Sydney, Australia: The Bridging Hope Charity Foundation has announced a five-year commitment to support UNSW’s A&D ANNUAL 2017 graduate exhibitions and screenings, which will feature the work of more than 200 emerging creative artists. Presented from 29 November - 9 December, the A&D ANNUAL is Australia's largest and most diverse national showcase of graduate contemporary art, design and creative media work.

At an event at UNSW to announce the partnership, the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation also revealed the inaugural winner of the TWT Excellence Prize, a new annual award for a graduating student that will be offered until 2021.

Graduating artist Jessica Long was awarded the 2017 TWT Excellence Prize, which includes a $2,000 bursary, for her video work titled Apartment Block No. 10. Graduating students Caitlin Dubler, Maya Mulvey-Santana, Luke Power and Beccy Tait also received Highly Commended awards.

The TWT Excellence Prize considers digital media, painting, installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, furniture and jewellery design, and ceramic works. The UNSW faculty selected 10 shortlisted artworks based on promise and professional commitment to being a full-time artist. The winner was selected by a panel consisting of Professor Ross Harley, Dean of UNSW Art & Design; UNSW Deputy Head of School (Design) Dr Mark Ian Jones; UNSW Fine Arts Lecturer Izabela Pluta; and Natalia Bradshaw, Art Advisor and Curator at the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation.

Bridging Hope Charity Foundation founder Tina Tian said: “The Bridging Hope Charity Foundation is delighted to support the ANNUAL, UNSW’s exhibition to launch the next generation of artists, designers, makers and digital media creators. As the Exclusive Supporter for the ANNUAL and with our TWT Excellence Prize, we encourage young graduates to celebrate and professionalise their artistic practise. We invite friends, family and industry partners to experience the wonderful energy showcased at the truly vibrant exhibition.”

Ms Tian, a passionate philanthropist in the fields of mental health and the arts, founded Bridging Hope Charity Foundation in 2015. Building on the important work delivered by the Foundation in China, the Australian arm of the Foundation seeks to give back to local communities by supporting the twin pillars of mental health and well-being initiatives and arts programs throughout Australia.

Dean of UNSW Art & Design Professor Ross Harley said: “Supporting young and emerging artists and designers is fundamental to our creative cultural ecology. The Bridging Hope Charity Foundation’s visionary and generous contribution to our A&D ANNUAL graduate exhibitions and screenings underscores the graduates’ achievements and assists to launch the careers of the next generation of contemporary artists, designers and creatives.”

The A&D ANNUAL has a free public opening on Tuesday 28 November at UNSW Art & Design from 5-9pm, where more than 200 emerging creative practitioners will display their final projects across six venues, including UNSW Galleries, Australian Design Centre, Kudos Gallery, Black Box and AD Space.

ABOUT THE BRIDING HOPE CHARITY FOUNDATION: Mental health and the arts are the two pillars of the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation. It is the intention of the Foundation to connect friends, families, colleagues, artists and mental health professionals to provide an opportunity for the community to live in a culturally vibrant and health society.

Bridging Hope Charity Foundation commenced its partnership with University of New South Wales in 2017 as the Principal Supporter for The Big Anxiety Festival, Australia’s first high-tech festival to explore the experience of anxiety fusing people, art and science.

The Foundation also began its support of Lifeline Australia in 2017, stemming from a desire to help build more resilient and suicide-safe communities. Over the next three years the Foundation will be supporting Lifeline with a new initiative; the research and development of a culturally appropriate 24/7 crisis support service for Chinese communities within Australia. 

Bridging Hope Charity Foundation is committed to supporting artists operating within the Lower North Shore in Sydney with the announcement in March 2017 of a three-year extension to the TWT Creative Precinct in St Leonards. Through its support of the TWT Creative Precinct, Bridging Hope Charity Foundation provides opportunities for artists by providing 4,500 square metres of heavily subsidised inner-Sydney creative space in which artists may create work. In 2018, the Foundation will also help organise an annual public program of exhibitions, workshops and panel discussions to activate the local and wider community. Bridging Hope Charity Foundation will support the Biennale of Sydney as a Major Foundation, the first significant arts sponsorship for the Foundation.

ABOUT UNSW ART & DESIGN: UNSW Art & Design is recognised as one of the world’s leading art and design schools, with an outstanding record for producing critically acclaimed artists, designers and media creators.

The school leads Australia with a focus on media innovation and emerging technologies. The interdisciplinary approach challenges existing thinking and focuses on experimentation and exploration, fostering collaboration across science, engineering, the humanities and social sciences.

The faculty and students are drawn from more than 60 countries globally and together is Australia’s largest community of art and design practitioners, researchers, educators and students.