The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020-21 (ISSN 2208-8873)

Page 1

REFLECTION Annual Grants Report 2020–21

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

Contents Welcome


Trustees & Staff


Executive Report


Facts & Figures


Arts Commission Program


Creative Development and Mentorship Program


Pressing Ahead


Grantees 2020–21


Cover Images: Still from Darling Darling by Gabriella Hirst, IPMIC 2020. Footage taken at Art Gallery New South Wales Painting Conservation Department, surface cleaning of W. C Piguenit’s painting The flood in the Darling 1890. Still from Darling Darling by Gabriella Hirst, IPMIC 2020, Barka-Darling, from Tilpa bridge, Barkandji country.


Sir Ian Potter, Founder 1902–1994.

Established in 1993 with a remit to encourage the diversity and excellence of emerging Australian artists, the Cultural Trust has assisted the professional development of over 1750 individuals through grants totalling more than $10.5 million. The Cultural Trust’s grants afford talented artists the opportunity to travel overseas, meet with and learn from their peers, showcase their talent and undertake research, study and training. The Cultural Trust funds nationally, from visual to performing arts, music to literature, multimedia to design; spanning traditional art forms through to experimental mediums. In addition to professional development grants for individual artists, the Trust runs a program of significant arts commissions which have included sculpture, music (composition) and currently, moving image art.


- The Trust’s funding is governed by a commitment to excellence. We support individuals who are passionate about their work and have the potential to be outstanding in their field in an international context. - The Trust seeks to encourage diversity, distinction and opportunity for Australian emerging artists. WHO DO WE SUPPORT?

- The Trust assists emerging or early-career artists. - We support applicants who can demonstrate both initiative and exceptional talent together with an ability to convert their ambitions to reality.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Trustees & Staff CHAIRMAN

STAFF Chief Executive Officer Craig Connelly Program Manager Subhadra Mistry Administration Manager Gail Lewry Administration Officer Sue Wilkinson

Reception and Office Coordinator Nicole Hunter Communications Manager Sara Hearn

Chief Finance Officer Anna McCallum Finance Officer Viktoria Kritharelis

Communications Officer Nina Beer

Mr Charles B Goode AC



Lady Potter AC, CMRI

Mr Anthony Burgess

Professor Sir Edward Byrne AC, Kt

The Hon Alex Chernov AC, QC

The Hon Susan Crennan AC, QC

Mr Leon Davis AO

The Hon Sir Daryl Dawson AC, KBE, CB, QC

Professor Richard Larkins AC

Mr Allan Myers AC, QC

Professor Brian Schmidt AC

Professor Fiona Stanley AC

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

Performing Arts grantee Nithya Iyer’s installation at Hangar exhibition ‘An Indefinite Series of Discontinuous Acts’. Image credit: Nithya Iyer.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Executive Report

Charles Goode AC Chairman

Lady Potter AC, CMRI Trustee

The past year has continued to present challenges to the Australian and international arts communities. The new COVID-19 ‘Delta’ strain dashed all hopes for a ‘COVID normal’ Australia in 2021, and the possibility of performances, exhibitions or travel for Australian arts practitioners, professionals, and organisations. In September 2020, we were obliged to suspend funding rounds. We congratulate the 14 emerging artists awarded grants prior to September 2020, although they have yet to be able to undertake their travel plans. The Cultural Trust team is working with them to reshape or reschedule their professional development projects in 2022. Amidst new restrictions, more Australians turned to the arts for comfort and connection, albeit from their own homes. Yet again, the arts community rallied and offered music, dance, theatre, and visual art virtually. During this time, despite international travel restrictions causing a pause on our emerging artist development grants, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust has continued its commitment to the Australian Arts sector.

Craig Connelly Chief Executive Officer

With the forthcoming conclusion of IPMIC and our emerging artist development grants paused, it seemed an appropriate time to reflect and consider ‘where to next?’ for The Ian Potter Cultural Trust. In early 2021 the Trust’s Board initiated the first formal external evaluation of the Trust’s grant making approach since its inception in 1993. This evaluation will seek to understand the impact of the grant programs, and its findings will inform the Trust’s future direction and strategies to support Australian artists. We look forward to the new insights we will gain from this process. We thank the Trustees and staff of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, and in particular our Arts Program Manager, Subhadra Mistry, for their outstanding contribution to our grant making in a particularly challenging year.

