Cultural Fund awards $240,000 in Fellowships

July 28, 2020

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has awarded three fellowships totalling $240,000 as the creative industries continue to call for critical financial support of Australia’s writers and artists.

The Fellowships have been awarded to authors Rodney Hall and Krissy Kneen and visual artist Khaled Sabsabi, with each receiving $80,000 to write and create important new works.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “Our Cultural Fund provides significant support for established and mid-career Australian authors and visual artists. In this challenging and unpredictable year, which has decimated the creative industries, these Fellowships will give the authors and artist vital support and time and space to create and share their courageous new works.

“This year’s Fellowships attracted an impressive field of applicants who have all made a significant contribution to Australian writing and visual art, making the selection process extremely competitive.

“Across all three Fellowships the independent peer panels were impressed with the breadth and ambition of many of the projects. Given the impact the funding will have at this time, the selection of just one recipient for each Fellowship was extremely difficult, but it demonstrates the rich and diverse talent within the Australian creative sector and highlights the compelling need for funding for Australian writers and artists,” adds Mr Suckling.

Full details of the Fellowships are:

  • Author Fellowship: Award-winning author Rodney Hall from Victoria, for his work Vortex, a novel addressing the overwhelming crisis worldwide in relation to the life of refugees. This experimental novel is set in 1954, the year when the first escaping boat people set out from Vietnam to Australia. Hall will structure the novel as a web of connections rather than a linear narrative, inviting the reader to read the chapters in any order. As preferred publisher, Picador is eagerly awaiting the book.
  • Fellowship for Non-Fiction Writing: Author Krissy Kneen, for With This Body. Kneen will research and write the first draft of her creative non-fiction book, which will be published by Text Publishing in 2022. The book will be a mix of memoir and non-fiction, exploring her own personal relationship with her body and the societal pressures and stressors of living in a fat, post-menopausal femme body.
  • Fellowship for a Visual Artist: Khaled Sabsabi for his project, ‘A Hope’: First major survey exhibition in NSW with a comprehensive publication. Sabsabi’s project aims to achieve several important artistic and professional development outcomes, including two new mixed-media artworks, presentation of a first major survey exhibition, and the design, editing, printing and distribution of a hardcopy monograph publication. Inspired by what may define us as a society, Sabsabi strives to create artwork that reflects human connectedness, while questioning ideological principles and complexities of identity politics.

In acknowledging the Copyright Agency’s support for writers and the arts sector, Rodney Hall, this year’s recipient of the Author Fellowship, said:

“I am very grateful to the Copyright Agency to have been given this terrific opportunity in support of my project. The Copyright Agency stands for something so important. I am old enough to remember when we didn’t have copyright protection and people could use our material without paying for it.”

Krissy Kneen says the Fellowship for Non-Fiction Writing has given her the validation to complete a project she has been struggling to address.

“It is incredibly moving and emotional for me to be chosen for this Fellowship. This funding has given me the confidence to pursue wholeheartedly a really difficult subject,” says Krissy.

Visual artist Khaled Sabsabi says the Fellowship will allow him to continue his career as a full-time artist and discover new possibilities within his work.

“I think what the Copyright Agency does in supporting and protecting artists is crucial to Australian society. It is an honour and a privilege to receive this Fellowship when so many of my peers applied,” says Khaled.

The Copyright Agency’s members commit 1.5% of revenue every year to the Cultural Fund for vital grants that enhance the profile of Australian writers and artists, and to support our dynamic writing, publishing and visual arts sectors. This is in addition to more than $115 million in copyright licence fees the Copyright Agency pays to publishers, writers, visual artists and surveyors every year, which makes a significant contribution to sustaining Australian storytelling.

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About the Copyright Agency

The not-for-profit Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images, art and survey plans. We manage the educational and government licences for the use of text and images, as well as the resale royalty scheme for artists (by Government appointment). Our members include writers, artists, surveyors and publishers. Membership is free.

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