Modern Australian


  • Written by Teresa Lane
Seven Australian Artists have the chance to win a trip to Scotland valued at $21,000.

Glenfiddich is proud to announce the finalists for its Australian Artist in Residence Contest. It is the first time the Contest has been opened to Australian residents who were welcome to use any array of mediums which include, but are not limited to print, photography, animation, performance and installation.

The judges were so impressed with the calibre of entrants they have selected seven finalists instead of the original planned total of five.

The artwork of the seven finalists will be displayed at the Glenfiddich pop-up bar at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair from September 10-13, held at Carriageworks in Eveleigh.

Glenfiddich Artist in Residence curator Andy Fairgrieve will be in Sydney and lead by a team of judges from the Sydney Contemporary International Art Fair Advisory Council, including renowned Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, former Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull AO, Sue Kato, Mark Hughes, Nick Tobias, Dr Gene Sherman and Evan Williams to decide who will take out the coveted prize of the first Australian winner of the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Contest.

The coveted prize will grant one lucky Australian artist the opportunity to live and work for three months at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, valued at $21,000. The family owned company first made Glenfiddich in 1887 and since that time, has developed into an ardent supporter for innovation and the arts.

Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Curator Andy has handled every detail of the Artists in Residence prize since its inception in 2002. As curator, he understands the creative thought process and is able to visualise not only the artists’ proposed pieces but the path needed to turn it into a reality. Andy has mentored over 100 artists through the Dufftown Distillery doors since the Residence began, and each one of them always sees the distillery with fresh eyes.

The seven Australian finalists include:

Cameron Robbins

Based in Melbourne, Cameron Robbins studied at RMIT and Victorian College of the Arts, and has been working as a professional artist for over 26 years. He draws his inspiration from landscape, the natural forces of energy, and our cultural and scientific responses to these forces.

His submitted artworks include a detailed study of the flow of energy through a water vortex, as revealed by inks in spinning water, and a light-drawing tracing the magnetic field of a mountain using a magnetic compass and long exposure photography.

Having done previous works in Europe using sites such as old water mills, Cameron thought the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown would be the perfect environment for creating site-specific and other works by harnessing the flow of environmental energy.

Luke Storrier

Graduating from the National Art School two years ago, Luke has been working professionally as a sculptor for three years.

A friend saw the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Contest on Facebook and told him about it. Luke was delighted to find that the contest was seeking artists working with copper. Having just completed a large scale work for the Chelsea Flower Show he decided to enter thinking that there can’t be too many ‘copper’ focused residences available to help him further his copper sculpting career.

Deb Mansfield

Located in Newcastle, Deb has been a professional artist for over 15 years, and originally started her career in Photomedia before moving to work in sculpture and performance.

Inspired by stories, Deb draws on ideas evoked by journeys to remote littoral spaces. Her current body of work focuses on sea-faring stories and includes sculptural forms from that period of history. Deb’s art transcends a number of different mediums from bronze and resin cleats, marine rope sculptures and photo-tasperies of pictures of Guernsey jumpers sailors used to wear.

She entered the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence as she not only has a soft spot for Glenfiddich whisky, but is excited by the prospect of having access to the stories, different tools and architectural forms of the distillery to create a fascinating body of work.

Joan Ross

Born in Glasgow, and growing up in Australia, Joan is influenced by the landscape and its connections wherever she resides. Her current work is based on British colonisation and first contact in Australia and the ongoing effect of this on Indigenous Australians. Joan hopes to keep this conversation open with her video animations based on early colonial paintings.

Joan has felt a very strong connection to the Highlands on return visits and wants to really experience the landscape in the country she was born in and has spent little time. This love of nature and attraction to land and landscapes is predominant in her work and her connection to Scotland is the main reason she would love the opportunity to experience the Glenfiddich Residency.

Liam Benson
A Sydney resident, Liam is a performance artist who documents and exhibits his work through photography and video.

Liam’s work deconstructs the social perceptions of gender, cultural and sub-cultural identity by cross-referencing a juxtaposition of popular culture, art and media language. He is enthralled by how we create culture and how different cultures influence one another.

With a Scottish heritage, Liam is very keen to explore his roots further, and an artist residence at the Dufftown Distillery will give him the opportunity to create a body of work which reconnects him with his Scottish background. He would relish in the chance to connect with the Scottish community and what it means to be Scottish which would be depicted through the various mediums he works with, focusing on video photography and collaborative embroidery.

Marc Standing

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Marc has been drawing and painting since he can remember. He completed his Fine Arts Degree at the University of Cape Town before moving to Australia in 2005.
Objects and images seen and collected during his travels, as well as, natural history and ethnographic museums, masks, and folk art inspire him.

Last year he undertook a residency in Mexico for two months which influenced his current body of work ‘The Shadow Men,’ and has recently returned from the Maldives where he spent four months as an artist in residence. A place at the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence would have a physical and contextual impact on his practice.

Troy Emery

Originally from Toowoomba, Troy is now based in Richmond Melbourne where he has been exhibiting for eight years.

His work incorporates materials such as pompoms, tassels, tinsel and yarn in pieces that intentionally confuse traditional sculpture with handicrafts. He draws his inspiration from colourful and alluring materials and his art explores animals as decorative objects – the aesthetics of trophy animals and plush toys.

Troy applied for the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence with the hope to work on a large-scale project with the benefit of studio space, as well as the chance to network with international artists.

William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent distiller founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distils some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s favourite single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch Grant’s® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick’s® Gin and Sailor Jerry®.

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