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Apply for the 2024 Rupert Bunny Fellowship

Published 8 April 2024

Luna’s Welcome Mask (160.93 x 107.29 cm. Print on metal 2023) by Dr Lisa Anderson

Applications for the 2024 Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship are now open with local artists encouraged to apply for the $30,000 acquisitive award.

The biennial fellowship supports professional artistic development and celebrates excellence in contemporary visual arts.

Divercity spoke to Dr Lisa Anderson who shared their experience receiving the Rupert Bunny Fellowship in 2022.

“It was an honour as the Rupert Bunny is quite prestigious,” Dr Anderson said. “It shifts a lot of things for an artist when they get that kind of recognition, and it gave me a lot of confidence."

“Being the Rupert Bunny Fellow is a foot in the door. It’s a way to grab attention, and then everyone wants to know what you’re doing with the fellowship.”

Dr Anderson was awarded the fellowship for a multimedia, visual arts project, Beguiling, which was recently exhibited at the Victorian Pride Centre from November 2023 to January 2024.

As a member of the LGBTIQA+ community, Dr Anderson said it was important to be recognised within the pride community.

“The Pride Centre is a fabulous space, but it’s also an open public space and it meant a lot to me that so many people saw the exhibition and engaged with it.”

Beguiling is an evocative, multimedia exploration of changing landscapes and environmental collapse, casting an important spotlight on our approach to the ongoing climate emergency.

Dr Anderson's photographs hint at the measures we use in the doomsday clock made by scientists to demonstrate human impacts on Earth.

While the Beguiling exhibition is over, one neon sculpture, Aurora: Dawn, is still on display in the Pride Centre’s foyer area. Another Beguiling piece, Aurora: Dawn #2 (neon), has been selected for the prestigious Blake Prize in Sydney.

Dr Lisa Anderson with her work, Aurora: Dawn. Photograph by Luke David.

Dr Anderson said one of the unexpected outcomes of Beguiling was having the exhibition promoted in a news article by Broadsheet.

“It was listed as one of the top 10 things to do over the summer. So, it was me next to the NGV and that’s pretty cool!”

As Dr Anderson’s artistic career continues to thrive, the 2022 Rupert Bunny Fellow shared some advice for artists looking to apply for the 2024 Fellowship.

“People should apply if they are connected to the Port Phillip area and want to talk about that connection in some way,” Dr Anderson said. “Don’t worry if you aren’t an established artist as it’s about the strength of your projects.”

Dr Anderson, now affectionately referred to as a “Bunny” along with other fellowship alumni, said joining the community of fellowship recipients continues to be rewarding for her career.

“Receiving the fellowship is a great way of connecting and entering into an artistic dialogue with a broader community and that within itself is extremely valuable.”

“The sharing of ideas has been really beneficial and the help along the way and connections made, including those through Council, becomes quite important as it’s all about creating community.”

Dr Anderson is currently the Artist in Residence for the Abbotsford Convent and has an upcoming project Searching for the Ghosts of Desire showing soon. Dr Anderson also looks forward to exhibiting another project in Sorrento’s &Gallery in December.

History of the Rupert Bunny Fellowship

Rupert Bunny, The Forerunners (detail) c 1894. Oil on linen, 129 cm x 229 cm

In 1991 a fire swept through St Kilda Town Hall destroying part of the building and its contents. A number of artworks were damaged including The Forerunners by Rupert Bunny – a significant and valuable painting.

In the spirit of the contribution Rupert Bunny made to the visual arts, the insurance funds from the painting were used to establish the Rupert Bunny Foundation.

The Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship was established in 2005 and aims to support contemporary visual artists with an identifiable commitment to visual arts excellence.

Applications for the 2024 Rupert Bunny Fellowship close on Monday 20 May at 5 PM. For more information, visit our Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship webpage.

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