2016 Australia Council Fellowships Announced

This year, seven accomplished Australian artists are recipients of the prestigious Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship grants, worth $80,000 over two years. The grants support outstanding, established artists, their creative activity and professional development across diverse art forms.

The recipients are: Bec Reid, Community Arts and Cultural Development; Brooke Stamp, Dance; Dr Sarah Jane Pell, Emerging and Experimental Arts; Julia Leigh, Literature; Sandy Evans, Music; Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy,  Theatre; and, Danie Mellor, Visual Arts.


Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said that Fellowships are an important part of the Australia Council’s grants program, providing artists with the opportunity to broaden their professional experience and build upon their significant body of work. “Fellowships are awarded to established artists who are recognised for excellence in their practice at a local and international level. This will enable them to develop, experiment, research and explore new opportunities and approaches in their chosen art form,” Grybowski said. “A once-in-a-life opportunity, Fellowship recipients are chosen by their peers.  This program is a key part of the Australia Council’s commitment to investing in the professional development of artists, and to supporting creative innovation and collaboration which will enhance the profile of Australia’s rich artistic culture.”

Australia Council Fellowships are offered once a year and applications are assessed and awarded by a peer panel made up of area practice experts in the specified art form. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship recipient will be announced at the National Indigenous Arts Awards on 27 May 2017 along with the Red Ochre and Dreaming Awards.

Applications are now open and the next round of Fellowship closes on Tuesday 6 June 2017.


Here’s how the grant will benefit some of this year’s recipients:

Receiving the Australia Council Fellowship for Visual Arts, international and award-winning artist Danie Mellor will be exhibiting his work in China, Art Basel Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Paris, New Zealand and Australia exploring ideas connected with landscape, history, post-colonialism and culture. Working across mediums using imagery, sculpture and installation, Danie is interested in the intersections between cultural knowledge and philosophy, and ecologies of the natural world through which concepts of otherness and the uncanny are understood.

With an expansive and critical exhibition history and countless awards and commissions to his credit, Danie Mellor’s international practice is generated from his studio retreat in the Southern Highlands of NSW.  Selected for QAGOMA’s APT8 in 2015 and 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Mellor’s work is held extensively across public and private collections in Australia and overseas.

Danie Mellor, Symphony (requiem)   danie_mellor_in_studio_2016_WEB-1

Bridging a 17 year-dance career as an artist, performer, choreographer, teacher and dramaturgical mentor to emerging artists, Melbourne and Sydney based artist Brooke Stamp intends to use the Australian Council Fellowship in Dance to explore the choreographic body as the central force against ephemerality through sound, vibration, body as sculpture and improvisation.

Stamp’s many collaborations have involved work with Visual Artist Agatha Gothe-Snape, AGNSW, Lane Cormick, TCB Gallery, Sally Smart AGSA, Bridie Lunney (Art Space), as well as works in sound with producer Casey Rice, Brian Richie (MONA FOMA) and James Cecil (Architecture in Helsinki). Her work has been shown in the Keir Award, The Loreal Fashion festival Cultural Program, Melbourne’s Next Wave Festival, Lucy Guerin Inc Small Spaces series, Carriage Works Nightime Program, the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Theatre Company & Dancehouse. In 2005 Brooke was awarded the Professional Skills and Development award from the Australia Council for the Arts to study and live in New York City, where she learned and practised with artists including Sarah Rudner, Steven Petronio, Yvonne Miers, and Miguel Gutierrez. Brooke has undertaken solo practice residencies at the Performing Arts Forum in France and with the Artist in Residence program at the Lucy Guerin Company in Melbourne,supported by the Besen Family Foundation. Earning nominations for Green Room and Helpmann Awards in 2008, 2011 and 2012 for best dancer, Brooke intends to develop rich new creative research in interdisciplinary practice and explore new platforms to contextualise her work by engaging with significant spaces and communities in Australia, USA and Europe.


2016 Australia Council Fellowships promo image

Danie Mellor, Symphony (requiem), 2016, C-print on metallic photographic paper, 120 x 150cm
Danie Mellor in studio, 2016
Courtesy the artist and Jan Murphy Gallery, Queensland