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Fiona Foley and Julie Ewington receive the 2013 Visual Arts Awards

Feb 27, 2014

Fiona Foley. Credit: Mick Richards

Announced today, the recipients of the prestigious Australia Council Visual Art Awards for 2013 are artist Fiona Foley and curator Julie Ewington. The Australia Council and CEO Tony Grybowski will celebrate the awards with Fiona, Julie, their friends and peers Brisbane at the Powerhouse Museum on March 26.

The Australia Council Visual Arts Awards are given each year to acknowledge and honour the exceptional achievements of Australian artists and arts administrators who have made and are continuing to make an outstanding contribution to the development of the Australian art sector.

Fiona Foley creates work across media that deal with history, identity and personal signification.

Throughout her career, Foley has engaged issues of indigenous identity on a regional, national and international level, creating a dialogue with artists and communities here and around the world. Last year Foley was invited by Michael Walling, Director of the Origins Festival of First Nations to give the Key Note Address in London. In all her work, she insists the viewer re-examine historical stereotypes.

In 2011 she was appointed an Adjunct Professor with the University of Queensland. Her essay, ‘When the Circus Came to Town’ was published in the November issue of Art Monthly. And in 2009-10, the University of Queensland Art Museum and Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art co-curated a survey exhibition of Fiona Foley’s work, titled Forbidden.

She has many major public sculpture work such as Bible and Bullets, at Redfern Park, Sydney (2008); Black Opium, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane (2009). Fiona recently had a retrospective at Andrew Baker Gallery as well as a show at CAST in Tasmania, and was included in the Australia at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and unDisclosed – 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial, and shows at Niagara Galleries both in 2012.

Julie Ewington is a well respected curator, writer and broadcaster specialising in contemporary art. She commenced working at Queensland Art Gallery in January 1997, as Curator of Australian Art to 1970, and was appointed Head of Australian Art, with responsibility for Contemporary Art, in 2001. In 2008 she was appointed Curatorial Manager, Australian Art, and currently heads a team working on all aspects of Australian art from European colonisation to the present.

Ewington is an expert on contemporary Southeast Asian art as well as contemporary Australian work, and contributed to the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 1996, 1999 and 2002 as a curator, as a member of the Curatorium for APT 5 in 2006-07, as a curator for Australian artists for APT 6 in 2009, and again on aspects of the APT in 2012.

Julie Ewington curated the Gallery’s 2005 solo exhibition for Fiona Hall and wrote the monograph on the artist published by Piper Press; she was lead curator for Contemporary Australia: Optimism in 2008  and Contemporary Australia: Women in 2012, both major exhibitions at the Gallery of Modern Art in a new triennial series.