Artists selected for Rockhampton Museum of Art commissions

Published on 05 February 2021

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Three Central Queensland artists have been commissioned to create artworks that will be unveiled at the new Rockhampton Museum of Art this year.

Belynda (Bindi) Waugh from Yarwun, Veronika Zeil from Rockyview and Karen Stephens from Winton were selected after an expression of interest process that saw more than 20 artists from throughout the wider Central Queensland community  apply.

Each will undertake a $10,000 commission to create their artworks, funded by a grant received by Rockhampton Art Gallery from the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund (RAF).

The commissioned artists were assessed from a public call out, by a panel of Central Queensland art workers, bringing together the skills and knowledge of Cameron Curd, Manager & Curator, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum, Tracey Heathwood, Director Artspace Mackay, and Bianca Acimovic, Gallery Director, Rockhampton Art Gallery.

The artwork commissions are designed to encapsulate the artists’ practices and respond to the architecture of the newly developed Rockhampton Museum of Art building, creating artworks that are engaging, relevant, inclusive and interdisciplinary.

The three commissioned artists will work with Rockhampton Museum of Art curatorial and exhibitions staff to foster both conceptual and practical development for the new artwork commissions.

The resulting artworks will be showcased as part of one of the opening exhibitions at Rockhampton Museum of Art in late 2021.

Artists from the following regions were eligible to apply: Rockhampton, Livingstone, Gladstone, Banana, Woorabinda, Central Highlands, Isaac, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Longreach, Winton, Barcoo, Diamantina and Boulia.

Rockhampton Regional Council Community Services spokesperson Cr Drew Wickerson said the commissions will contribute to a lively, accessible, genuine and welcoming atmosphere of Rockhampton Museum of Art

“I would like to congratulate Belynda (Bindi) Waugh, Veronika Zeil and Karen Stephens on being selected for these commissions, and I look forward to seeing their work in Rockhampton Museum of Art,” Cr Wickerson said.

“Rockhampton Art Gallery threw the net widely with this artist opportunity to ensure that artists who work in the wider region were at the forefront of Rockhampton Museum of Art and are represented during the opening celebrations,” he said.

“This commissioning process significantly values the professional practices of artists from Central Queensland region, and ensures that artists living and working in the region are at the heart of Rockhampton Museum of Art,” he said.

“In these economically uncertain times, these commissions will be a welcome financial injection into the Central Queensland arts community,” Cr Wickerson said.

Belynda (Bindi) Waugh said:

“I am delighted to be chosen for the commission and the opportunity to present work in a brand new museum with support from a curator will most certainly become a  significant milestone in my development as an artist.”

Veronika Zeil said:

“It is an absolute privilege to be one of the regional artists chosen for the Rockhampton Museum of Art place-making art commissions. Artists generally work in solitude and actively search out opportunities for critical feedback and collegial interaction to challenge their concepts and refine their artwork. This commission will engage selected artists to work on large scale, site-specific projects sensitive to the new Rockhampton Museum of Art building as well as to history of place. Creating new work with the support of the highly skilled curatorial and technical team at Rockhampton Museum of Art will integrate upskilling of regional artists with critical engagement with specialists and community. This generously funded project offers a platform for exhibition and cultural exchange inviting critical discussions and inspiring new perspectives.“ 

 Karen Stephens said:

“I’m thrilled to be chosen as one of three artists to produce artwork commissions at the new Rockhampton Museum of Art. Living far remote to develop my professional practice is a radical existence that comes with challenges. I’m often unseen by the wider arts community also. Designing a commission-based artwork to enhance the architecture of the new museum is an exciting next level career opportunity and I’m grateful to the funders of this project - Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, Flying Arts Alliance Inc and Rockhampton Regional Council. This opportunity will widen professional development opportunity, generate employment and places value on artists living and working in regional Queensland. I’m looking forward to the collaboration.”

The Regional Arts Fund (RAF) is an Australian Government program designed to benefit regional and remote arts practitioners, arts workers, audiences and communities. The fund is provided through Regional Arts Australia and is administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.

Flying Arts is an arts and cultural development organisation which has been delivering visual arts projects and services to regional and remote Queensland since 1971. The Association has played a significant role in inspiring artists and communities, as well as helping to overcome the impacts of regional isolation and remote living.

Rockhampton Museum of Art is funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and through the Building Our Regions program; and Rockhampton Regional Council.