Baker Boy wins best new talent at the National Indigenous Music Awards. Image: Supplied

Gurrumul & Baker Boy win big at National Indigenous Music Awards

Two of Indigenous music’s big stars – the late Gurrumul, and rising star Baker Boy, are the winners of Australia’s biggest celebration of First Nations music.

Gurrumul was honoured as Artist of the Year while his posthumous masterpiece, Djarimirri (Child of The Rainbow) picked up Album of the Year. Its title track was crowned Song of the Year, completing the trifecta of the night’s key awards. 

The Northern Territory’s Baker Boy was the night’s other big winner, taking home Video of the Year for his hit ‘Marryuna’.


Performers on the night included: Alice Skye, Kasey Chambers and Alan Pigram, Busby Marou, Stiff Gins and a rousing show from Hall of Fame inductee Roger Knox. 

The National Indigenous Music Awards Winners 2018

Artist of the Year: Gurrumul
Album of the Year: Gurrumul – Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)
Song of the Year: Gurrumul – ‘Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’
Hall of Fame Inductee: Roger Knox
Best New Talent: Baker Boy
Film Clip of the year: Baker Boy – ‘Marryuna’
Community Clip of the Year: B-Town Warriors – ‘Thundercloud: Bourke’
NT Traditional Music Award (two winners): Buku-watthunawuy Nininynu Rom – Ancient Languages New Sounds + Kenbi Dancers.

Portrait of Guy Pearce wins 2018 Archibald Prize ANZ People’s Choice award

First time finalist in the Archibald Prize Anne Middleton has taken out the 2018 ANZ People’s Choice award with her portrait of Australian actor, Guy Pearce.

The Melbourne artist’s portrait Guy , painted in her studio and drawing upon European oil painting techniques from the 17th and 18th centuries, is her first venture into large-scale portraiture.

Art Gallery of New South Wales Director Michael Brand said, ‘The ANZ People’s Choice award encourages everyone to have their say about portraiture.

‘Artist Anne Middleton’s portrait of Guy Pearce captivated audiences and inspired widespread commentary from admirers for an “uncompromising” and “compelling” depiction of the hugely popular Australian actor,’ Brand said in a statement.

The Archibald Prize People’s Choice was first awarded in 1988 – now supported by presenting partner ANZ – and this year over 20,000 visitors to the 2018 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes have had their say with over 10,500 visitors providing written comments about their favourite work.

The ANZ People’s Choice award carries a $3500 cash prize for the artist.

The winning portrait and finalist works for the 2018 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until Sunday 9 September. Archibald Prize finalists will then go on a regional tour until June 2019.

Winner of 2018 Silver Gull Play Announced

Phillip James Rouse. Image supplied.

Playwright  Phillip James Rouse has won the 2018 Silver Gull Play Award, established to celebrate new work that explores the political and philosophical.

The awards, now in their fourth year, saw Rouse take out the $3000 prize for his play Lions Tigers and Bears, selected from a shortlist which included:

Disinhibition by Christopher Bryant
Alabaster Burning by John AD Fraser
People Inside Me by Katie Pollock
Superheroes by Mark Rogers

Each of the shortlisted playwrights were awarded a $500 prize. 

Ballet dancer Joshua Green awarded prestigious Genée medal

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced the medallists for the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition 2018. 

Attracting 51 of the world’s finest young dancers aged between 15 and 19 years old, the competition awarded gold medals to Australia’s Joshua Green and New Zealand’s Monet Hewitt, while Silver went to Australia’s Caitlin Garlick, Basil James from the UK and Japan’s Jordan Yeuk Hay Chan.

Bronze medals were awarded to Enoka Sato, from Japan and Jordan Yeuk Hay Chan, from Hong Kong

Green, who is 17,  started dancing in 2016 under the watchful eye of Karen Ireland and in April 2018, he travelled to New York and was selected as a top 20 dancer at the Youth America Grand Prix finals. He also received a scholarship to The John Cranko Schule.

Record number of Australian feature films included in AACTA  film festival

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has revealed that a record 38 Australian feature films will screen in its eighth stand-alone competition, to be presented by Foxtel.

