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The Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with the Biennale of Sydney announces the Nick Waterlow OAM Curatorial Fellowship.

The fellowship, announced today at a lunch held to honour the Australian and international artists and collaborators in this year’s 17th Biennale of Sydney, will be awarded to a young curator to be mentored by the Artistic Director of the Biennale over the two-year exhibition cycle.

The Fellow will work with the Artistic Director and exhibition team in the planning, administration, programming and delivery of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney. It’s a two-year full time fellowship position, providing a wonderful opportunity to be mentored by an international curator.

“The Australia Council and the Biennale of Sydney wanted to honour the contribution that Nick made to both organisations,” said Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council. “Importantly, we wished do this in a way that would continue his legacy and celebrate Nick’s extraordinary commitment to Australian and international contemporary visual arts and curatorial practice.”

Nick Waterlow was the Artistic Director of the 1979 Biennale of Sydney, European Dialogue, before working three and half years as the Director of the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Board. An inspirational director, Nick was instrumental in establishing the pre-cursor to Artslaw, and was a powerful advocate for the moral rights of artists.

Nick later returned to the Biennale of Sydney, curating two further Biennales in 1986 and 1988. He continued to maintain his association, including chairing the Biennale selection committee in 2000.

He had an unyielding commitment and dedication to the arts. Only a fortnight before his untimely death last November, Nick was actively engaged with the Visual Arts Board in evaluating the current visual arts and craft strategy.

Reflecting on Nick Waterlow, Professor Ted Snell, Chair of the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Board said, “While his accomplishments are legion, he wore them lightly. He was always enthused by the ideas and projects of others, always gracious when offering assistance to younger artists, always supporting and promoting Australian art and always prepared to take a stand.”

“He was the quintessential mentor, the consummate curator, the always excitable and provocative conversationalist, a great museum director, a wily arts bureaucrat, a catalyst to every good idea and an inspiration to us all.”

“In its spirit as in its name, this is very much the Nick Waterlow Fellowship.”

Full details for the Nick Waterlow OAM Fellowship, including the application process, deadlines and criteria will be released in July. For Kathy Keele’s speech launching the fellowship at the 17th Biennale of Sydney click here

Media contact: Cameron Woods, 02 9215 9030, 0412 686 548



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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