Juanita McLauchlan receives the 2022 Windmill Trust Scholarship for Regional NSW Artists

Media Release

Juanita McLauchlan Standing at the heart of seven generations, 2022. Installation view. Bush dyed woollen blankets, thread and possum fur. Sizes variable 30cm – 80cm.

The Windmill Trust and the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) congratulate Juanita McLauchlan announced as the recipient of 25th annual scholarship for regional NSW artists.

McLauchlan will use the $10,000 scholarship to produce a new body of work which draws upon her Gamilaraay identity and family history to explore family connections through body adornment. The result of this enquiry will be Everywhen, a major solo exhibition at Wagga Wagga Gallery curated by Julie Ewington opening in May 2023.

‘I’m pretty excited to be receiving this scholarship,’ said Juanita McLauchlan. ‘To make the new work for Everywhen it is essential that I visit my family’s ancestral country on Gamilaraay land at Kootingal, near Tamworth and I would not be able to afford this without assistance. This opportunity will enhance it to another level. I am on the edge of an incredibly exciting and moving moment in my practice. I feel that all the threads are coming together in a really positive and productive way.’

Juanita McLauchlan is a Gamilaraay woman living on Wiradjuri country in Wagga Wagga. An experienced printmaker and mother of five, McLauchlan’s proposal involved developing ideas and techniques incorporating textiles and sculpture to find new ways to explore her Aboriginal heritage through her practice, which for generations was kept very quiet, as a family matter out of the eye of society and the authorities. 

‘We were unanimous in our selection of Juanita McLauchlan as recipient of the 2022 Windmill Trust Scholarship,’ said this year’s assessors, artist and 2021 scholarship recipient Dr Judith Nangala Crispin and artist and writer Matt Chun. 

‘McLauchlan has submitted a compelling application, with a clear demonstration of need, and a strong vision for the future trajectory of her practice. We are excited to see McLauchlan's skillful work expand.’

‘We are thrilled to support a project that contributes equally to First Nations culture and contemporary practice. McLauchlan’s work is utterly relevant and deeply rooted in culture. This is what it looks like when an Aboriginal artist stands up inside her power.’ 

‘McLauchlan’s project will strengthen her connection with land and provide a blueprint for others to do the same. Her proposal is a bold and compassionate act of truth-telling, as respectful of Country as it is of people.’

‘The impact of this unique opportunity for artists in regional areas throughout New South Wales is career-changing,’ said NAVA’s Executive Director Penelope Benton. 

‘We congratulate Juanita McLauchlan on being awarded the Windmill Trust Scholarship in its 25th year and very much look forward to the work that emerges from this exciting new direction in her practice,’ said NAVA’s Executive Director Penelope Benton.

The Windmill Trust Scholarship was established in 1997 by Primrose Moss to honour her sister, artist and former Director of the Macquarie Galleries, the late Penny Meagher and is targeted at regional NSW artists.

‘The Windmill Trust congratulates the many artists from across NSW who applied in this, our 25th year of the Scholarship,’ said Trustee, Victoria Weekes and Windmill Trust Management Committee Member, Julia Harvey. 

‘The calibre of applications reflects the ongoing resilience and creativity of NSW regional artists. The insights from Juanita McLauchlin’s practice and its strong connection to country are a wonderful affirmation of Primrose Moss’ original vision for the Windmill Trust Scholarship.’

The Windmill Trust Scholarship was born out of a desire to offer support to NSW artists living outside metropolitan areas to advance their careers. Over the past 25 years this initiative has supported and promoted the vast array of talent that exists in the diverse regional and remote areas of NSW, including Murrumbateman, Oberon, Wapengo, Gerringong, Lightning Ridge, and the Northern Rivers, supporting projects from a diverse range of media.

For further information on the Windmill Trust Scholarship please contact NAVA via nava@visualarts.net.au or visit nava.net.au/nava-grants/

Windmill Trust Management Committee at info@windmilltrust.org.au or visit windmilltrust.org.au