The full list of feature films to be included are:
The BBQ, Birthday Adjustment Distorder, Boy Erased, Breath, Brothers’ Nest, Cargo, Dad, The Five Provocations, The Flip Side, The Gateway, Gringo, In Like Flynn, Indigo Lake, Innocent Killer, Jirga, Just Between Us, Ladies in Black, the Lego Ninjago Movie, Lost Gully Road, Mary Magdalene, Me and My Left Brain, The Merger, Occupation, Peter Rabbit, The Pretend One, Pulse, Rabbit, The Second, Strange Colours, Survive or Die, Sweet Country, Swinging Safari, Undertow, Upgrade, Watch the Sunset, West of Sunshine and Winchester.

The feature films star some of Australia and Hollywood’s biggest names, including Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Joel Edgerton, Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Rose Byrne, Lucas Hedges, Rooney Mara, Martin Freeman and Simon Baker.
AFI AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella commented: ‘In another record-breaking year for feature film entries, AACTA Film Fest is an unparalleled opportunity to view, support and discuss Australian film. These 38 films showcase a dynamic mix of genres and themes; feature a variety of unique stories that audiences often can’t find on traditional screens; highlight our increasingly diverse industry and filmmakers; and shines a spotlight on the incredible work many emerging Australian filmmakers are doing in the low-budget independent sector. I encourage people to embrace this opportunity to see these films in cinema or on AACTA TV and join us in the largest conversation of Australian film.’

Shortlisted artists announced for 2018 Incinerator Art Award

The Incinerator Gallery in Melbourne’s Moonee Ponds has announced the shortlist of artists selected for the 2018 Incinerator Art Award with this year’s theme being ‘art for social change’.

The shortlisted artists are:

Duha Ali and Justine Youssef, Helen Amanatiadis, Hayley Arjona, Rob Bartolo, Alison Bennett, Izzy Brown, Jazmina Cininas, Shan Crosbie, Adam Douglass, Megan Evans, Sarah Firth, Joseph Griffiths, Amala Groom, Nigel Hewitt, Paul Hodges, Kathy Holowko, Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, Sally Mannall, Jordan Marani, Margaret McIntosh, Asher Milgate, Hayley Millar-Baker, Ilona Nelson, Shane Nicholas, Claudia Phares, Texta Queen, Robbie Rowlands, Mia Salsjö, Nina Sanadze, Tama Sharman-La hole, Amy Spiers, Bethany Wheeler, and Paul White.

There will be a $10,000 first prize and the $3,000 second prize will be announced at the exhibition’s opening night on Friday, 12 October. The $1,000 People’s Choice Award will be announced at the exhibition’s conclusion.

Co3 celebrates dance award nominations and LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT award announced

Image by Emma Fishwick.

West Australian contemporary dance company Co3 will represent its state with four nominations at the upcoming Australian Dance Awards.

Held in September, the awards acknowledge those working in the professional dance sector who have made innovative and exceptional work of national significance or have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the dance industry.

Co3’s founding Artistic Director Raewyn Hill said West Australians can be proud of these achievements.
‘As such a young company, it is a powerful statement to be nominated by our peers in four categories,’ Hill said. ‘It’s testament to the work that we are so proudly doing here in WA alongside so many other inspiring West Australian dance artists and teachers.’
View the full list of nominations

In related news, Robina Beard OAM, Chair of the Chair of the Australian Dance Awards (ADA) committee has announced that the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Athol Willoughby OAM in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the dance profession in Australia for over 65 years.

Willoughby, 85, has had a long and distinguished career as one of Australia’s leading ballet dancers and teachers, connecting him with significant developments in mid-century Australian ballet, with major figures such as Walter Gore and Valrene Tweedie, and as an adjudicator and examiner for Cecchetti Ballet Australia.

Willoughby who is still devoted to dance was both ‘delighted and overwhelmed’ by the award which he will receive in person on Saturday 8 September at the official Awards ceremony at Brisbane Powerhouse.

Emma Viskic wins best adult novel at Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards

Crime author Emma Viskic has been awarded the Davitt (Best Adult Novel) for her book And Fire Came Down at Sisters in Crime’s 18th Davitt Awards.

This is the second time Viskic has collected top honours at the ceremony, as she also won an unprecedented three Davitts and a Ned Kelly Award in 2016 for her debut book, Resurrection Bay

Accepting the award, Viskic said crime writers, especially female crime writers, often get asked why they write crime fiction.

‘My answer is – why wouldn’t you? Crime fiction shines a light on the murky business of being human. It can entertain us, thrill and distract us, but it can also explore why people do such terrible and wonderful things. “Maybe it can even offer us the possibility of growth. Of justice. Of hope. And given the moral darkness that currently surrounds us, it’s no surprise that readers are reaching for it at ever growing rates,’ she said.

