2019 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship: Shivanjani Lal

Artspace, Sydney and Create NSW have named artist Shivanjani Lal as the recipient of the 2019 Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship. Lal was selected from this year’s cohort of finalist artists including Harriet Body, Nick Dorey, Amala Groom, Lal, Make or Break (Connie Anthes and Rebecca Gallo), Katy B Plummer, JD Reforma, Linda Sok, Leyla Stevens, Shireen Taweel and Jelena Telecki, by a panel of industry peers chaired by Maud Page, Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Left to right: Maud Page, Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2019 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship Recipient Shivanjani Lal and The Hon. Ben Franklin, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts. Photograph: Docqment. Courtesy Artspace, Sydney

Lal received the prestigious $30,000 Fellowship at the opening of the exhibition on 15 November and will be using the funds for new equipment, and to engage in skills development, research and a mentorship in India and London which will culminate in the creation of new works.

Lal is a twice-removed Fijian-Indian-Australian artist. As an artist living in Australia, she is tied to a long history of familial movement; her work uses personal grief to account for ancestral loss and trauma. She is a member of the indentured labourer diaspora from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Lal employs intimate images of family, sourced from photo albums, along with videos and images from contemporary travels to the Asia-Pacific to reconstruct temporary landscapes.

Artspace Executive Director, Alexie Glass-Kantor said ‘Shivanjani’s work presented in this year’s Fellowship represents a profoundly personal reflection on the relationship to movement and migration of people through time. Her practice will benefit greatly from the opportunities that the Fellowship provides. The Artspace team and myself are excited for what the future holds for Shivanjani and extend our warmest congratulations.’

‘I’d like to acknowledge the collaborative efforts from our peers at Create NSW and the team at Artspace who have worked tirelessly to once again bring this project to fruition. We also thank the esteemed members of this year’s selection committee for their conscientiousness in what is a very difficult task. Artspace is committed to cultivating and fostering talent among new generations of Australian artists, and we look forward to the evolution of this important award and the exciting futures of all of this year’s finalists,’ Glass-Kantor added.

The 2019 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship exhibition is on view until 15 December 2019.