14 September 2015


With the second show up and running the start of the month saw a massive exodus of departing artists heading home with Jon, Su, Seok Hyun, Ben and Daniel all leaving on the same day, leaving only Arturo and Krupa in residence working towards their final presentation scheduled for end of September. However even as the residency year draws to a close the sights are already being focused on 2016. 

Employing a combination of selection methods followed in Canada and India our team in Australia launched the programme at Sydney Contemporary, the countries newest and largest art fair. Housed at Carriageworks, Sydney’s striking contemporary arts precinct, the Fair presented over 90 galleries from 14 countries, attracting over 30000 visitors over its four days the fair providing access to cutting-edge art from some of the world’s most respected artists as well as the opportunity to discover the next generation of emerging talent. Our fantastic jury comprising of Sydney Contemporary Advisory Council members including Muriel’s Wedding actor Rachel Griffiths whittled the entrants down to a short list of seven who were invited to exhibit an example of work each in the area close to the Glenfiddich pop up bar.


Given this was the first year for AiR in Australia the standard of the shortlisted artists was exceptional including Liam Benson, Troy Emery, Debs Mansfield, Cameron Robbins, Marc Standing and Luke Storrier. Given the quality of artists and work on the list it was not an easy task but in the end the final choice was made with Joan Ross being invited to become the first Australian artist to join our programme.

Although Joan was born in Scotland she is as Australian as a kangaroo eating an Anzac Biscuit and her personality is as vibrant as the day glo colours that are the signature feature of her art.

Working across the platforms of video animation, print, sculpture and installation. Her work reconfigures the Colonial Australian Landscape, drawing specific attention to first contact and the complex issues surrounding this that still are evident in Australia today. Joan was recently included in Edmund Capon’s BBC TV series The Art of Australia (2013) and Hannah Gadsby’s Oz on the ABC1. Joan exhibits extensively both in Australia and Internationally and is held in major collections overseas and in Australia including The National Gallery of Australia and the Museum of Contemporary Art, She is a graduate of UNSW Art & Design, where she is a Lecturer.