Travis De Vries 2018 NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellow

Congratulations to Sydney-based artist Travis De Vries, who has been announced as this year’s NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellow

De Vries will use the $50,000 fellowship to research the Gamilaroi language and lore while on residency at the Australian Museum throughout 2018. This will inform a major new work for an exhibition in 2019 at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre.

Working across painting, contemporary dance, choreography, music and writing, De Vries has been a practicing artist since 2006, having trained in Fine Arts at Deakin University and in dance at NAISDA Dance College. In his works, De Vries takes the traditional ideas and mythologies of the Gamilaroi people and spins them with the folklore of the world to create a new story. He explains, ‘I am exploring the melting pot of ideas in the intersection of western mythologies with Aboriginal spirituality that is a relatively new combination when placed against the 40,000+ year of Australian cultural history…There is a fusion when two cultures exist together, an ebb and flow of ideas and belief or the violent clash of opposing ideals.

The NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellowship is one of five $50,000 Priority Fellowships offered each year in line with the priority areas highlighted as part of the 10-year NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework Create In NSW, with seven $30,000 artform focused Fellowships also supported through the funding.

At the announcement, Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey commented, ‘Through careful research and experimentation, Travis is able to interpret Aboriginal culture, bringing it to life with a standout graphic style that appeals to both Western and contemporary Indigenous audiences.’ De Vries joins past recipients of the fellowship including theatre producer and curator Andrea James and author and arts leader Cathy Craigie.

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