Meet the 2022 ARTIST FUND cohort

Lucy Peach is a singer-songwriter, theatre maker, author and educator from Fremantle, Western Australia. Lucy’s project aims to create a new work celebrating the female body, and de-stigmatising menopause. Lucy will interview 25 WA women of diverse backgrounds and cultures about their experience. She will then work with an editor and dramaturg to create an artistic response.

Lucy has released three EPs, performed at major music festivals around Australia, and was named WA’s Best Folk Artist in 2016. As a long-time champion of the power of the menstrual cycle and an advocate for self-love and positive body literacy, Lucy has spent the past two decades studying human biology, biomedicine, women’s health and wellbeing, and menstrual education. Her theatre show, My Greatest Period Ever, won the Martin Sims Award for Best of Fringe in 2017. Lucy has educated and empowered thousands with her performances, workshops, and book.


Tara Gower is a proud Yawuru woman from Broome with Filipino, Spanish and Irish ancestry. Tara’s project for the Artist Fund is intergenerational and engages non-mainstream students from Broome Senior High School and young local artists in a collaboration with elders, to tell stories through movement.

Tara recently returned home after a successful career dancing professionally with Bangarra Dance Theatre for 15 years. Through her dance collective Burrb Wanggarraju Nurlu, Tara continues to build a professional platform that rekindles culture to empower our leaders of tomorrow. Tara liaises with Elders to tell stories through movement to original local music, creating performances that showcase the unique talents of Kimberley youth. In 2021, Tara won Best Movement Director at the Performing Arts WA Awards for the latest production of Bran Nue Dae with Opera Australia.

Yvan Karlsson is a director and performer from Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia. Yvan’s project for the Artist Fund is a non-verbal puppetry work for ages 3+ about a young Australian Sea Lion in an enchanted kelp forest. The work tackles complex themes of overfishing and its effect on the natural world.

Yvan is the artistic director of Monkey Brain, a company creating physical and visual theatre for all ages, and has worked on projects in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Singapore, and Tokyo. Yvan has been nominated for an Off West End Theatre Award for his movement direction, has completed a residency at Lizierés in France, was one of Perth Festival’s 2019 LAB artists, and was artist-in-residence at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in 2021.


Sid Pattni is an Indian-Australian artist who was born in London, raised in Kenya and currently resides in Western Australia. Sid’s project for the Artist Fund, The Story of Us, will extend his exploration of identity to the refugee community of Western Australia, creating a series of portrait paintings using traditional Indian embroidery techniques.

Sid’s studio practice seeks to tell specific stories of identity, culture and belonging. As a migrant, he is interested in how we form a sense of identity in contexts that are foreign to us. Sid’s work has been selected for numerous awards including the Lester Prize, Blake Prize and the Kennedy Prize. He was invited to give a TEDx talk about his art practice in 2021.

Claire Martin is a documentary photographer, creative director and collaborator. Claire’s project for the Artist Fund will be a photographic journey along the Blackwood River that imagines people fleeing ecological collapse, on a journey to the promised land – Augusta. Focusing on the waterways from an eco-feminist perspective and engaging with nominated Noongar Elders, this project will explore how climate change is affecting people living along the river.

Claire exhibits internationally in galleries, museums and festivals, is the current Director of Foto Freo, a biennial festival of photography in Fremantle WA, and lectures in Photomedia at Edith Cowan University. She co-created Danube Revisited – The Inge Morath Truck Project which commissioned women to photograph the length of the Danube River in 2014. Her work is represented Internationally by INSTITUTE ARTISTS.


Melle Branson is a director, photographer, and content producer whose work focuses on emotive, people-driven stories. Melle’s project for the Artist Fund — “X” — is a short film that explores the concept of labels, and the ways in which identity and stigma intersect and influence individual human experience.

After completing a Grad Cert in Digital Media in 2012, Melle went on to work in advertising before delving into visual media and video production. Her directorial work includes the Roll Up For WA advertising campaign, short films that have screened in the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, WA Made Festival, and Melbourne Women in Film Festival, and a project that was awarded Best Spec Ad in the global Musicbed Challenge.

Laurie Steed is a writer living and working on the lands of the Whadjuk Noongar people. During Laurie’s Forrest Hall residency he will be working on his memoir, Better than Me: The Story of a Dad, an exploration of what fatherhood means in contemporary Australia.

Laurie’s fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio and published in anthologies including Best Australian Stories and Award-Winning Australian Writing. He is the recipient of writing fellowships from The University of Iowa, The Baltic Writing Residency and The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation and is the winner of the 2021 Henry Handel Richardson Flagship Fellowship for Short Story Writing. His debut novel, You Belong Here, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.


Kathryn Lefroy is an author and screenwriter. For her Artist Fund residency Kathryn will be working on the draft of a thriller novel Container, where a cargo ship passenger risks her safety to protect a stowaway girl — and in doing so is forced to examine her own life.

Kathryn’s debut novel, Alex and the Alpacas Save the World, was shortlisted for the Premier’s Book Awards in 2019 and the sequel, Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again, was released in June 2022. Her screenplay, Whale Shark Jack, will be shot on location in Exmouth in 2023, produced by Southern Light Films and Cottesloe Films. She holds a BA (Hons) in Art History from the University of Melbourne, a PhD in Business from Monash University, and has studied screenwriting at UCLA. She’s lived in many places around the world, including Melbourne, Dublin, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, but currently calls Western Australia home.

Mikaela Castledine is an artist and writer. During her residency at Minderoo Station Mikaela will create a crocheted typographical aerial map of the Pilbara. She will use ultra-fine crochet to stitch thought to canvas, and will colour swatch to identify and represent the local vegetation and geology.

Mikaela’s chosen form of making is crochet. It is a thoughtful and meditative process which encourages deep focus, embedding thoughts into hands as well as the mind. Much of her recent work looks at memory; the way we code and recall important places and map the episodes of our lives. As she observes the weed-like spread of dementia within her family and contemplates the risks ahead, she explores the hypothesis that craft and making play a significant role in her personal memory making.


Tineke Van der Eecken is a visual artist and writer. For her residency at the Minderoo Foundation Exmouth Research Laboratory Tineke is developing a new work — Hidden Seascapes of Ningaloo — an experiment with corrosion casting the vascular systems of life at Ningaloo.

Tineke presents arterial systems in land and body through works in fine metal, including jewellery and sculptural objects, corrosion casts of animal morphology, and landscape photography. Her most recent body of work, a solo show, Tributaries (Mundaring Arts Centre, IOTA21), focused on Western Australian flora and fauna. Tineke is trained in jewellery design and fabrication. In her practice as a jeweller, she works with floral form and raw gemstones in fine metals.