Ellen Ferrier receives 2023 Windmill Trust Scholarship for Regional NSW Artists
Image: Ellen Ferrier, Eleven Limbs, 2020. Image credit: artist’s own.
ID: A person stands with their arms outstretched in a dimly lit exhibition space. They are standing under tree branches that are illuminated by a spotlight. There are shadows of the branches on the walls behind the person.
The Windmill Trust and the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) congratulate Ellen Ferrier who was announced as the recipient of the 26th annual scholarship for regional NSW artists.
Ferrier will use the $10,000 scholarship to fund material investigations and fabrication of her work for Cementa24 – an immersive installation featuring experimental eco-cements made with problematic plant species from Kandos, a town established and made famous for its cement production.
‘As an emerging artist, receiving this scholarship feels like an incredible vote of confidence in my practice,’ said Ellen Ferrier. ‘This scholarship will enable me to push the scale and material rigour of the work and collaborate with relevant experts in the field. I feel incredibly blessed to receive the support and encouragement from The Windmill Trust, and excited at the opportunity to enhance and fortify my installation for Cementa24 thanks to this funding.’
Ellen Ferrier is an installation artist based in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Exploring the possibilities of traditional and emergent sustainable materials and technologies, she creates speculative objects and architectures as propositions for a future built on an ethics of care, connection and reciprocity. With preliminary studies in Interior Architecture, wood-fired ceramics and bodywork modalities, she has cultivated a sensitivity and appreciation of materiality, spatial relations and the potency of embodied perception. These have all become paramount concerns within her art practice, which foregrounds notions of care, connection and curiosity towards the natural world.
‘Amongst a large and worthy field, and after much consideration and healthy debate, it was with absolute pleasure that we unanimously agreed to award Ellen The Windmill Trust Scholarship,’ said this year’s assessors sculpture and installation artist Braddon Snape, and artist and 2022 scholarship recipient Juanita McLauchlan.
‘Ellen’s vigorous practice demonstrates her sophisticated understanding of the material and the spatial. Her site-conscious installations, that implore an embodied experience, propose new relationships with objects, material and place.’
‘Ellen’s installation work evokes a conversation between contemporary art and the voice that can be given for a sustainable art practice and the environment in which we live.’
‘Her site-conscious installations, that implore an embodied experience, propose new relationships with objects, material and place. I look forward to watch her apply her methodologies when working with a new and ecologically more sustainable material in eco cement, and the significance of the adoption of that material within the context of Cementa 24.’
‘The Windmill Trust Scholarship is a career-changing opportunity which will enable Ferrier the dedication of time and resources to create and present significant new work,’ said NAVA’s Executive Director Penelope Benton. ‘I congratulate Ferrier on her remarkable application and look forward to seeing what evolves from this support.’
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 Trustees congratulate Ellen Ferrier on winning the 2023 Windmill Trust Scholarship, the strength of her work was reflected in the unanimous choice of the judges,’ said Victoria Weekes and Julia Harvey from the Windmill Trust. 'As a regional artist with a strong practice linked to local, natural and sustainable elements Ellen imbues all the qualities and vision of the Windmill Trust and we are excited to see her work evolve during the coming year.'
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 26 years this initiative has supported and promoted the vast array of talent that exists in the diverse regional and remote areas of NSW, including Wagga Wagga, Oberon, Wapengo, Gerringong, Lightning Ridge, and the Northern Rivers, supporting projects from a diverse range of media.