UNSW celebrates more than 120 emerging creatives in the A&D Annual 2022, an outstanding showcase of graduate contemporary art and design. A highlight on Sydney’s cultural calendar, the A&D Annual brings together graduates from UNSW School of Art & Design working across an array of media from installation, animation, digital media, film, visual communication, graphic design, and sound, to painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, furniture, jewellery, textiles, ceramics, design for social innovation, and more.
As one of Australia’s most dynamic and diverse art and design schools, this year’s graduate showcase demonstrates a range of innovative, experimental, and interdisciplinary approaches that look to the future of creative practice. For the first time since 2019, the entire UNSW Art & Design Paddington campus is activated with new work presented across UNSW Galleries, AD Space, and Black Box, alongside an extensive digital showcase online at unsw.to/annual.
Charles Levi, Bachelor Fine Arts (Honours) was awarded with the annual TWT Excellence Prize. The Prize is awarded to an outstanding graduating creative practitioner, and generously supported since 2017 by Principal Partner Bridging Hope Charity Foundation and TWT Property Group. The Prize includes a $3000 bursary and studio at St Leonards Creative Precinct for a year.
Levi’s winning project Make Your Own Fłag (2021–22) references the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt, a multi-panel quilt project held at the Powerhouse Museum, and an evocative record of those who were lost to HIV in the 1980s and 1990s. Levi’s work relies on the haptic properties and tactile nature of textiles to embody queer experiential narratives and fleeting feelings through a diverse set of coded symbols.
Levi questions: “Can a feeling be recorded through collected fabric, connective stitching, and allegory, despite its intangibility?”
The project was selected from 10 shortlisted works that demonstrated promise and professional commitment to becoming a full-time creative practitioner. The 2022 judging panel included UNSW Senior Lecturer Dr Clare Milledge, UNSW Associate Lecturer Katherine Bond, and Paul McDonald, Artist and Director of Contact Sheet in TWT Creative Precinct.
TWT Property Group have announced they will be renewing their support for UNSW’s A&D Annual graduate showcase for a further 5 years as an Event Partner. They will continue to offer generous support to students through the TWT Excellence Prize, including studio space for 12 months following graduation.
Director of TWT Property Group Gavin Zhang said “We are so pleased to see how much the TWT Excellence Prize has enabled these young talents in their artistic career development. This year we were delighted to revisit previous award recipients to reflect on the impact of the Prize in a short video. We are committed to contributing to the ever-evolving arts ecosystem here in Australia.”
Fiona Macpherson, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), was selected as the winner of the 2022 Ross Steele AM Fine Arts Prize, offered with the generous support of Ross Steele AM. The prize recognises outstanding work in Fine Arts practice, and includes a $3000 bursary. The judging panel included Debra Phillips, UNSW Senior Lecturer, and JD Reforma, independent artist and Firstdraft Communications & Development Manager.
Macpherson’s painting practice explores the dichotomies of silence and visibility, the surface and the underside, and denial and acceptance, while engaging with an autobiographical narrative of trauma. She says, “My project Surface Tensions investigates the social psychology of cognitive dissonance surrounding the presence of unspoken abuse, and seeks to restore agency over my story.”
Professor Edward Scheer, Head of School, School of Art & Design, said the graduates were a testament to the importance of creativity, critical thinking, and resourcefulness as they respond to the social, technological, and environmental issues of our time.
“Congratulations to all our graduating students, and I wish them the very best as they move forward to become the next generation of creative leaders both in Australia and overseas” said Professor Scheer.
The A&D Annual 2022 is on display at UNSW Galleries, AD Space and the Black Box at UNSW School of Art & Design Paddington, open daily from 10am–5pm, 7–18 December 2022. Hear from the graduates themselves in a series of floor talks held at 1pm Saturday 10 December 2022.
The digital showcase of graduate works with curated online tours from James Gatt, Margaret Hancock Davis, Sebastian Goldspink, and Shivanjani Lal, is also available to view online now.