In April 2021, we were delighted to announce Angela Tiatia as the $100,000 Ian Potter Moving Image Commission (IPMIC) winner. The planned 2022 premiere of Angela’s new video work, Liminal Persuasions (working title), represents the end of a decade-long $500,000 commitment to moving image art, in partnership with ACMI. The IPMIC 2022 judging panel was so impressed with the competitive pool of applicants that the Cultural Trust and ACMI devised a new initiative to support three runner-up artists.


The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21












*Includes Ian Potter Moving Image Commission and Creative Development and Mentorship Program.











The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Arts Commission Program The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission is Australia’s most significant long term commissioning program of new contemporary moving image art by Australian artists. A joint initiative of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and ACMI, the biennial award represents a ten-year, $500,000 commitment to the art form. The award provides two levels of support to the successful artist: $100,000 from The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, as well as highly specialised curatorial, production and presentation expertise supplied by ACMI.

Ian Potter Moving Image Commission 2020: Darling Darling The long-awaited premiere exhibition of IPMIC 2020, Darling Darling opened at ACMI in February 2021. The planned 2020 premiere was postponed due to ACMI’s extended closure as a result of redevelopment works and COVID-19 restrictions. The new moving image art work was greeted with winning acclaim from critics and the public alike. Gabriella Hirst’s artistic practice spans a variety of mediums, including video, performance and plant taxonomies. Her multidisciplinary practice is unified by a longstanding interest in what our depictions of nature reveal about underlying cultural and political values, as well as connections between various manifestations of capture and control. Darling Darling, a two-channel video installation, continues Hirst’s exploration of these ideas by presenting two visions of the Barka Darling River (the Traditional Lands of the Barkindji) in dialogue with each other.


The two videos are projected on each side of a single screen and run for 25 minutes and 33 seconds. One side presents the meticulous work undertaken by art conservators to preserve and restore the 19th century painting of The Barka Darling River (The flood in the Darling 1890, by WC Piguenit). The other side displays the reality of how poor water management has created an environmental crisis in the drought affected Barka Darling Region. The parallels force the viewer to compare care with a lack of care, to consider the cultural logic and values behind each depiction and reflect on our ability to inflict damage and our compelling capability to nurture and preserve the physical world. ACMI CEO and Director Katrina Sedgwick OAM commented “Darling Darling explicitly questions what art and cultural institutions, including us here at ACMI, can contribute in the face of environmental crisis. One important role we can realise is to bring these issues to you in a manner that moves, fosters

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

“Darling Darling explicitly questions what art and cultural institutions, including us here at ACMI, can contribute in the face of environmental crisis.” Katrina Sedgwick OAM, ACMI CEO and Director

Still from Darling Darling by Gabriella Hirst, IPMIC 2020. Image taken at Art Gallery New South Wales, featuring Painting Conservator Andrea Nottage.

deep reflection and imparts a sense of possibility, which is exactly what Darling Darling achieves.” The work was described by The Age as a “brilliant, provoking insight into how we immortalise nature in painting while disregarding nature”. Darling Darling has been added to the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and was displayed as part of The National: New Australian Art exhibition, 2021. Darling Darling was filmed with the cultural guidance of Barkindji Elder, artist and activist Uncle Badger Bates.

Darling Darling by Gabriella Hirst, IPMIC 2020 Premiere at ACMI. Image credit: Phoebe Powell.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Arts Commission Program Ian Potter Moving Image Commission 2022 In April 2021 the final $100,000 Ian Potter Moving Image Commission (IPMIC) was awarded to Angela Tiatia, a New Zealand-Australian artist who works with paint, sculpture, video installation, and performance. Tiatia impressed the judges with her proposed work, Liminal Persuasions (working title), which will have its world premiere at ACMI in 2022 and enter the ACMI Collection. Liminal Persuasions will address the collapse of the private vs public, the real vs the augmented and the intimate vs the spectacle – tensions that both reflect and are responsible for the chaotic and overwhelming feeling of the current moment. IPMIC Judging Panel Chair and ACMI Director & CEO Katrina Sedgwick OAM commented “We’re delighted to award Angela Tiatia the 2022 Ian Potter Moving Image Commission. It was a highly competitive field of applicants but her proposed work was so striking in its vision for the entire jury that she was the unanimous choice”. Tiatia spoke about her excitement upon receiving the commission, “Thank you so much to The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, ACMI and the judging panel. It’s an honour to work together with organisations that have such an ambitious vision for the role the arts can play in Australia. I am so excited to have this opportunity to further develop my practice in ways that I have been unable to in the past and explore new directions.” Tiatia’s work will be the final in a decadelong series of $100,000 Commissions, which represents a $500,000 commitment to the artform.


