2013 Creative Fellowships Announced

The Sidney Myer Fund today announced it had awarded the 2013 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships to: documentary filmmaker Sophie Hyde;

theatre director Chris Kohn;

curator Marco Marcon;

composer Paul Stanhope;

writer Maria Tumarkin;

actor Matthew Whittet, and;

art and technology innovator, Danielle Wilde

To be nominated for a Fellowship, artists and thought leaders must be within seven and fifteen years into  their creative practice. The successful Fellows were chosen from a wide field on the basis of two criteria:  outstanding talent and exceptional professional courage. Each Fellow receives a grant of $160,000 over two years to enable them to fully focus on their creative practice.

Carrillo Gantner AO, Chairman of the Sidney Myer Trust:

"Sidney Myer was a passionate supporter of the arts as well as being a visionary philanthropist actively engaged in his community. The Fellowships support his belief that the arts are inseparable from everyday life, and that a rich society is one that expresses great creative spirit.

In 2011, the Sidney Myer Fund introduced the Fellowship program in his honour and to redress the impoverished livelihoods of most risk taking artists and thought leaders in this country. The Fellowships provide a period of economic security at a critical stage in their career – that moment when the future possibilities of our most talented and courageous creative thinkers can only be guessed at but never realised without time for sustained and inspired development."

The Fellowship program, which commenced in 2012, is one of the many initiatives of the Sidney Myer Fund to support the cultural life of Australia. In particular, the Fund believes individual artists are the life-blood of the arts sector and need direct support if they are to develop their practice.

Previous Fellowship recipients have included visual artists Brook Andrew and Gunybi Ganambaar, singer Katie Noonan, civil society activist Natasha Cica, and Sam Fox, a hybrid dance and theatre artist.

The selection panel for the 2013 Fellowships comprised:

• Carrillo Gantner AO (representing the Sidney Myer Fund Trustees)
• Sue Nattrass (representing the Sidney Myer Fund Arts and Humanities Committee)
• Sarah Neal (Head of Programming, Brisbane Powerhouse)
• Katrina Sedgwick (Head of Arts, ABC TV)
• Iain Grandage (composer and musician)
• Nicci Cumpston (Curator, Art Gallery of South Australia)
• Elisa Berg (Publisher)


Sophie Hyde – Filmmaker, SA

Hyde is a director and producer of highly crafted, provocative works of screen drama and documentary, often with artists as their subject. Her credits include the multiple award-winning Life in Movement and Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, which screened at Sundance and New York’s New Directors New Films Festival, and has been released across the US.

“Sophie’s is an intimate and immersive body of work which speak their stories from
within. Her choice of subjects and collaborative approach signals a unique talent
constantly testing inherited practice.”


Chris Kohn – Theatre Director, VIC

Kohn formed his reputation as the founder of the collaborative ensemble theatre company Stuck Pigs Squealing which toured nationally and internationally from 2000 with an acclaimed repertoire of bold and distinctive works. From 2008 until November, 2012 he was the Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Arena Theatre
Company creating new works aimed at young audiences.

“Chris has conceived and directed a body of work as impressive for its audacity as it
is for its generational influence. He is an artist of originality, craft and daring.”


Marco Marcon – Art Curator, WA

Italian-born Marcon emigrated to Australia in 1984. His contemporary arts centre, IASKA, based in the small town of Kellerberrin in WA was invited to present a project at the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Since 2009 he has developed spaced:art out of place into a recurring international event of socially engaged art.

“With philosophical rigor and outstanding curatorial skills, Marco has stretched ideological, aesthetic and geographic boundaries clearing the way for artists and communities to become indispensable to one another.”


Paul Stanhope – Composer, NSW

A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music in London, Stanhope is recognised as a leading composer of his generation with work performed regularly in Australia and internationally. In 2011 he won two APRA Awards for Instrumental Work of the Year and Vocal/Choral Work of the Year.

“It is Paul’s thematic choices which so often elevate his musical choices: the result is a deeply personal response to the world which he communicates profoundly.”


Maria Tumarkin – Writer, VIC

Tumarkin, who emigrated to Australia from the former Soviet Union in 1989 and holds a PhD from Melbourne University, is the author of three books: Traumascapes, Courage and Otherland, as well as numerous essays, research works and documentaries for Radio National.

“The depth of Maria’s moral, philosophical, psychological and political understanding is inspirational. She is an outstanding writer fearlessly exploring the voiceless subject through a sophisticated public discourse.”


Matthew Whittet – Actor, NSW

Since graduating from NIDA in 1997, Whittet has become one of independent theatre’s most powerful stage presences. His fearless physical and emotional dexterity has consistently inspired our most notable directors, including Barrie Kosky, Neil Armfield, Benedict Andrews, Rose Myers and Michael Kantor.

“Matt’s performances lead his audience to the very precipice of truth – frequently places of unbearable fragility, comic absurdity or confronting grotesquery. His recent writing for the stage further reinforces his potential as a leading voice in our future theatre.”


Danielle Wilde – Art & Technology Designer, VIC

With a PhD from Monash University and an MA from the Royal College of Art in London, Wilde works with world leaders and institutions in performance, media art, music technology, interaction design and robotics. She thinks, writes and builds innovative objects to understand how technology might work with the human body in
new forms of experience.

“A remarkable creative mind constantly daring itself, Danielle’s work challenges
convention with a distinctive playfulness and exacting rigor.”


The Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund thank the Danielle and Daniel Besen Foundation for their generous financial contribution to the 2013 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship program.