The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley and Dr Alex Gawronski awarded NAVA Visual Arts Fellowship 2018

Image: Burchill/McCamley, Simone Weil 2017. Vinyl lettering, nail and rope (left); 24/7 shield (centre) Brutopia (right). TCB, Melbourne.

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) congratulates artists Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley (Vic) and Dr Alex Gawronski (NSW) announced as recipients of the 2018 $20,000 NAVA Visual Arts Fellowships. 

These prestigious fellowships funded by the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund and administered by NAVA, recognise exceptional mid-career Australian visual artists to develop their work and practice.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this fellowship and the resources it provides will allow us to really extend the scope, scale and materiality of our work. We will be able to make a large scale, experimental print series which we have been thinking about for a number of years and be able to experiment with new screen-printing materials and investigate a range of digital printing techniques. We foresee that the skills and material knowledge that we gain making the print works for the fellowship will also feed into our future work and be generative of new ideas” said Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley today.

Burchill and McCamley’s conceptual art practice interlaces feminist, psychoanalytic, filmic, semiotic and spatial concerns. Language and the language of art have often been central tenets in their work. With this fellowship they will develop their screen-printing skills and research new digital printing technologies to create a series of large and small scale print works for exhibition at Neon Parc, dedicated to the texts and personae of female writers on whom they have previously focussed their (Emily Dickinson, Simone Weil, Jane Bowles, Gertrude Stein).

“It’s so fantastic to see artists like Burchill and McCamley using relatively new processes to renovate their vision. This is such an intelligent development in the artists’ beautiful work with women’s texts. The new work should be glorious” said this year’s peer assessors Julie Ewington and José Da Silva.

Alex Gawronski, PORTAL, 2017

Alex Gawronski, PORTAL, 2017, from the series ‘Ghosts’ - timber, mdf, perspex, polystyrene, polyurethane, acrylic and metallic oxide paint, brass. Overall dimensions - 510 x 4100 x 6000mm. The NATIONAL: New Australian Art, Carriageworks, Sydney, curated by Nina Miall and Lisa Havilah. Photo by Peter Miller.

Dr Alex Gawronski is a contemporary artist working across multiple media with a particular interest in the contexts of galleries and museums as cultural sites of spatial, socio-political contestation. He proposed a project involving the creation of three new installations in international contexts in Tokyo, Japan; Santiago, Chile; and Berlin, Germany as well as creating an artist book critically contextualising his installation practices to date.

"The NAVA Visual Arts Fellowship will allow me to realise works across multiple media, including book publishing, and to further realise works in new international contexts. The fellowship will afford me the capacity to work on and develop a number of projects simultaneously and to take my work to wider audiences. It will also open opportunities for additional artistic collaborations in new contexts in Australia and farther afield" said Alex Gawronski today.

Julie Ewington and José Da Silva said “what’s crucial to Alex Gawronski's work is to transpose ideas and elements from one location into another. The successive installations in Tokyo, Santiago and Berlin will enact this method: the proposed monograph will encapsulate the practice to date. Alex’s ambitious proposal was compelling because it builds on the foundations of his practice, both internationally and through the publication.” 

“I'm excited to see Burchill & McCamley extend conceptually on the language of their long-term collaborative practice across psychoanalytic, filmic and spatial concerns, to explore feminist texts and personae through printing technologies old and new. I'm also very much looking forward to Dr Alex Gawronski's explorations of spatial and socio-political tensions of the art institution through ambitious installations in international contexts. Both of these projects involve rigorous practice-based research that extend the artists' potential as well as our understanding of the complex fields they span” said NAVA Executive Director Esther Anatolitis.

"From yet another strong field our peer assessors have made decisions with great care – thank you so much to Julie Ewington and José Da Silva. Thank you also to the Copyright Agency for supporting mid-career artists through such ambitious funding" she continued.

This is the third and final year of the NAVA Visual Arts Fellowships.