Angela Tiatia. Image credit: Kieran Cooney.

“The Ian Potter Cultural Trust is thrilled to be supporting Angela, an exciting and dedicated multi-media artist, to produce this new work which will mark the end of this ten-year commission series. We’re also very proud to be working with ACMI to bring the final work in the IPMIC series to life.” Lady Potter AC, CMRI, Trustee of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

Creative Development and Mentorship Program SELECTION PROCESS

Value of grants approved $175,000



Shortlisted Applications


$3,000 grant for shortlisted artists to further develop their proposals.

Creative Development and Mentorship Program grantees


$20,000 grant for finalists to further develop their proposals over a 6-month period with curatorial and technical support from ACMI.

Ian Potter Moving Image Commission winner


In early 2021 The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and ACMI devised a new initiative, a Creative Development and Mentorship Program, to support three Ian Potter Moving Image Commission 2022 finalists. The competitive pool of applicants and high calibre of proposed moving image works impressed the IPMIC 2022 judging panel and inspired the initiative.

$100,000 commission for a major moving image work with production, presentation and curatorial expertise provided by ACMI.

“The Ian Potter Cultural Trust is delighted to support three talented Australian artists, whose proposals were met with such strong and unanimous enthusiasm from the IPMIC 2022 judging panel. It is particularly pleasing to offer this additional support as part of the final commission in the series.” Lady Potter AC, CMRI, Trustee of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust.

Through the collaborative program, each artist received $20,000 and mentorship from ACMI staff to support the development of their proposed artworks. The grants were awarded to Pilar Mata Dupont for her proposed work La Piedra, Roberta Joy Rich for her proposed work traced. and Nicholas Mangan for his proposed work Core Coralations.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Pilar Mata Dupont La Piedra

Pilar Mata Dupont. Image credit: Stacii Samidin.

Pilar Mata Dupont is a Latinx visual artist and filmmaker living and working between Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Boorloo (Perth), Australia. Her work spans video, performance, and photography and delves into the fallibility of history, gender, and memory structures, questioning the construction of dominant narratives that shape Western society. Mata Dupont’s work has been shown in spaces and festivals within Australia and internationally, including Secession, Vienna; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei. La Piedra (The Stone) builds upon the moving image work of Mata Dupont’s practice to date. “I will be expanding on previous works by creating a significantly larger scale production and working with visual effects artists. While my primary focus will be the proposed project, I aim to eventually develop a related web


series, where the characters and concepts I develop for La Piedra can find an international audience beyond the reach of my previous, gallery-based work.” La Piedra will draw upon an archive of interviews and documentary footage of women in Mata Dupont’s family which she has been capturing since 2013. The non-linear narrative of the work will weave through the aftermath of the collective trauma of the volatile 20th Century in Argentina, concentrating on the relationship between two characters: Satu and Cris, a daughter and her mother, who live in Boorloo. These characters will act as conduits for examining intergenerational trauma through Diaspora, the politics of motherhood, migration, memory and alienation, and are an amalgam of various women in Mata Dupont’s family, including herself.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

Roberta Joy Rich

Roberta Joy Rich. Image credit: Zelé Angelides.

traced. Roberta Joy Rich is a multi-disciplinary artist based on Wurundjeri and Bunurong lands of the Kulin Nation (Melbourne). Rich’s work references her own diaspora, southern African identity and experiences, responding to and reframing constructions of African history and identity, with the aim of deconstructing colonial modalities and proposals of self-determination within her arts practice. traced. is inspired by archival records of indigenous southern African peoples forcibly sent to Australia. In both colonial contexts, they were coerced as trackers by colonists and sometimes alongside Aboriginal men. Through traced. Rich seeks to create a reimagining of an African presence within the colonial-settler-nation context of Australia. traced. follows the speculative walking journeys of southern African settler convicts & ‘Rachel of the Cape’ and ‘Black Peter’. Positioning the viewer as the tracker through an immersive multi-channel moving image installation, traced. reframes ‘tracking’ as an experience of tracing memory and connection to place, and explores understandings between place and self-identity.

