Exhibition News

Caitlin Street is the winner of the 2005 ANZ Visual Arts Fellowship Award

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Published Saturday, August 6, 2005

Now is its 10th year, the ANZ Visual Arts Fellowship award is an annual prize open to final year postgraduate Art students from the Victorian College of the Arts. Through the $10,000 award, the ANZ aims to provide financial support to young artists following their postgraduate study, during the early part of their professional career.
Caitlin's statement about the winning work:
‘Nova’d’ stems from the swelling cultural phenomenon of fame at any cost. Using techniques developed for my 2004 exhibition In the back of my mind, it ponders the fleeting reality of fame, the motivations of those that seek to be stars, and those who seek to maintain the receding brightness of the star of yesteryear. Do concepts such as fame evolve from our awareness of our own demise and removal? Does it perform a spiritual function? Are there relationships between Icon and brand? And do the remnants of diminished fame bear any trace of the individual?

I took the opportunity to talk to Caitlin about her work while she was taking her turn minding the exhibition in the magnificent Cathedral Room in the ANZ (Old Stock Exchange) building in Collins Street. Looking around the gallery it was interesting to note that the majority of entries were based on photographic media.

Nova’d is a fabricated word that the artist chose for its suggestive rather than prescriptive properties and if you think of Nova and Star then you’re probably on track. At first the work seems strange – a copper shrine or altar piece, with a linen cloth obscuring the image behind it. The cloth is torn and stained – up close you can see the faint outline of the image on the cloth itself, something like a shroud and the use of layers to obscure the image is in this instance very effective.

To view the image clearly you need to stand to one side and there behind the linen layer is a photographic image – enlarged from the original postcard of a once famous West End actress Marie Studholme. While the work invites the viewer to consider the illusions of media generated cult of today’s celebrities we are also reminded how yesterday’s are also so quickly forgotten. The work also raises questions about the permanence of the work itself, which assuming it was not especially preserved, would in a century or two be reduced to the simple copper shell that supports the photograph. In some ways the work reflects the concerns of the Dutch and Flemish artists with their exquisite still life paintings reminding us all of the futility of vanity, currently on display at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Caitlin Street’s developing arts practice has grown from 25 years as a press/commercial photographer. She works through an ongoing theme of 'multiplicities of reality', especially with regard to memory. She uses a diverse variety of materials, from copper to fabric, glass to video, as carriers the images created photographically. She was recently commissioned to produce her work, 'Fabricator', for the upcoming 'Experimenta-Vanishing Point' touring exhibition.

Caitlin Street's Nova'd Sanja Pahoki Up in the Sky

Caitlin currently teaches digital photography at the C.A.E. while she completes a Masters of Visual Art course at V.C.A.

Alumni of the VCA School of Art have included many of Australia’s most distinguished artists including Arthur Boyd, Ricky Swallow, Bill Henson, Peter Booth, Howard Arkley and Patricia Piccinini. ANZ and the VCA believe that the Visual Arts Fellowship will provide young artists with an important early boost so they too can reach the standards of their distinguished predecessors.

Previous Winners of ANZ Fellowship
2005 - Caitlin Street
2004 – Stephen Haley
2003 – Viveka Marksjo
2002 – Adrian Kellett
2001 – Leah Schnaars
2000 – joint winners – Clare Firth-Smith and Annalea Beattie
1999 – joint winners – Susan Jacobs and Mark Hilton
1998 – David Ralph
1997 – Pilar Rojas
1996 – Chris Barry

You can visit the ANZ Visual Arts Fellowship Award, exhibition at:
9.30am–4pm Mon-Fri
Wednesday 3 August to Friday 26 August
ANZ Cathedral Room
380 Collins Street

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