The Schenberg Art Fellowship 2020, a cash prize of $50,000, has been awarded to Tina Stefanou, a graduate of Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University for her works Horse Power (2019) and Antiphonea (2019). This generous fellowship, made possible by the Dr Harold Schenberg Bequest, is the most significant award for emerging artists in Australia.
The announcement of this major investment in the burgeoning career of an Australian artist was made at the Hatched National Graduate Show 2020 closing event Night School at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
on Friday 9 October.
Tina was selected from a pool of 56 of the most promising emerging artists nationally for inclusion in the exhibition, which closes on Sunday 11 October. This is the eleventh year that PICA has worked with the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the UWA Cultural Precinct to present the Schenberg Art Fellowship to one outstanding Hatched artist.
In its 29th year, Hatched features 24 of the most promising artists from Australias leading art schools and universities from every state and territory in Australia. Works on display feature a broad range of contemporary practice including installations, audio/sound works, photography, sculpture, jewellery, ceramics, textiles and graffiti.
The judges of this years Fellowship were Amy Barrett-Lennard, Director, PICA, Ted Snell, Director, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, and Chad Creighton, CEO, Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA. The judges felt that Tina Stefanous work is an extremely sophisticated and conceptually rigorous work that is highly poetic, beautifully resolved, full of ideas and infused with an underlying sense of gentle humour.
The paired video works were incredibly absorbing, drawing the viewer into their spell, encouraging us all to reflect on the artists family history, which foregrounds universal themes of ageing, empathy and recognition. It is an accomplished work that welds together music and the visual arts in a seamless amalgam, they said.
The Judges also wanted to commend the work of Saleheh Gholami, University of Western Australia, and Rachel AV Sherwood Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney .
Fellowship recipient Tina Stefanou said, I feel incredibly privileged to be the recipient of the Schenberg Art Fellowship, especially in the company of such powerful work by some of the country's strongest emerging voices. I would like to thank the judges and the Schenberg Art Fellowship, UWA Cultural Precinct for the award and the continuing support for emerging artists in this country.
The fellowship will provide the resources I have needed for such a long time. It is deeply life-changing and affirming for an emerging artist in these precarious times. As well as producing a new body of work, I am hoping to establish the first few building blocks of an artist-run transdisciplinary residency outside of Melbourne, where artists and other makers can come together with community to imagine new possibilities of artistic practice; moving forward, and sideways, in the ever shifting conditions of contemporary life.