“My personal connection to this work is bound to my family identity, known in the Apartheid regime as ‘Cape Coloured’. There is great complexity for people of this extremely heterogeneous identity as to how to place themselves because their lineages are both indigenous Khoe and San peoples, and displaced Brown and Black peoples. Locating these identities in ‘the archive’ have ignited new developments for my practice and research.”

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Nicholas Mangan Core Coralations

Nicholas Mangan works at the intersection of sculpture and film. His practice explores the unstable relationship between culture and nature, often in relation to the Asia Pacific. Mangan’s recent projects have focused on Australia’s geopolitical implications within the region, and its broader economic and ethical place within a global ecology. To excavate the contested histories surrounding specific sites and events, his practice incorporates extensive archival research, fieldwork and collaboration across disciplines. Mangan’s project Core Coralations represents a significant shift from his previous projects. “I am pivoting from films centred on historic narratives of the Pacific region, and the detached gaze of an observer, to the real and present narratives of climate-change generated within an Australian context. Secondly, the proposal represents a methodological shift in hierarchy – from sculptural forms integrating film, to primarily filmic elements augmented by the affective environments where they are shown. These re-orientations will give rise to new formal possibilities, new audiences and the potential to significantly up-scale production values, type and quality.” Core Coralations explores the mass bleaching events at the Great Barrier Reef and scientific investigations to restore the fragile ecosystem in our climate emergency. In addition to this material Core Coralations will include interviews and archive footage combined with a soundscape employing the screen language of materialist, structuralist film and expanded cinema.

Nicholas Mangan.


The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

Pressing Ahead Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, many of our grantees were unable to begin their development projects in the 2020–21 financial year. Here we share the stories of the few who were able to undertake their grantee projects and further their artistic practice.

Dana McMillan Performing Arts $10,000 Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, England.

Please Leave (a message), co-created by grantee Dana McMillan as part of the collective ClusterFlux for Form(at) Festival, Camden People’s Theatre. Featuring performers (L-R) Linda van Egmond, Chris Whyte, Miray Sidhom and Jack Hilton. Image credit: Joe Hazell.

Dana McMillan is a theatre maker whose research-based and cross-disciplinary practice encompasses solo and collaborative performance. Dana’s work uses devised processes to combine original poetic text with physical performance and examine how the queer feminine gaze operates in theatrical spaces. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Theatre Practice, Dana sought further formal training on intersections between physical performance, devised theatre, performance theory and immersive performance and to continue her academic research. A Cultural Trust grant supported Dana to undertake a Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practice at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, an industry-leading institution for teaching, learning and research in theatre practice.

“Both personally and professionally my confidence and voice as an artist has grown. My solo practice and research have become more defined, and I have developed my critical performance skills, incorporating dramaturgy into my practice. Studying during a pandemic has been difficult especially in a course, which features collaborative performance making, however it has also made me more resilient and able to think in a cross-disciplinary way.” Through her studies, Dana gained a professional network of collaborators and ultimately established ClusterFlux, an experimental performance collective which is scheduled to tour internationally in 2022. Dana plans to transfer her qualification from a Master of Arts to a Master of Fine Art, completing an additional year of study and expanding her opportunities to present work and form industry connections in the United Kingdom.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Nithya Iyer Performing Arts $10,000 Arts residency at the Hangar Centre for Artistic Investigation, Lisbon, Portugal.

Nithya Iyer with collaborators Jad Khairallah and Zohar Iancu at The Hangar Centre for Artistic Research. Image credit: Fausto Ferreira.

