As one of the nation’s oldest awards, the Fellowship aims to provide emerging artists with opportunities for professional development and to showcase their work.
Inherent in Nicholson’s work is a desire to connect to heritage. As a Colombian-born Australian artist, her practice often explores belonging and separation from homeland. For the 2017 Fellowship, she has created two traditional Columbian silletas, wearable objects made with a selection of fresh flowers that have historically been used to transport goods and people. In Don’t Let Me Down Let Me Down, Nicholson takes up these histories of power and labour and places them in a new context.
Speaking to Art Guide earlier this year, Nicholson described her mode of documenting culture. “Maybe I bend what is already there? I would say I conflate different aspects of Latin American culture and rearrange them to create a new narrative that talks to my own experience and hopefully the experience of other people from diasporic communities.”
With the $30,000 prize money supporting a self-directed program of professional development, Nicholson will travel to Mexico and the USA for three months, where she plans to attend various religious and secular cultural festivals to inform research of pre-Columbian ceramics and Chicanx art and culture.
The shortlist of 2017 Fellowship artists includes: Fernando do Campo, Emma Fielden, Ashleigh Garwood, Spence Messih, Claudia Nicholson, Emily Parsons-Lord, Jason Phu, Shan Turner-Carroll and Louise Zang.
The exhibition has been co-curated by Artspace curator Talia Linz, curatorial assistant Lola Pinder and executive director Alexie Glass-Kantor.
Artist Talks: 2017 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship Recipient and Finalists in conversation with curators Talia Linz, Lola Pinder and Alexie Glass-Kantor.
Date: Saturday 25 November, 2pm
Location: Artspace, Ground Floor galleries