Bridget Currie | Inaugural recipient of Porter Street Commission

ACE Open have announced Bridget Currie as the inaugural recipient of the $20,000 Porter Street Commission, a newly established contemporary art award designed to support a significant next step in a South Australian artist’s career and exhibiting trajectory.

Currie’s new work will be presented as part of ACE Open’s 2021 exhibition program as a 9-week solo exhibition.

Bridget Currie in her studio, 2020. Photograph: Sam Roberts.

Working across sculpture, performance, filmmaking and installation, Currie explores the representation of abstract states of being, systems of thought and the vitality of life. Inspired by the way Modernist artists sought to represent spiritual states and religious ideas through abstraction, the central concern of Currie’s practice is bringing invisible things — beliefs, emotions and dreams — into the physical world of objects.

Currie has been an active part of South Australian contemporary art for over 15 years, including previous exhibitions at Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (The New New, curated by Peter McKay, 2010) and Adelaide Experimental Art Foundation (Regulators, 2009; and Scivias, 2003). More recently, she has presented significant new work the Art Gallery of South Australia (Versus Rodin: Bodies across space and time, curated by Leigh Robb, 2016) and the Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery (Warm Earth, with Bernadette Klavins, 2019). She has undertaken a wide range of learning and residency opportunities across Asia and Europe. This includes residences at CCA Kitakyushu in Japan (2007-08) and Rupert in Vilnius, Lithuania (2016), as well as postgraduate study at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, supported by an Anne & Gordon Samstag Visual Arts Scholarship (2011).

Applications for this year’s Porter Street Commission were considered by a selection panel composed of ACE Open’s Artistic Director Patrice Sharkey (South Australia); Pablo León de la Barra (Chief Curator, MAC Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro); and Alexie Glass-Kantor (Executive Director, Artspace, Sydney) who state:

‘Given the strength of the 35 applications that were received, it was a competitive process to select the inaugural Porter Street Commission. We found ourselves struck by the wide range of proposals in terms of ideas, mediums and generational perspectives, and are excited not only by the inaugural Commission chosen but also the possibility for future iterations, which will make an ongoing contribution to the amplification of contemporary art and artists in South Australia.

We congratulate Bridget Currie whose interdisciplinary practice thoughtfully investigates the borders of aliveness and presence. Working at the intersection of early psychology theory, art history and ecology, Bridget is an artist with a strong track record of producing sensorially-charged work and is well positioned to create an ambitious and inspiring body of work as part of ACE Open’s 2021 exhibition program.’