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Frances Barrett joins performance and installation artists Giselle Stanborough and Sally Rees in taking home one of the richest art prizes in Australia for women. 

The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship recognises female-identifying artists in the performance space. Named in honour of respected Italian-Australian installation artist and UNSW Art & Design alumna Katthy Cavaliere, the fellowship is funded from her estate in partnership with Carriageworks, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). 

“To receive the fellowship is overwhelming, humbling and exciting. I hope that my research and the work I produce honours the legacy of Katthy Cavaliere,” Ms Barrett says.

Ms Barrett’s curatorial and artistic projects often take the form of live and time-related events, with recent projects including All Ears: A listening party at Campbelltown Arts Centre, a performance event and podcast series that proposed the idea of queer listening.

Over the past couple of years, she has been researching listening practices. Under the fellowship, Ms Barrett plans to develop a project called The Future Echoes (working title), a sound and light installation that will transform the ACCA into a space that invites audience engagement and active listening. She hopes the artwork can contribute to conversations around listening practices.

“The Future Echoes foregrounds the role of the audience as a critical and active listener.

“The fellowship affords me time and space for research and experimentation. In turn, I hope to achieve a greater conceptual rigour in my practice, push myself to work in new forms and engage with audiences in a completely new way,” she says. 

Frances Barrett (Touching, 2016)

Frances Barrett (Touching, 2016)

The fellowship’s judging panel comprised director of programs at Carriageworks Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Mona’s founder David Walsh alongside senior curator Nicole Durling, ACCA’s director Max Delany and senior curator Annika Kristensen.

The panel noted: “From a most impressive application pool of almost 300 applications, and after much deliberation and rewarding discussion, we are delighted to announce Frances Barrett, Giselle Stanborough and Sally Rees as the Katthy Cavaliere Fellows. 

“Each are exceptional artists working at the forefront of experimental performance and installation practices, and each presented proposals that are especially fitting of Katthy’s legacy.”

The three recipients will receive $100,000 each and will have the opportunity to realise a new body of work to be presented in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. 

Ms Barrett will stage The Future Echoes (working title) at the ACCA from 4 April to 8 June 2020.