Flinders alumni scoop Helpmann honours

Flinders University graduates enjoyed a stellar night at the annual Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition, with nine Flinders alumni receiving the highest accolades.

At the exhibiton, Flinders graduates Oakey (BCreatArts(VisArts) ’19, BCreatArts(Hons) ’20) and Anika Gardner (BCreatArts(VisArts) ’20) were awarded George Street Studios Residency, which will see them both join the Thebarton studio in a year-long residency, commencing during February 2022.

Tony Rosella from George Street Studios and residency recipient Oakey at the 2022 Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition Opening Night. Photo by Russell Millard.

Oakey, an emerging sculptor, is looking forward to having the space and time to expand her practice in new and exciting ways.

“Having a 12-month residency enables me to have the time to really get settled into the space,” says Oakey. “My aim this year is to expand on my woodwork and metalwork knowledge, learning new skills and pushing myself to dream big in what I can achieve with the materials.

“Having a large space to work in suits my practice and I’m looking forward to learning new skills on some of the workshop machinery.”

Oakey will be joined by Anika Gardner, who will use the studio space to fabricate a design co-created with artist Amber Cronin for the landmark Helpmann Academy Major Public Art Commission for the Goolwa Wharf Precinct.

Anika says she’s excited to be joining the community of artists at George Street. “It’s such an incredible opportunity,” says Anika. “I’ve always respected and admired the work that has come out of George Street and think it is one of Adelaide’s best artist residencies due to its supportive environment and wide range of tools, skills and expertise on offer. I can’t wait to have the space to dedicate my time fully to my practice.”

Anika Gardner (left) and Amber Cronin

Anika also won the Helpmann Academy Major Public Art Commission for the Goolwa Wharf Precinct. Anika and fellow artist Amber Cronin won the $150,000 commission to complete an artwork exploring the themes of family and connectedness, which will be installed on the Goolwa Wharf in March 2023.

“This opportunity is a rare chance to create something on such a large scale,” says Anika. “It’s going to be such a wonderful learning curve as I work with Amber, Cedric and Tony from George Street Studios to deliver the work. I’m beyond excited to further my understanding of public art and create a work that brings Ngarrindjeri stories to the forefront.”

The Commonwealth Private Undergraduate Award, which is the top undergraduate award that recognises an artist with a promising future, was awarded to Cecilia Tizard. Cecilia also received the Helpmann Academy/ACE Open Studio Residency Award, which offers a 12-month studio residency at contemporary art space ACE Open.

Holly Phillipson received the Lang/McKee Award that recognises artistic excellence and talent. Holly also received the inaugural Square Holes Award, which will have Holly’s work included in the Square Holes art collection.

The McHugh Award for artistic excellence and talent was awarded to Susie Althorp (BCreatArts(Hons) ’21), and Emily Megaw received the David Hayden Professional Development Award, to help her purchase materials and supplies.

Ashleigh Keller was recognised for artistic excellence and talent with the Peter Walker/Helpmann Advancement Award, and also received the SALA Award, which provides premium registration for the 2022 SALA Festival.

Mark Jones and Ellis Moseley. Photo by Russell Millard.

Ellis Moseley was awarded a 12-month residency at the 215 Magill Studios, which gives him access to a growing community of creative practitioners and artists, as well as providing an artistic scape to develop his own skill set. Ellis says he’s looking forward to connecting with the wide range of skilled studio tenants at 215 Magill Studios.

“I’m particularly interested in expanding my knowledge of ceramic techniques and object construction. Through relationships with the resident expert object makers and ceramic artists, I hope to continue developing approaches that will test the boundaries of both ceramic material and my practice,” says Ellis.

“While I’m at 215 Magill, I will develop a body work for an exhibition in 2022. I also hope to finish my residency with strong friendships and new technical skills that will allow me to expand my practice into areas that would not be possible without this opportunity.”

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