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Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund Awards $240,000 in Fellowships

BY Copyright Agency | 28-Nov-2019
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has awarded three life-changing fellowships, valued at $80,000 each, in support and celebration of Australia’s writers and visual artists and the creation of new Australian works
Copyright Agencys Cultural Fund Awards $240,000 in Fellowships
Visual Artist Danielle Freakley Self Portrait
Pic Credit Danielle Freakly
The Fellowships have been awarded to writers Stephen Orr and James Bradley, and artist Danielle Freakley.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “Our Cultural Fund Fellowships provide important financial support for mid-career and established Australian authors and artists at a time when funding has been proven to be more challenging to attain than ever.

“The Fellowships recognise the creative endeavours that enrich and promote Australia’s literary and arts communities, and affords the Fellows the time and space to create important new works.

“A tremendous example of the Fellowship working well can be seen with the wonderful success of Melissa Lucashenko’s Too Much Lip, which was written during her Fellowship year in 2017. Too Much Lip won this year’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award and recently won a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for a work of state significance.”

“This year’s three peer panels noted the great difficulty in selecting the winning Fellows due to the high-calibre of applications received. This is a direct reflection of the rich and diverse talent of the Australian creative sector, and demonstrates the importance of funding for Australian writers and artists,” adds Mr Suckling.

Full details of the Fellowships are:

• Author Fellowship: Adelaide writer Stephen Orr, for his work The Journey, which will be a fictionalised reimagining of pastor Carl Strehlow and his fourteen-year-old son, Theodor, as they travel through the South Australian desert. Orr will examine the country, the Indigenous people and the history of the Lutheran missions, and explore the nature of hope, and the danger of good intentions.

• Fellowship for Non-Fiction Writing: Author and critic James Bradley, for Deep Water, a series of interconnected essays that will offer an engaging portrait of the catastrophe taking place in our oceans, from plastic pollution to warming waters. It will probe not just the way we imagine the ocean, but also pose a series of much larger questions about our relationship with the natural world, time and extinction.

• Fellowship for a Visual Artist: Danielle Freakley will make the virtual-reality piece, “Imagine Your Friends”, which will be exhibited in a solo exhibition at the performance space HERE Art Centre in New York. Freakley’s recent artworks on parasocial relationships have been exhibited at the Tate, Liverpool Biennial, Seychelles Biennial, Kunstahalle Zurich and others. The new digital work she is proposing widely questions imaginary friend function throughout history and in current everyday lives offline and online.

Stephen Orr says receiving the Fellowship has boosted his confidence and reassured him that his work is worthwhile.

“A writer’s life is defined by a lot of rejection, and insecurity (of various types), so I’m excited by the prospect of being able to get on with a major project without worrying about the bills,” he explains.

“Our country is focused on economic goals and productivity, to the detriment of creativity. The feeling that someone values your ideas, and potential, is something that all creative people need from time to time. This Fellowship will allow me to test the limits of what I can do creatively,” Mr Orr says.

The recipient of the Fellowship for Non-Fiction Writing, James Bradley, says the money will give him the freedom to be more adventurous.

“It’s completely transformative. Although I’ve been thinking about this project for a long time, the scale of it has always held me back. The Fellowship will give me the assistance I need to do the necessary travel and research, but it will also give me the freedom to do the deep-dive into the material the subject demands, and to work at a pace that matches the speed in which the area is moving,” Dr Bradley Says.

Visual artist Danielle Freakley says it is phenomenal the Copyright Agency offers this Fellowship, investing back in the creative industry, making such a huge impact. The fellowship will enable her to create work to the highest standard to be shown internationally.

The Copyright Agency’s members commit 1.5% of revenue every year to the Cultural Fund for vital grants to enhance the profile of Australian writers and artists and to support our dynamic writing, publishing and visual arts sectors.

This is in addition to the more than $115 million in copyright licence fees the Copyright Agency pays to publishers, writers, visual artists and surveyors every year, which makes a significant contribution to sustaining Australian storytelling.