choice Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Now in its seventh year, the award has become both a fixture and sought-after accolade of the Fringe, with more than 70 children shows reviewed.

The duo’s madcap show, The Listies: Ickypedia, based on their best-selling book Ickypedia, won with an unprecedented eight shows being awarded five stars by the magazine’s team of reviewers.

The Listies’ Matt Kelly said: ‘We are happy to win the Eurovision Song Contest. As Australians we are ever so grateful to even be allowed to compete. 

It's been a record-breaking year for Higgins and Kelly, with the pair enjoying sold-out seasons both here and abroad. They’ll next be seen on Australian screens in their family comedy web-series, The Listies Work for Peanuts.

Leading Indigenous researcher receives John Mulvaney Fellowship  

Early career researcher Dr Harry Van Issum has received the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ inaugural John Mulvaney Fellowship. 

The Fellowship provides funds to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early career humanities researcher to undertake research or fieldwork in Australia or overseas. Dr Van Issum will travel to the United Kingdom to assist in the repatriation of Woppaburra skeletal remains presently held in the collections of the Natural History Museum in London.

The Fellowship honours the outstanding contribution to humanities scholarship and the cultural life of the nation by one of the Academy’s longest serving Fellows and former Academy Secretary John Mulvaney.

Professor Mulvaney was a world-leader in the field of hunter-gatherer archaeology and a passionate defender of Australia’s heritage and the rights of its Indigenous peoples.

Van Issum said of receiving the award: ‘This Fellowship will be tied to the literal return of our ancestors’ skeletal remains, along with strong community-based consultations’ he said. ‘I’m sure that the late Professor Mulvaney as a historian and conservationist would support such a project to detail the history of our repatriation narrative but also for our cultural heritage and spiritual restoration.’

Applications for the John Mulvaney Fellowship will open again in February 2020.

DESIGN Canberra Festival announces featured writers

The DESIGN Canberra festival has announced leading writers who will explore, debate and address design responsibilities – past, present and future – at the 2019 Object Subject national design writing conference.

At the inaugural national design writing conference, Object Subject (2017), keynote speaker and NY Times design critic Alice Rawsthorn called on the design sector to take seriously their responsibilities – social, environmental and ethical. This clarion call, teamed with multiple requests from national and international design writers to repeat the event, is a catalyst for the second design writing conference in Canberra on 8-9 November 2019.

International and national speakers include: experimental materials research designer Seetal Solanki (London), arts editor Jennifer Higgie (London), Indigenous architect, lecturer and advocate Jefa Greenaway (Melbourne), urban design researcher and editor of Assemble Papers, Jana Perković, and awarded Australian singer, writer, director, and advocate Robyn Archer.

Registration is now open to attend this conversation:

Australian Women in Music Awards announces key dates

The 2019 AWMA Program has announced its key dates and  speakers for 2019.

Speakers  include Amy Sheppard, Yumi Stynes, Deborah Cheetham, Kween G, and Kim ‘Busty Beatz’ Bowers with the awards taking place on October 8th and 9th.

Building on the wave of support for change embraced by the inaugural AWMAs in 2018, this year’s event welcomes noted broadcaster, musician, writer, teacher, philanthropist and trans man Eddie Ayres as the 2019 Keynote Speaker. 

This year’s AWMAs will be emceed by Yumi Stynes and Alethea Beetson and will feature the talents of Cheryl Barker, Tamara Anna Cislowska, Clare Bowditch, Katie Noonan, Melinda Schneider, NGAIIRE and more. The event will be capped off with an unmissable finale performance that will see Katie Noonan, Zoe Hauptman and Jess Green joining the legendary Renée Geyer on stage.

Along with forum discussions held over the two-day AWMA event, ticket holders will have access to a line-up of talent at a Career Development Speed Networking session presented by AWMA & APRA AMCOS. For more information visit:

Winners of the Hear For You Film Festival announced

The winners of the 2019 Australian Hear For You film festival with entries from deaf or hard of hearing teenagers has just been announced.

This is the third year that Australian deaf or hard of hearing secondary school students have had the opportunity to script, shoot and edit a film for entry into a nationwide competition. Hear For You is a registered Australian charity that offers mentoring programs and workshops to deaf or hard of hearing teenagers all over Australia.

As the sponsor of the Festival, Hearing Australia selected the theme ‘Friendship’ in order to help the young filmmakers show that hearing loss doesn’t have to be a barrier for young people.  

The winners were announced during a premiere screening at the Golden Age Cinema in Sydney and include:

Best Film: Please Help (Massimo Zurzolo, Lachlan Rosenberger, Richie Huang from Melbourne)
Best Director: Hidden Heroes (Richard Moir, Jared Donaldson, Ryan Jones and Alexander (Sasha) Janzcuk from Sydney)
Best Story: Hidden Heroes (Richard Moir, Jared Donaldson, Ryan Jones and Alexander (Sasha) Janzcuk from Sydney)
Judges’ Award:A Friend (Oscar Lynch from Brisbane)

More recent award winners

Staff writer

Tuesday 27 August, 2019

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