Canberra artists honoured in OzCo awards

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Vivienne Binns.

BOTH present-day and former Canberra artists feature prominently in this year’s $25,000 Australia Council Awards, announced today, April 19, by federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher. 

Veteran Canberra visual artist, Vivienne Binns, was the recipient of the $25,000 Australia Council Award for Visual Arts for a career that spans more than 60 years. She has worked primarily as a painter, although it is an installation work by Binns which is showing in the NGA’s current show, “Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now”.

Binns was praised by the council for having continually experimented and, alongside her painting practice, having embraced the mediums of printmaking, performance, sculpture and drawing, as well as for having made an outstanding contribution to Australian art, particularly in regard to feminist and community art.

Sue Healey. Photo: Wendell Todoro.

Sue Healey, now living in NSW, who wins the 2021 Australia Council Award for Dance, was director of the company Vis-a-Vis Dance Canberra from 1993-1995 and has been closely associated with Liz Lea’s “BOLD” festival and local dancers through her dance film-making.

Chelsea McGuffin, who wins the Australia Council Award for Theatre, originally trained in dance at The National Capital Ballet School under Janet Karin, then went on to co-found CIRCA Contemporary Circus in Brisbane.

Chelsea McGuffin. Photo: Rob Blackburn.

And musician William Barton, who has featured on the “CityNews” cover in the past week as a performer in the coming Canberra International Music Festival, wins the Australia Council Don Banks Music Award.

Arnold Zable from Victoria wins the Australia Council Lifetime Achievement in Literature, Cat Jones from NSW wins the Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Arts and Cultural Development, and Marianne Wobcke from Queensland wins the Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community, Arts and Cultural Development.

William Barton. Photo: Keith Saunders.

The $10,000 Kirk Robson Award recognising a young artist or arts worker demonstrating outstanding leadership in community arts and cultural development, has gone to Mama Alto from Victoria.

The peer-nominated awards recognise outstanding and sustained contributions in music, literature, community arts and cultural development, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre and dance.

In lieu of a physical awards event, this year’s recipients will be showcased in a series of online presentations which will be streamed on the Australia Council today, April 19, here.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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