Bianca Hester is an artist and writer. She studied sculpture at RMIT, Melbourne, where she completed her practice-led PhD Material Adventures, Spatial Productions: Manoeuvring Sculpture Towards a Proliferating Event, in 2007 which won a University research prize in 2008. She was a founding member of CLUBSpropject inc in Melbourne (2002-2007) and is a continuing member of the Open Spatial Workshop collective with Scott Mitchell and Terri Bird since 2003. Hester has lectured at Victorian College of the Arts (2004-2012) and the Sydney College of the Arts (2016), where she was a post-doctoral research fellow and the co-leader of the Space, Place and Country research cluster with Dr Saskia Beudel between 2013-2016. She is a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow (2017-2018) and was an Artspace studio resident throughout 2017. She is represented by Sarah Scout Gallery Melbourne.
Her research interests include working critically within contested space, the politics of materiality and the ethics of collaborative engagement. Recent projects work directly with the fabric of cities, where place is approached as a complex constellation of human timescales, inhuman durations, atmospheric forces, objects, histories and geologic materialities. Her projects position an expansive form of public art distributed across times and locations, unfolding as a series of actions in response to specific contexts, and in dialogue with a range of interlocutors, participants and audiences.
Recent projects include: Constellating bodies in temporary correspondence (2021), exhibited within 'Perspectives on Place' at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Sydney; Sandstone (2020), Converging in time, (with Open Spatial Workshop), MUMA (2017); Constellating bodies in temporary correspondence, exhibited during ‘Endless Circulation’, Tarrawarra Biennale of Art, Tarrawarra Museum of Art (2016); movements materialising momentarily, ST PAUL St Gallery, Auckland (2015); Down City Streets (with the Space Place and Country research group 2015); Fashioning Discontinuities presented during the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); Hoops: sound tests, performances, documents, Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); only from the perspective of a viewer situated upon the surface of the earth does day and night occur, Glasgow International Festival for Visual Arts, (2012); a world fully accessible by no living being, which was the winning entry for the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (2011); please leave these windows open overnight to enable the fans to draw in cool air during the early hours of the morning, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2010); and projectprojects at The Showroom in London (2008).
Alongside exhibitions, Hester has developed numerous practice-led publications including: Sandstone (2020); A world fully inaccessible by no living being (2011) and Converging in time (2017), which was awarded the Museums Australia Publication Design Awards for major exhibition catalogue, 2018 and the AAANZ Best University Art Catalogue, 2018.
Hester is currently a senior lecturer in Art and Design and is co-convening the Fine Art Honours cohort with Di Baker Smith and Fernando do Campo. She has experience teaching across all levels in undergraduate programs and in supervising practice-led Honours, MFA and PhD projects since 2004.
Open Spatial Workshop website: https://osw.com.au
Down City Streets: www.downcitystreets.com.au
2018 Museums Australia Publication Design Award (MAPDA) for major exhibition catalogue, for Converging in time (with Open Spatial Workshop)
2018 AAANZ Best University Art Catalogue, for Converging in time (with Open Spatial Workshop)
2016 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (over 2017-2018)
2011 Winner of The Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture
2008 RMIT University Research Prize for outstanding PhD project
2006 Sieman’s prize, RMIT
2005 Winner of The Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (with Open Spatial Workshop)
2020 Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Section, Arts projects for Individuals and Groups to develop New Work (with Open Spatial Workshop)
2017-18 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship
2016 Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Section, Arts projects for Individuals and Groups to develop New Work (with Open Spatial Workshop)
2015 Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Section, Arts projects for Individuals and Groups to develop a publication
2014 Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Section, Skills and Arts Development General to develop a research project in Auckland
2014 NSW Arts and Cultural Development Program, Artist Support Grant
2013 DVC Research Compacts Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme (3 year full-time fellowship including research support)
2013 New Work Fellowship, Australia Council for Visual Arts
2013 New Work Fellowship (with Open Spatial Workshop) Australia Council for Visual Arts
2011 Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Section, Skills and Arts Development
2010 Helen Macpherson Smith Commission, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
2009 City of Melbourne grant to develop a publication of PhD research
2009 Arts Victoria, New Work, Presentation grant (with Open Spatial Workshop for the West Brunswick Sculpture Triennial
2006 Australia Council Visual Arts Board, Skills and Development grant
2006 Arts Victoria, International Program, Cultural Exchange
2006 Australia Council Artist Initiatives development grant for CLUBSproject Inc
2004 Arts Victoria new work development award
2001 APA (Australian Postgraduate Award) to undertake doctoral research