The Australia Council for the Arts has announced five Australian artists have received grants to enable them to show their work at the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art next month.
Australia Council Director Visual Arts Julie Lomax said the artists who received grants to produce new work for the exhibition were Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan (QLD), Richard Bell (QLD), Jumaadi Jumaadi (NSW), Gosia Wlodarczak (VIC) and this year’s Australian representative at the Venice Biennale Simryn Gill (NSW).
The artists will join around 80 other arts professionals from 39 countries at the month-long event, which will be held at the Manege Museum from 20 September to 20 October.
Ms Lomax said the artists had been selected by Moscow Biennale Artistic Director, Catherine de Zegher, who was the curator of the Australian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale and co-directed the 18th Biennale of Sydney, and this year’s topic was More Light, focusing on the concept of time and space.
The Australia Council is keen to support Australian artists so they can participate in significant international opportunities through our grants and initiatives, Ms Lomax said.
Biennales are important for artists, as they expose their work to an international forum, including key curators, administrators and other artists from around the world.
This can lead to ongoing and significant collaborations, exhibition opportunities and valuable critical dialogue about an artists’ practice.
Ms Lomax said the Australian artists represented at the Moscow Biennale were among a highly competitive field of grant applicants, which were assessed by an expert peer panel made up of artists, administrators, curators and academics within the visual arts sector.
One of the artists, Gosia Wlodarczak, has an exhibition of her work now on show at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth until 30 September, as part of the hotel’s Artist in Residence program, Ms Lomax said.
The assessment panel awarded Gosia a New Work grant because of the artistic excellence she has displayed throughout her career, which has been recognised nationally and internationally.
The Moscow Biennale builds on a strong year for visual artists supported by the Australia Council to exhibit internationally, which includes the Venice Biennale, Indigenous artist Lena Nyadbi’s artwork being installed on the roof of the Musee Du Quai Branly and the upcoming Australia at the Royal Academy, London show.
In addition, the Australia Council provided $15.7 million to visual artists through grants and initiatives in 2011-12.