As part of its ambitious program to develop and support the creative practices of Australian artists, and to bolster Sydney’s cultural community, Artspace, in collaboration with UNSW Art & Design and Arts NSW, ensures the provision of the invaluable artist studio program.

The 2017 One Year Studio Artists have been announced and they are Karen Black, Keg de Souza (UNSW Art & Design graduate), Agatha Gothe-Snape, Bianca Hester (UNSW Art & Design Lecturer), Mason Kimber, Tom Polo (UNSW Art & Design graduate), and Justene Williams. 

The Studio Program forms part of an important ten-year plan to support and promote contemporary Australian artists spanning generations and across many disciplines. 

The selected artists benefit in the following ways.  They are provided extensive studio space at no cost to undertake substantial projects; they are able to work with and receive feedback from dedicated Artspace curators; they are provided access to a unique and extensive industry networking program run in conjunction with UNSW Art & Design; they are provided opportunities to meet and engage with audiences and to participate in public programs thereby extending awareness of the value of their art to the community; and they are also provided, through the generous support of UNSW Art & Design, access to expert advice, facilities, and specialist tools and machinery to ensure the realisation of their projects.

The selected studio artists for 2017 represent emerging artists working in local and national contexts as well as practitioners with established international reputations.   The outcomes of the studio programs will lead to the development of major projects and co-commissions with the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Performa (New York), the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Performance Space.

Karen Black, a painter and sculptor whose practice explores loaded social and individual narratives that blend the historical with the mythical, will be collaborating with the UNSW Art & Design ceramics studio to produce a new series of vessels.

Keg De Souza, a UNSW Art & Design graduate, uses inflatable architecture, food, film-mapping, and dialogue-based projects to explore the politics of space. She is currently developing a work for The National – New Australian Art to be held at the MCA, and was exhibited earlier this year in Setouchi Triennale and the 20th Biennale of Sydney. 

Agatha Gothe-Snape is an improvisational performance artist.  She draws upon and records interpersonal  and spatio-emotional exchanges around art and the contexts in which it is displayed.  She is currently working towards a solo exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and is creating a work for The National – New Australian Art to be exhibited at the MCA.  She is also preparing for the Australian debut of Rhetorical Chorus, co-commissioned by Performa (New York), Performance Space and Carriageworks.

Recently appointed UNSW Art & Design Lecturer Bianca Hester is a research-based artist who explores the convergence of multiple narratives through sculpture.  Her large-scale projects result in performative and durational public art.  In 2017, she will be developing a new body of work at the Art Gallery of New South Wales through the Contemporary Projects Series.

Mason Kimber uses painting, Fresco, and wall-based installations to address the ambiguity between the abstract space of painting and the real space that surrounds an exhibition space. He was a finalist in the 2015 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging) and is the recipient of the Miras Studio, supported by Alenka Tindale.

Tom Polo, a UNSW Art & Design graduate, has an expanded painting practice that explores the tropes of modernism and abstraction through text and figurative work.  He was awarded the 2015 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and undertook the Associate Artist Residency with ACME Studios in London.

Justene Williams produces large-scale live works, video performances, installations and sculptures celebrating “the avant-garde dream of the total artwork”.  She is currently touring nationally with The Curtain Breathed Deeply and will be developing a new work for exhibition in The National – New Australian Art at the MCA.