This exhibition marks a step-change in the status of the students who are exhibiting, and are on the cusp of moving into practice. The Honours and Masters programs represented in this exhibition are recognised gateways into practice, industry or higher levels of study; a badge of honour. Completion represents the emergence of new and unique artistic identities, formed through rigorous critique, sophisticated innovation and an immersion in practice. This has been achieved through significant hard work: by the artists, their supervisors and the many support staff across the programs. My sincere thanks, and congratulations to them all.
In the School of Art at RMIT University we pride ourselves in achieving outcomes that not only prepare for, but enhance the future careers of our graduates. ‘Work ready’ is a term often used to describe these qualities; with our graduates seen as future leaders, or indeed shapers of the ‘world of work’.
But what do we mean by the term ‘work’ in the field of contemporary art? Do we mean the artworks themselves; or, work as practice? Is this a Marxist working for the good of society; or, supplying a Capitalist art market that supports artists’ and gallerists’ livelihoods? Do we mean work undertaken in the wider ‘creative industries’, an increasingly recognised and valued dimension of the national economy; or, in cottage industries - local, often not for profit communities that develop their own models of exchange and sustainability.
We are seeing increasing interest across all sectors in the skills developed by our elite graduates in the service of their discipline. A recent report by Deloitte on the future of work states:
New capabilities are needed for new jobs of the future. Lifelong education and training for all Australians needs to prepare both young and old for new and different jobs and employment models. Automation, robotics and artificial intelligence are heightening the importance of skills in creativity, problem solving, advanced reasoning, complex judgement, social interaction and emotional intelligence. […]
In these regards, the creative sector is expected to become increasingly important as a contributor to the national economy and the job market. Existing and new jobs are likely to require a creative approach to perform non-routine tasks and solve problems, while future workers are likely to appreciate an opportunity to act creatively. (Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 – The Australian Cut)
Copper etching on Hahnemuhle, installation view, details and individual panels. Photos: James Maher
Similarly, a 2016 Foundation for Young Australians report found that the proportion of (Australian) jobs that demand digital literacy has increased by 212%, critical thinking by 158%, creativity by 65% and presentation skills by 25% (Foundation for Young Australians, The New Basics, 2016). Given the centrality of critical thinking and creativity in the advanced studies of these students, their capacity to engage with the future world of work seems assured.
Our RMIT University School of Art 2019 graduates have each identified their particular response to the ‘work’ required of them in their first calling, as emerging artists. They are noteworthy, deserving of honourable mention, having achieved a depth of understanding of the field of contemporary art as well as excellence in both their individual practice and contribution to this shared field. This exhibition is witness to the next generation of artists, who will challenge current assumptions, adapt to the opportunities of ever changing media and continue to rewrite both their own practice and re-assert the work that artists do.
These are finely tuned minds, going out to rethink the world through art. This, too, is no small undertaking. As the German philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt said: “There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.” Whether they continue to explore their chosen field as contemporary artists, adept in working with danger, or in the wider frames of society that are similarly calling for risk takers, through their ability to innovate, inquire and re-imagine, we wish them every success. Congratulations to each of you, and good wishes for your future.
Professor Kit Wise
Associate Dean, Fine Art
The School of Art community would like to express their congratulations to our graduating students from each of the programs for for the level of ambition throughout this graduation exhibition. Without the determination, resourcefulness and perseverance of our students, the School of Art would not be the remarkable community that it is today.
Therefore, the students from the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Honours Program, Bachelor of Arts (Photography) Honours Program and Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) are to be commended in this graduation event.
Further, the academic staff who have supported these students should be acknowledged for their commitment, energy and enthusiasm, along with their capacity to impart critical and specialised knowledge to a variety of fields of art practice.
Professor Julian Goddard, Dean of the School of Art, and Professor Kit Wise, Associate Dean, Fine Art, foster creativity within our programs and School through the provision of exceptional support and enthusiasm for our students.
And in turn, the students and academic staff are supported by exceptional teams of technical staff who ceaselessly provide guidance, information and technical understanding across various specialised fields of practice.
Finally, the administrative staff of the School equally afford outstanding support and guidance for all students in the School community.
Each year the School is fortunate to be able to provide several awards for overseas travel and studio residencies. Therefore, on behalf of our students the School community would also like to thank:
- Jeremy Kibel and Yasmin Nguyen, Directors of Blockprojects Gallery, for their ongoing and generous support of the Leipzig International Art Programme studio residency in Germany.