Nithya Iyer is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher of South Indian Tamil-descent. Nithya’s work is informed by research techniques developed while completing a Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice and 15 years of training in Bharatanatyam – an Indian classical dance form. Incorporating performance, installation, and video art to create multi-layered and metaphoric meanings, her artistic practice explores critical theories regarding migration, nationalism, and decolonisation. With the support of a Cultural Trust grant Nithya undertook a residency and interdisciplinary research project at the Hangar Centre for Artistic Investigation, Lisbon. The project, ‘An Indefinite Series of Discontinuous Acts’, explores how arts-based research methods can deepen inquiry into critical theory, and facilitate creating and disseminating inclusive and multi-sensorial forms of knowledge. “The Hangar residency exceeded my expectations in terms of the level of networking, contacts and exposure that it provided. Through the residency I have become acquainted with several interdisciplinary organisations and institutions


both in Lisbon and around Europe and was invited to do a performance and a workshop which expanded my circle of peers greatly. On a day-to-day basis, the COVID-19 restrictions meant that my time doing solo research in the Hangar studios was a little lonesome and would have been much more difficult without the support of my mentor/curator Cristiana Tejo.” While some of the performative outcomes originally intended for the residency were unable to occur due to COVID-19 restrictions, Nithya translated her choreographic ideas into videos, essays and projections for the exhibition. The residency and mentorship of curator Cristiana Tejo created an environment in which Nithya could gain a greater understanding of the professional standards, technical, theoretical and choreographic rigors of presenting interdisciplinary work. Further, she was able to develop her project while connecting and collaborating with artists and researchers whose practices engage in similar themes and methodologies, gaining clarity on where her practice sits within the international landscape.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

Hamishi Farah Visual Arts $6,700 Studio residency, Geneva, Switzerland.

Painting in studio residency, Switzerland. Image credit: Hamishi Farah.

Hamishi Farah is a self-taught artist of Somali heritage whose practice encompasses multiple mediums including paint and music. Hamishi’s experiences inform his critique of the treatment of black artists and the arts sector, which is a topic often explored through his work. After releasing an album in 2018 and having a graphic novel Airport Love Theme published in 2020, Hamishi’s focus returned to painting for which he is internationally recognised, represented by Château Shatto in Los Angeles and Arcadia Missa in London. This Cultural Trust grant was initially intended to support Hamishi to undertake a residency in Geneva and work with curator Mohamed Almusibli. However, due to COVID-19, most of his studio time was transferred to Fribourg canton, Switzerland.

“This ultimately benefited my project, as there was enough space to invite other artists to participate, namely Soraya Lutungu and Alfatih Harufa. This allowed for a more open, generative discourse and dialogue than would previously have been possible with solely Almusibli and I.” Like many artists, the market for Hamishi’s practice exists primarily in Europe and the US. While his work is sent to international exhibitions, the financial costs of travel and commitments at home have impeded his attendance. The residency not only provided a crucial development opportunity for Hamishi’s painting practice – a safe space in which to engage in challenging conversation about his work and its future directions – it also allowed him to spend an extended amount of time in Europe where his work is exhibited and explore future career opportunities.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21


Grantees 2020–21 Congratulations to all The Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant recipients of 2020-21. Further details about their projects and destinations can be found in the grants database on our website. COMMUNITY ARTS

Mia Fleming



Sofie Burgoyne



Brenton Spiteri


Stephen de Filippo


Marlowe Fitzpatrick


Oscar Jiang


Classical music grantee Brenton Spiteri as Conte Alberto in L’occasione fa il ladro (Rossini), Opera Holland Park, August 2021. Image credit: Tristram Kenton.


Phoebe Bognar



Hannah Moore


Multimedia grantee Hannah Moore’s short film ‘Love is a Lunatic City’, about a pregnant teenager who escapes from juvenile prison hoping to find the father of her unborn baby. Image feauturing Jordan Reading as Jaz, written and directed by Hannah Moore. Image credit: Hannah Moore.


The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Annual Grants Report 2020–21

Visual Arts grantee Briony Galligan’s Open Every Door, 2020, wall painting, City of Ballarat Commission, 10 m x 2.8 m. Image credit: Christo Crocker. Open Every Door is a series of two wall paintings and a website bringing together different threads of queer and Spiritualist histories at the site. The text comes from a Baci chocolate, each of which includes a short, often sentimental quote about love and relationships. This particular quote is from the American poet Emily Dickinson, and is unusually dreamy and ambiguous.


Alex Chalwell


Dana McMillan


Randa Sayed



Briony Veronica Galligan


Shivanjani Lal


Amala Groom


THE IAN POTTER CULTURAL TRUST Level 3, 111 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia 03 9650 3188 ABN 65 807 851 867