Meet the 2021 ARTIST FUND cohort

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Claudia Caporn is a documentary photographer from the Central Wheatbelt. Her project for the artist fund, Western Australian Women of the Land, will be a photographic inquiry into women working in agriculture. She hopes to challenge the almost exclusively male visual representations of farming, and redefine the identity of the Australian farmer.

Claudia was raised on her family’s wheat and sheep farm, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Photography and Illustration from Curtin University, graduating as the top photography student.

Her images probe at the essence of rural Australia, and the relationships between humans and the land. Claudia has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, and recently worked with prestigious international photography agency Magnum Photos in conjunction with PHOTO2021 in Melbourne.

Sukhjit Khalsa is a writer, director and performer based on Noongar boodja. For her artist fund project Here/There, Sukhjit will join forces with collaborator Perun Bonser, to create a series of short experimental films, incorporating spoken word poetry and contemporary dance. The project will explore themes of country and kinship through the lens of Indigenous and Sikh Australians.

Sukhjit wrote and starred in Fully Sikh with Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Black Swan Theatre Company (Best Newcomer, Performing Arts WA Awards 2020). Sukhjit is currently working in TV comedy having received development support from Screenwest, ABC, and Imagine Impact Australia.

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Jay Emmanuel is a performer, writer and director. His project for the artist fund, Generations, is a theatre production that follows four generations of an Indian-Australian family, impacted by colonisation and the Indian Partition of 1947.

Jay is the Founder and Artistic Director of Encounter, an ensemble theatre company. Born in India, Jay is a graduate of Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris. Jay’s works are distinguished by his unique methodology of collaborative theatre-making; melding contemporary theatrical forms with rigorous community engagement. Lauded as one of WA’s top 50 “Rising Stars” by the West Australian, Jay recently premiered Children of the Sea at Perth Festival 2021.

Daniel Walbidi is a painter and carver from Bidyadanga. For his project for the artist fund, Daniel and his father will work with the Bidyadanga community, to encourage the men to start carving objects, including boomerangs, tools, spears and coolamons, as their forefathers used to.

At the age of 16 Daniel actively sought to exhibit his work. He was painting on wood board, old doors, offcuts and anything else he could find to express himself. He urged the elderly people in his community to start painting so that he could learn about his people’s history and cultural background.

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Amy Perejuan-Capone is a multidisciplinary artist. Her project for the artist fund, Defendo, will involve large-scale sculpture, video and archival research. Defendo will investigate the complexities and context of the life and military service of Amy’s grandfather, a RAAF leading aircraftsman, and white-passing Ballardong Nyoongar man.

Amy graduated with a BA (Fine Art) from Curtin University, Western Australia in 2009 and an Advanced Diploma of Product Design and Innovation at Central Institute of Technology in 2014. Her work takes a speculative approach transforming processes and phenomena such as weather, flight, or public services along with personally significant elements such as memory, family, and class into critical ‘what-if’ scenarios.

Nathan Beard is a multidisciplinary artist. His project for the artist fund, Mango Diaspora, will involve complex reproduction of exotic fruits through mould-making. Inspired by complex personal, political and colonial histories, the project will be a new body of work for exhibition, driven by Nathan’s Australian-Thai background.

Nathan generates visually extravagant slippages of identity that offer unique articulations of the complexities surrounding diasporic identity. He has steadily exhibited nationally since 2012, with works acquired by institutions including the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Artbank.

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Deb Fitzpatrick is an author based in Fremantle. During her artist residency at Minderoo Station, she aims to create a first draft of a new novel for adults, Forty-three. The novel will be a study of human survival in extreme conditions, based loosely on the 43-day survival of Alaskan man Robert Bogucki, in the Great Sandy Desert in 1999.

Deb is the author of six novels for adults, young adults and children. These have been named Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, shortlisted in the West Australian Young Readers Book Awards, and published in the US. In 2020 Deb was the recipient of a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Residential Fellowship. Deb loves to use stories from real life in her novels and regularly teaches creative writing in schools.

Graham Hay is a sculptor, specialising in paper clay and compressed paper. During his residency for the artist fund, Graham will develop the sculptural and technical potential of unfired paper clay, appropriate for arid climates. The project’s key objective is to fundamentally alter the fixation on kiln firing within local and global ceramic art communities.

Graham graduated from the Universities of Western Australia, Edith Cowan, and Curtin. While he works across different mediums, he is internationally recognised as a pioneer in the paper clay sculpture movement. Having given over 300 artist talks, workshops, and demonstrations in over a dozen countries, Graham was invited to co-lead the first international paper clay symposia in Hungary, the US and Norway, and to recently join the Académie Internationale de la Céramique.

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Emily Honey is a screenwriter. Her project for the artist fund, BOOTS, is a feature film screenplay about an underdog WAWFL team, based in Fremantle. Playing on themes of isolation and intergenerational misunderstanding, the script will be an incisive, comic take on some of the most pressing cultural issues of our time: misogyny, racism, mental health… and football.

Emily began writing sketches whilst studying History and Politics at the University of Oxford, as a member of the Oxford Revue. After an internship at Warner Brothers in LA, she taught herself screenwriting and has since worked across Australian film and TV.

She is a five-time finalist for the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and was offered a Screenwriting fellowship at the American Film Institute in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Louis Frere-Harvey is a trained percussionist, composer and DJ. His project for the artist fund, Rudimentary, is an exploratory work, which will unpack the theoretical links between the fundamental elements of dance and music and the language the two mediums share.

After completing performance studies at WAAPA, Louis began his career writing, performing and teaching as a percussionist. After half a decade touring as internationally acclaimed DJ Command Q, Louis entered a new era collaborating as a composer on contemporary dance projects.

Combining his training in percussion and understanding of movement with his passion for electronic dance music, Louis creates compositions exploring the origins of rhythm within the body and its relationship to music.

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