The Australia Council has announced the first six recipients of Arts and Disability Mentorship grants.
This initiative is part of the Australia Council’s commitment to support sustainable careers and recognise the artistic excellence of artists with disabilities, in response to Australia Council research involving artists and arts workers with disability. The findings highlighted the importance of role models and mentors, and of disability-led practice.
The grants are designed to support collaborations that fuel ambition, embolden ideas and innovation, build networks and capacity, and strengthen future works.
The 2019 grants recipients were:
Meet some of the recipients
Learn more about Julia Hales.Julia Hales offers a deeply personal story of her own experiences of love as a daughter, actor and dreamer. Bringing to the stage the voices and aspirations of a community we rarely get to see, You Know We Belong Together is an uplifting tale of love, relationships, acceptance and belonging – and Julia’s life-long dream of appearing on Home and Away!
Artist, psychologist and activist Debra Keenahan received funding to create ‘Smashing’, a video/sculptural installation conveying the physicality of people with dwarfism. Using multiple media, the work will portray the exertion, dexterity and versatility displayed by people with dwarfism in overcoming barriers in a society built on the false belief that ‘bigger is better’. With an emphasis on peer-to-peer mentoring, the artist will exchange skills and knowledge with various partners throughout the project.
Annie Moors is a Yurrwi/Milingimbi woman and emerging visual artist. Much of Annie’s artistic practice and subject matter is related to her Yolngu culture, family and country of Milingimbi in North East Arnhem Land. This project aims to support Annie’s connection to country and family through a studio-based mentorship program with Milingimbi Arts and Culture Centre under the supervision of senior Yolngu artists. This mentorship gives Annie the special experience of being able to access artistic practices specific to kinship and country, such as working in ochres on bark surfaces and exploring her Yurrwi dreaming stories and totems.
Dance theatre artist Matthew Shilcock will undertake a mentorship with Garry Stewart, artistic director of Australian Dance Theatre. Participating in development, rehearsals and international touring activity with ADT, Matt will also work towards the further development of his own choreographic scoring system, Osteogenuine. Matt describes the system as ‘devised from my body’s unique physicality and the impact holistic and alternative healing practices have had on my health, personal growth and dance practice’.
Jen ‘Wart’ Waterhouse has devised a complementary mentor/collaboration program to develop skills and confidence which will support her to transition her art and creative practice from the visual and performing arts into the literary and publishing sector. Wart will work with three mentors, building her capacity for a sustainable livelihood as an artist and storyteller.