9 July 2018
Internationally-acclaimed Melbourne-based artist Destiny Deacon has been awarded the first $60,000 Yalingwa Fellowship – the centrepiece of a major new program strengthening First Peoples art in Victoria.
The Fellowship, which is the most valuable visual arts award for First Peoples artists in Australia, recognises Destiny’s contribution to contemporary art practice and Indigenous cultural and creative expression. It will allow her to devote time to developing her next body of work.
Destiny Deacon is of the Ku Ku people of Cape York and Erub/Mer peoples of the Torres Strait Islands. Throughout her 30-year career as a photographer, broadcaster and teacher, she has played an influential role in contemporary Indigenous art, culture, language and identity.
The Fellowship is part of the multi-faceted Yalingwa visual arts program, a Victorian Government initiative in partnership with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and TarraWarra Museum of Art. It also includes curatorial appointments and three major biennial exhibitions.
The first Yalingwa exhibition A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness opens at ACCA on July 7. Curated by Hannah Presley, the exhibition celebrates the significance of family, community and humour in contemporary Aboriginal life, and features ten new commissions by First Peoples artists.