2019 Recipients of The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists Announced

Image: Laetitia Olivier-Gargano Finger Bun (2018). Silicone, polymer clay, bread, pigment, varnish. 15 x 8 x 6 cm approx.

The Freedman Foundation and the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) are pleased to announce this year’s recipients of The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists.

Four artists have received $8,000 scholarships to assist with overseas travel to develop and expand their research and practice.

Video, sound and installation artist, Tiyan Baker (NSW) will undertake a self-directed research trip to her mother’s birthplace in Sarawak, Borneo. Baker’s work draws on field research and documentary techniques to explore the emotional experience of the self as embedded in greater socio-political contexts.

“I feel honoured and grateful to receive this generous scholarship from The Freedman Foundation. This scholarship will give me the opportunity to travel to Sarawak, Borneo, where I will explore the unique role Indigenous Bidayuh women play in mitigating complex transformations in Bidayuh culture, as well as reflect on my own responsibilities as an Australian-Bidayuh woman and artist. This is a trip I have been wanting to undertake for a very long time and I am truly overjoyed to see it come to fruition.”

Performance, video and installation artist, Kieran Bryant (NSW) will travel to England and Wales on a research-led project examining water as a queer embodied resistive force within the UK canal network. He will undertake a mentorship with dance artist Leah Marojević, work with gallery Auto Italia, visit a canal restoration camp and a range of British queer archives.

“I am so very excited and grateful to be a recipient of The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship. Thanks to the generosity of The Freedman Foundation and NAVA I can move forward with a project that will allow for significant growth and expanded possibilities in my practice and career, providing opportunities for creative and professional development with artists, institutions, and watery sites in an international context.”

Video and installation artist, Callum McGrath (Qld) will travel to Germany on a self-directed research trip visiting the archives of Magnus Hirschfeld and historical sites/memorials significant to the persecution of LGBTQIA+ people in WWII. McGrath is an artist whose research-led practice examines the historical, personal, and political resonance of inherited queer trauma.

“I am both thrilled and deeply honoured to be one of the artists awarded The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship this year. The scholarship will provide me with the significant assistance necessary to broaden the scope and depth of my research-based practice, including the opportunity to travel to the library and archive of Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin. I am very grateful to NAVA, The Freedman Foundation, and UNSW Galleries for their support of my practice.”

Sculptor, Laetitia Olivier-Gargano (Vic) will undertake a self-directed research trip to Japan to explore how its iconic ‘fake-food’ displays are made. She will visit the factories that produce these objects to learn from the artisans and spend time researching ‘showa-era’ food and culture throughout Japan.

“I am incredibly grateful to have received The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship! It's wonderful to be supported and encouraged to further my artistic career. I'm excited to conduct my research in Japan and learn new skills in fake-food making.”

The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship is one of the most prestigious grants offered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) and supports talented young artists to develop their careers internationally through study, residency or mentorship. Since its inception in 2000, the scholarship has enabled 90 emerging artists to expand and enrich their studio practice abroad.

An exhibition featuring works by this year’s recipients is being curated by Isabella Cornell, who has received a Curatorial Scholarship from The Freedman Foundation through NAVA and UNSW Art & Design. The exhibition opens at UNSW Galleries on 9 August 2019 and will also showcase works by the returning scholars from 2017: Alexandra Spence (NSW), Roberta Rich (Vic), Sara Retallick (Vic), Spence Messih (NSW).

The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship is administered by the National Association of the Visual Arts (NAVA) on behalf of The Freedman Foundation and assessed by Jacqueline Millner and Nick Vickers.