Norrie was honoured with the Visual Arts Award and Hinterding received the Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts. Eight awards were handed out on the night.
“These artists have been nominated by their peers for the extraordinary contribution they have made both in their fields, and to the broader cultural life of the nation,” said Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM.
Laura McLeod from the Australia Council presented the Visual Arts Award to Susan Norrie.
“Susan is one of Australia’s most influential artists, she is constantly questioning and she pushes her practice into new areas, which has made her a role model for younger artists,” McLeod said. “This questioning and disciplined approach to her work has shifted her practice to the moving image and installation, and has become increasingly engaged in social and political issues.”
The Sydney-based artist began her creative career in painting, but is now primarily known for film and installation works. In 2007 Norrie represented Australia at the Venice Biennale. She has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, and her work is held in several major collections, including the Tate in London. She is due to complete a major work commissioned by the Australian War Memorial Museum this year.
When accepting her award, Norrie acknowledged the support and funding she has received from the Australia Council over the years. She also highlighted the vital role artists play in addressing difficult issues in complex times.
“We are at a critical moment in the history of the world. As an artist whose work has focused on catastrophic environmental consequences associated with human greed and a rampant desire for dominance over finite natural resources, I believe it is our responsibility to document the truths and impact of these endeavours,” Norrie said. “I recognise the significance of the artist’s ability to witness and probe this world with a certain poetic detachment that not only unravels truths but does so with powerful words and compelling imagery.”
Jeremy Smith from the Australia Council presented the Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts to Joyce Hinterding.
“Joyce’s use of intricate technology includes the integration of custom-built field recording and monitoring technologies to explore energy, currents, and sculptures of sound,” he said. “Her elegant simplicity in dealing with complexity as well as her transcendence of traditional artistic practice was noted in her nomination, and the truth of these observations can be seen across her practice.”
Hinterding began her practice in the field of jewellery. The Blue Mountains-based artist is now known for working with drawing, energy fields, sound and installation.
Hinterding thanked a long list of collaborators and supporters when accepting her award, particularly David Haines who she described as “my partner in crime, my confidante and collaborator extraordinaire”.
The complete list of 2019 Australia Council Awards is: Helen Garner, Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature; David Bridie, Don Banks Music Award; Susan Norrie, Visual Arts Award; Joyce Hinterding, Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts; Vicki Van Hout, Award for Dance; Rachael Maza, Award for Theatre; Rhoda Roberts, Ros Bower Award; and Fablice Manirakiza, Kirk Robson Award.