Debra Porch Award

Credit: I Think You Like Me But I’ve Been Wrong About These Things Before, 2021, Natasha Matila-Smith, Photo by Sam Hartnett.

About the opportunity  

The Australia Council is supporting a program of reciprocal residencies between Australia and the Asia Pacific with the support of the Debra Porch Award. Each Award has a total value of $15,000 AUD.  

Artist Debra Porch’s practice focused on memory, mortality and the relationship between presence and absence. Working and teaching during art residencies she undertook in our neighborhood regions became vital in her art, work and life.  

In honour of Debra Porch’s life’s work, this award will support two artists, an Australian artist and a New Zealand artist, to undertake a visual arts residency, stimulate strong connections and build long-term engagements.  

For the second year, an Australian visual artist will be awarded a grant for a supported residency at Artspace Aotearoa in Auckland, New Zealand. A New Zealand visual artist will also be awarded a reciprocal grant for a supported residency at Artisan in Brisbane, Australia. 

The residency host organisations will introduce the artist to the local sector and assist with research and network building with relevant communities. The artist will also have  the option to share an artist talk or participate in a public program at the end of the residency period.

Meet this year’s recipients

Claudia Kogachi

Claudia Kogachi

Claudia Kogachi is a contemporary artist and painter. Born in 1995, Awaji-Shima, Japan, she lives in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Claudia’s work leans into the personal. She can’t resist inserting the people in her life into her paintings. Claudia often depicts herself and those around her carrying out everyday leisure activities or exploring imaginary moments. These scenarios are used to delve into various interpersonal dynamics and emotional states, navigating the often tricky side to relationships. For Claudia, life is as equally malleable as fiction and she bends the narrative truth of both towards each other until they meet. Her works are imaginary negotiations of real relationships and real feelings.

Oscillating between painting and textile, both mediums hum with the same energy. The depictions of Claudia’s characters are large, bold, and cartoonish. She employs a sometimes coded colour palette, but always primary and bright. With a playful ease, Claudia embraces ugliness with no subject or bodily aspect too taboo for the canvas. Dressing herself and her associates in a range of real and made up personas, the audience is invited to do the same. In a world where everything is real and everything is made up, you can be anyone you want.

Image credit: Sam Hartnett.

Bio credit: courtesy of Jhana Millers Gallery.

Andy Butler

Andy Butler

Andy Butler is an artist, writer and curator based in Naarm/Melbourne.

As an artist, he works across moving image, installation and painting. His work has been exhibited at Arts House, Bus Projects, Firstdraft, The Substation, Footscray Community Art Centre and more. He has undertaken residencies with Parramatta Art Studios and the Powerhouse Museum, Green Papaya Art Projects in Manila through Asialink and more. In 2021 he was a recipient of the Creative Victoria Creators Fund grant to undertake research into the archetype of the white saviour within the archives of the National Library of Australia.

His writing has been published to wide acclaim, in outlets including frieze, The Saturday Paper, The Monthly, Art Guide and more, as well as in numerous anthologies and exhibition catalogues.

Independent curatorial projects include Always there and all a part (2017) at BLINDSIDE, and Those Monuments Don’t Know Us (2019) at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre. He was most recently the (Acting) Artist Director at West Space.

He currently sits on the board of the Emerging Writers Festival, and was previously on the board of SEVENTH Gallery.

We are accepting applications from artists in Australia and New Zealand. The Australia Council for the Arts will support one Australian artist and one New Zealand artist to undertake the residency. Successful applicants will receive a grant of $15,000 AUD with $12,000 AUD to cover artist fees and $3000 AUD as contribution toward travel costs and living expenses. Accommodation and studio access will be provided by host organisations. Host organisations will also provide curatorial care and support during the time of the residency.  

Additional support needs including any accessibility support, interpreting and childcare will be provided on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to speak to us about any specific access needs or support you may require for ensuring you can equitably participate in this program. 

This program designed for visual artists who work in an interdisciplinary and/or gallery context and who are:

  • early or mid-career artists in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of either country, and can be based in any city. 
  • have a visual arts and/or interdisciplinary practice with an interest in material exploration.  
  • committed to a long-term engagement with Aotearoa New Zealand, and vice versa.  

The Australia Council for the Arts, Artisan and Artspace Aotearoa strongly encourage applicants who identify as First Nations, from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds, people with disability, and people living in regional and remote areas to apply for this opportunity. Global First Nations exchange and diaspora-driven engagement is a priority of the International Engagement Strategy 2021-25 in amplifying our creative relationships in the Asia Pacific with rigour and integrity.  

Our programs and processes are designed for accessibility and best use by a diverse demographic. Please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the closing date to discuss your access and support requirements. 

This residency is research-focused and provides artists with a platform to undertake fieldwork, develop new work and forge new connections or deepen existing ones between Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Successful studio residents are encouraged to engage with the local and regional art scene through studio visits, talks, screenings, performances and other activities and there will be curatorial support to do the same. An artist talk/public program will be organised at the conclusion of the residency. While the residency does not necessitate an outcome, we hope for the award to facilitate future engagement or exhibition opportunities for both successful artists.  

Artists from Australia and New Zealand can apply through our application management system. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button at the top of this page. Please note: To apply you must be registered in our application management system a minimum of two business days prior to the closing date.  

Applications will be assessed based on the responses to the following questions which you can input into the open text field on the form (750-1000 words max in response to each question). A video or audio submission may be uploaded in the support material section in place of your written application with responses to the following questions (5 minutes max). 

  1. Provide a brief proposal of the idea you will be working on or your line of inquiry including themes you’ll be researching/exploring during your time at the residency. This can be broad or specific and will give the hosting organisations a clearer understanding of your needs.  
  2. Share how an international residency will be pivotal to your career trajectory at this stage of your practice, and your interest and investment in the contemporary art scene in the region. Specifically, indicate how you will connect with the local communities of practice during your residency if successful.  

 Your responses to the above questions will be assessed for artistic merit, viability, impact on career and commitment to reciprocity with the local community in the respective region.  

To be uploaded along with your written application: 

  • a link to your website OR a portfolio of your previous work  
  • 1-2 support letters (this could be from a curator, collaborator, ari, gallery, festival).

Australia Council staff in consultation with Artisan and Artspace Aotearoa alongside an Industry Advisor will consider applications according to the assessment criteria above. 

If you have any other questions or need help with the application process, please contact us at

Roberta Joy Rich (for a residency at Cemeti-Institute for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia) 

Roberta’s work responds to constructions of ‘race’ and gender identity, sometimes with satire and humour in her video, performance, installation and multi-disciplinary projects. Drawing from historical, socio-political, media and popular culture, Rich engages with notions of “authenticity” and its relationship to constructed identities and their forms of representation. In doing so, Rich aims to de-construct colonial modalities through arts practice while ascertaining empowering forms of self determination, often referencing her own [diaspora] African identity and experiences. 


Dian Suci Rahmawati (for a residency at UNSW Art and Design, Sydney, Australia)  

Dian Suci Rahmawati Is an architect-graduated from Islamic University of Indonesia, who now lives and works as an illustrator and artist in Yogyakarta. From her observations and experiences as a woman in domestic space, her works often talk about the world of women and things around them. In her spare time, Dian creates an open-easy-and free joint called RARAIRENG that stands for RAme-RAme Iseng baRENG (or killing time together), a gathering with an agenda where everyone killing time together generates something. Dian also opened an informal craft and art merchandise shop named Bosan.