Other winners included:

Gabriella Coslovich, winner of the Davitt (Non-Fiction) for her debut crime book, Whiteley on Trial 
Jane Harper, winner of the Davitt (Readers’ Choice) for Force of Nature
The Davitt (Best Children’s Novel) went to Brisbane author Allison Rushby (above) for The Turnkey.

Melbourne’s MPavilion extended

Leading Australian annual architecture commission and cultural laboratory MPavillion, has been extended a further two seasons to 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The extension signifies the enduring success of the Foundation’s MPavilion initiative in engaging public-private collaborations and welcoming globally acclaimed design and cultural programming to Melbourne.

MPavilion is the Naomi Milgrom Foundation’s centrepiece project, initiated in 2014 by the not-for-profit charitable organisation – which gifts each year’s MPavilion to the people of Victoria – as an innovative civic space and a way to connect Melburnians with architecture and design.
Naomi Milgrom AO, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, said of the extension: ‘In envisaging MPavilion in 2014, I primarily hoped the community would embrace the initiative and share in vital ideas about design and our cities. I’m proud that MPavilion has become part of the cultural and physical landscape and I’m excited to partner with the City of Melbourne to spark collaborative actions and discussions into the future.’
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp added: “For the past four years MPavilion has celebrated and showcased the best of contemporary Australian and international architecture right in the heart of our city.

‘The MPavilion program has been a major success, featuring collaboration between more than 1,000 designers, architects, cultural and educational institutions and winning eight national and international awards. We’re proud MPavilion continues to call Melbourne home and excited to see what amazing pieces of design will emerge in the next four years.’

Jazz drummer honoured with top prize at Helpmann Jazz Awards

Seven jazz graduates from the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music have been presented with over $15,000 at the Helpmann Academy’s annual Jazz Awards event.

Drummer Alexander Flood received the Expr3ss! Award for Best Overall Graduate, valued at $3333.33.

Flood said of his award: ‘I’m incredibly grateful to receive this award. The Helpmann Academy have been such a big support for me over the past few years and have presented me with some incredible opportunities that otherwise would not be possible. Last year I was awarded the Helpmann Mike Stewart Memorial Award, which means I will be travelling to New York City soon to study with some of my musical heroes. The mooney from the Expr3ss! Award will help contribute towards this trip.’

Other winners included:

The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Award for Best Overall Honours Graduate, valued at $2500 was presented to trumpet player Thomas Voss, of Stirling. 

The Southern Jazz Club Award, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Bass Undergraduate Bonnie Aué, of Hillcrest. 

The Keith & Susie Langley Memorial Award for Trumpet, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Trumpet Undergraduate Josh Chenoweth of Glenelg North.

The Keith & Susie Langley Memorial Award for Guitar, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Guitar Undergraduate Ben Finnis of Toorak Gardens.

The Rob Lyons Award, valued at $2000 was presented to Top Voice Undergraduate Ashleigh Jocks of Mount Barker. The Howell Ross Award valued at $2000 was presented to Top Saxophone Undergraduate Jordan Noble of Daw Park.

MIFF announces 2018 Shorts’ Award Winners

All These Creatures

Seven short films have made the cut, from a pool of 120 eligible films, to take out the 2018 MIFF Shorts Awards.

Traversing fiction, documentary and experimental cinema, the selected films were considered by a jury consisting of Artistic Director of the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia, Cerise Howard; State Manager, Southern States for Sony Pictures Releasing Australia, Cheryl Mulholland; and acclaimed Australian actor and MIFF Ambassador, Sarah Snook. 

The 2018 MIFF Shorts Awards winners were:

City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film: Fauve 
Jeremy Comte – director

Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film: All These Creatures
Charles Williams – director

Swinburne University of Technology Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker: Astrid Dominguez Ortega, for We Vanish (Mexico, Australia)

Cinema Nova Award for Best Fiction Short Film: Bonobo (Switzerland)
Zoel Aeschbacher – director

MIFF Award for Best Animation Short Film: Inanimate (UK)
Lucia Bulgheroni – director

RMIT University Award for Best Documentary Short Film: Black Line (Switzerland, Bangladesh)
Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi – directors

Anna Schwartz Gallery Award for Best Experimental Short Film: The Hymns Of Muscovy (Russia)
Dimitri Venkov – director

Sculpture by the Sea announces $30,000 Helen Lempriere Scholarships

Three artists have been awarded the prestigious $30,000 Helen Lempriere Scholarship to further their artistic development and inclusion in the upcoming Sculpture by the Sea event.