- Anna-Louise Rolland, Managing Director and Curator of the Leipzig International Art Program, for her ongoing support of the graduate studio residency
- The Australian Embassy in Berlin for their ongoing support of an annual exhibition developed by the Leipzig International Art Programme resident
- Jaedon and Mejoung Shin, our generous supporters of the Seoul studio residency in South Korea
- Sangmyung University for their ongoing support of an annual exhibition developed by the Seoul studio resident
- Jason Ramos, Director of Eastside International Los Angeles (ESXLA) for his ongoing support of the graduate studio residency
- Project Eleven for their ongoing and generous support of the Yogyakarta studio in Indonesia
The School would also like to acknowledge the active and energetic assistance of Andrew Tetzlaff, coordinator and curator of INTERSECT in the School of Art, in organising and managing the process of awarding the overseas residencies to our students. Andrew is equally acknowledged for his coordination of additional graduate residency opportunities at RMIT SITUATE artist in residence studios. INTERSECT’s Verity Hayward has equally and enthusiastically supported the organisation and management of these residencies.
The School community would also like to thank the professional support and generosity of the members of the 2018 Selection Committee for our Travelling Grants and overseas Studio Residency Awards:
- Brooke Babington, curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art
- Bridie Lunney, artist and artistic director at BLINDSIDE
- Chloë Powell, curator at Craft Victoria and co-director of Radiant Pavilion
- Representatives from Blockprojects gallery and Niagara Gallery
- Andrew Tetzlaff, curator and representative of the School’s INTERSECT program
- Verity Haywood, curator and representative of INTERSECT of the School’s INTERSECT program
Catalogue site design and development: James Ratsasane
Editing: Academic staff and the artists
Photography: the artists and James Maher, School of Art
The catalogue for the 2018 RMIT School of Art Masters and Honours Graduate Exhibition is a collaboration between the School of Art and the School of Design, both Schools from the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University.
Dr Noel Waite, Senior Lecturer and Program Manager of the Master of Communication Design generously agreed to work with the School of Art on this project. James Ratsasane is a graduate of the Master of Communication Design.
James Maher from the School of Art Digital Team generously agreed to assist with photography.
Awards and Grants
The School of Art has a long tradition and focus on international engagement, and therefore the awards available to our students are specifically aimed to assist our graduates to build international experiences into their practice and emerging careers. The following awards are conferred on those graduands who demonstrate outstanding art practices and academic achievement:
The School of Art Honours
The School of Art Honours Travelling Grants were established with the aim of supporting Honours graduates from the School. The recipient will receive $4000 to travel to a destination of their choice and continue their artistic research and practice overseas.
Recipients: Paddy Hay and Sara Retallick
The School of Art Honours
and MFA Residencies
Leipzig Residency, Germany
This residency award is for a twelve-week studio residency from March to May 2019 at the Leipzig International Art Programme [LIA], located in the historic and thriving Spinnerei art complex in Leipzig, Germany. This residency will also potentially include an exhibition at the Australian Embassy in Berlin. This award is generously supported by Blockprojects Gallery (Melbourne), the Leipzig International Art Programme and the Australian Embassy in Berlin. The recipient will receive the following: return airfares from Melbourne, accommodation, residency space and a stipend of $100 per week.
Recipient: Jordan Grant
Los Angeles Residency, USA
This residency award is for a twelve-week studio residency in 2019 at Eastside International Los Angeles (ESXLA), located in the Brewery art colony complex in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. This award has been generously supported by Eastside International Los Angeles. The recipient will receive the following: return airfares from Melbourne, accommodation, residency space and a stipend of $100 per week.
Recipient: Keith Clancy
Melbourne Residency, RMIT SITUATE
RMIT INTERSECT will run multiple SITUATE studio residencies across the 2019 year. These awards are for a thirteen-week studio residency at the RMIT SITUATE studio complex, located in the RMIT City Campus in Melbourne.
This residency will also potentially include an exhibition in SPARE ROOM gallery or the LIGHTSCAPES. These recipients will receive an inner-city studio space at RMIT for the duration of the residency as well as potential access to RMIT facilities and services.
Recipients: Isabel Buck and Rosie Gunzberg
Seoul Residency, South Korea
This residency award is for an eight-week studio residency in 2019 at a private studio in Seoul, South Korea. This residency will also potentially include an exhibition at the Sangmyung University Gallery, Space Zero Gallery. This award has been generously supported by Jaedon and Mejoung Shin and Sangmyung University, Seoul. The recipient will receive the following: return airfares from Melbourne, accommodation, residency space and a stipend of $100 per week.
Recipient: Joshua Peters
Yogyakarta Residency, Indonesia
This residency award is for an eight-week studio residency in 2019 at a newly developed residency studio space in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This award has been generously supported by Project Eleven. The recipient will receive the following: return airfares from Melbourne, accommodation, residency space and a stipend of $100 per week.
Recipient: Lauren Herbison
Alternating Current Artspace Honours
Graduate Student Exhibition Award
The Alternating Current Artspace Award comprises an invitation to be part of a curated exhibition involving three selected graduates at Alternating Current Artspace
Recipient: Clara Murphy
Ackowledegement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where it conducts its business.