Helen Macpherson Smith Trust announces $1 million Indigenous art residency

September 14 / 143

Deborah Cheetham and Darvell M Hutchinson. Photograph by Mark Wilson
Deborah Cheetham and Darvell M Hutchinson. Photograph by Mark Wilson

A $1 million grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust will establish a far-reaching Indigenous arts residency program in perpetuity at the University.

The Hutchinson Indigenous Residency (HIR) will enable a Victorian Aboriginal artist to undertake a significant project of their choice every year.

The residency will build an alumni of Victorian Indigenous artists who have been provided with a unique opportunity to explore ideas, enhance skills and develop new iterations of Indigenous cultural practice.

Named in honour of Darvell M Hutchinson, who steered the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMS Trust) for a remarkable 50 years and last month retired as Chairman, the HIR will be open to Victorian Indigenous artists.

Each residency will last for one year, with a cash grant of $40,000 plus up to $5000 for materials (indexed for inflation).

The residency will offer each artist appropriate support from a range of specialist University resources, including the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC).

The HIR has been developed with input from leading arts advisors and academics including Indigenous soprano and educator, Deborah Cheetham, Head of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Education and Cultural Development at the VCA & MCM; Associate Professor Robyn Sloggett, Director of the CCMC, and University Professorial Fellow Dr Gerard Vaughan, former Director of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Ms Cheetham thanked the Trust for their insight and diligence in creating this opportunity.

“For more than one thousand generations the Indigenous people of this land have passed on all knowledge of geography, the sciences, medicine and humanity through the visual and performing arts. For the Indigenous people of this land, the arts have never been a luxury – rather a necessity.

“In the naming of this award and in its purpose, the Hutchinson Indigenous Residency acknowledges the true value of longevity.”

The grant is part of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne, which aims to raise $500 million by 2017 to support the University’s teaching, research and engagement goals.

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