The awards went to: Senior Artist Hossein Valamanesh (SA); Mid Career Artist: Kevin Draper (WA) and Emerging Artist: Britt Mikkelsen (WA).

Sculpture by the Sea Founding Director, David Handley AM said: ‘It is wonderful to support these three important artists at different stages of their careers. The ideas each of them has for their scholarships are as diverse as their individual artistic practices. Thanks to the Helen Lempriere Bequest, 28 artists from across Australia have received a Helen Lempriere Scholarship since 2010. This is a total of $840,000 and represents a significant investment in the Visual Arts in Australia.’

Remote Top End artist wins NATSIAA

Gunybi Ganambarr, from the remote community of Gan Gan in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory has been announced as the winner of the prestigious Telstra Art Award at the 35th 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

Ganambarr’s work, Buyku, is an intricate etching on three-by-three-metre aluminium board and  was selected from more than 300 entries and 66 finalists.

Read: North East Arnhem Land artists dominate this year’s NATSIAA Awards

The judges described the work as commanding and powerful, illustratrating the artist’s deep knowledge of culture and ceremony

Australian and Norwegian designers to reimagine Arts Centre design

Melbourne’s NH Architecture and Norway’s Snøhetta have  been appointed to deliver the Arts Centre Melbourne’s vision for the future of the Theatres Building, which will include addressing specific critical maintenance issues. 

The team will create an integrated design for the footprint of the Theatres Building, incorporating design for the Critical Asset Maintenance project to minimise redundant works in the future as the organisation progresses with a major redevelopment.  
The Critical Asset Maintenance project and the continued development of Reimagining Arts Centre Melbourne’s Masterplan are supported by the Victorian Government as part of the $208 million first stage of the transformation of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

The precinct redevelopment will deliver NGV Contemporary, a new gallery on the current CUB administration building on Kavanagh Street, major upgrades to theatres and public spaces at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building, and a new creative hub at 1 City Road.

Read: Australia’s largest contemporary art gallery to be constructed in Melbourne

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: ‘The revitalised arts precinct will improve connections between Southbank’s existing facilities, create new jobs, opportunities and spaces for our creative community, and offer free, accessible cultural experiences for all Victorians.

‘This game-changing redevelopment of Southbank and the arts precinct will cement Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s cultural capital and grow and industry that supports 242,000 jobs and contributes $22 billion to Victoria’s economy annually.’

Claire Spencer, CEO, Arts Centre Melbourne said: ‘A reimagined Arts Centre Melbourne at the gateway to a seamlessly connected Melbourne Arts Precinct will solidify Melbourne’s point of difference and competitive advantage over interstate and international competitors, while ensuring we retain our international reputation as Australia’s busiest and best performing arts centre.’

2018 Drover Award Finalists Announced

Performing arts centres in Geelong, Orange, Geraldton and Bendigo have been announced as finalists in the 2018 Drover Awards.

The awards recognise excellence in the field of regional touring and acknowledge companies that are committed to delivering performances to millions of audience members in communities across Australia from Broome to Bendigo.
Winners will be announced on Thursday 6 September in the historic Pilbara town of Cossack at the closing celebration of the 32nd annual PAC Australia conference, Making Space.

Read: Finding common ground on red earth
Finalists for 2018 Drover Award: Performing Arts Centre of the Year
•         Capital Venues and Events – Bendigo
•         Geelong Performing Arts Centre
•         Queens Park Theatre – Geraldton
•         Orange Civic Theatre

Finalists for 2018 Drover Award: Tour of the Year
•         Circus Oz’s Model Citizens – Tour Producer: Circus Oz
•         Sensorium Theatre’s Oddysea – Tour Producer: Performing Lines WA
•         ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s Coranderrk – Tour Producer: Regional Arts Victoria
•         shake & stir’s Dracula – Tour Producer: shake & stir and arTour
•         CDP Theatre Producers’ Mr Stink – Tour Producer: CDP Theatre Producers

A third award, for the ‘Touring Legend’, recognises an outstanding contribution to performing arts touring in Australia determined by expert industry professionals sitting on the PAC Australia Board of Management. The winner of this award will be announced at the conference gala dinner.

2018 Inky Awards shortlist announced at Bendigo Writers Festival

A panel of nine teen judges have chosen the shortlist for the 2018 Inky Awards for young adult literature, announced at Bendigo Writers Festival.

This year’s shortlist includes 10 titles across two categories: the Gold Inky for Australian fiction and the Silver Inky for international fiction. The Gold Inky winner takes home a $2000 prize.

Centre for Youth Literature Reading and Literacy Development Manager Rebecca Henson said the shortlist was selected from a longlist of 20 novels which skillfully covered a range of themes including mental health, racism, LGBTI  issues and family dysfunction.

The Gold Inky winner will take home a $2000 prize.

‘With a longlist of such a high calibre it was a difficult challenge for the judges to select a shortlist for the Gold and Silver Inky Awards. The nine teens took the weight of this responsibility very seriously, debating their selection over many hours and showing an admirable dedication to the task,’Henson said.

2018 Gold Inky Awards Shortlist

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology edited by Danielle Binks (HarperCollins Publishers)
Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian (Text Publishing)
Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood (Pan Macmillan)
Paper Cranes Don’t Fly by Peter Vu (Ford Street Publishing)
In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Silver Inky Award Shortlist

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King (Text Publishing)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (HarperCollins)
Warcross by Marie Lu (Penguin Random House)
Release by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)

Voting closes on 16 September at 5.30pm EST and the winners will be announced at State Library Victoria on October 2.

Finalists for 2018 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize announced 

Telephone from the series ‘Invasion’. Image, Michael Cook.

Over 20 finalists have been announced for The Bowness Photography Prize, which aims to showcase contemporary photographic practice in Australia.

The prize has become an important survey of contemporary photographic practice and one of the most prestigious prizes in the country, providing Australian photographers with the opportunity to exhibit at one of Australia’s leading public galleries. 2017 saw two exciting developments with the prize becoming acquisitive and the cash prize awarded to the winner increased to $30,000 to ensure that the prize continues to provide a significant boost to a photographer’s career. 

The 2018 finalists are: 

Hoda Afshar, Robert Ashton, Sofi Basseghi, Alison Bennett, Devika Bilimoria, Tom Blachford, Aaron Bradbrook, Danica Chappell, Rowan Conroy, Michael Cook, Tamara Dean, Marian Drew, Thomas Edward, Amos Gebhardt, John Gollings, Linsey Gosper, Lee Grant, Janina Green, Ponch Hawkes, Hego, Petrina Hicks, Shelley Horan, Leah King-Smith, Katrin Koenning, Sandra Lamonaca, Mathew Lynn, Kirsten Lyttle, Isobel Markus-Dunworth, Ben McGee, Joseph McGlennon, Rod McNicol, Jacqueline Mitelman, Nasim Nasr, Polixeni Papapetrou, Matthew Portch, Clare Rae, Julie Rrap, Melissa Spiccia, Nathan Stolz, Natalya Stone, Ian Strange, Darren Sylvester, Samuel Szwarcbord, Cyrus Tang, Di Tang, Natalie Tirant, Justine Varga, James Verdon, Martin Walch, Amanda Williams and Anne Zahalka

This year’s judging panel included Dr Michael Brand, Director of AGNSW, artist Dr David Rosetzky and Anouska Phizacklea, Director of MGA.

Anouska Phizacklea commented: ‘With the removal of the size restrictions this year, we saw the emergence of even more diversity in photographic practice. Large scale works that extend for metres and installations that require an entire room to be built came into consideration. It’s incredibly exciting to provide a platform for artists to experiment, to feel free to explore the medium, to push it to its outer limits and to show us what it can and will become.’

Four Australian choreographers chosen for New Breed initiative

The choreographers who will take part in New Breed. Image: Supplied

An initiative created by Carriageworks and Sydney Dance Company will provide four talented contemporary dancers an opportunity work on a newly-commissioned dance piece, which will result in the performance program, New Breed 2018.

Choreographers Prue Lang (Melbourne), Katina Olsen (Sydney/Sunshine Coast), Holly Doyle (Sydney) and Janessa Dufty (Yamba) have been awarded the opportunity to create works for the acclaimed initiative that supports Australia’s next generation of dance-makers.

These four new works will comprise the New Breed 2018 season from 29 November to 8 December 2018. The New Breed initiative made its debut in November 2014, supporting five emerging Australian choreographers through the commissioning and presentation of new dance work. Four sold out seasons in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 ensued.

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