The Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition has gained a reputation for being the perennial arts event to kick off the new year. It has a long history of launching the careers of South Australia’s up-andcoming visual artists – with many going on to receive further funding, awards and scholarships, and exhibit their work nationally and internationally.
The award enables the work of an emerging artist to be showcased through the City of Adelaide’s Contemporary Acquisitions Collection, and they also receive $7,500 cash.
Tara Rowhani-Farid is an emerging artist working in the field of painting and post-internet. Her work reflects an interest in the discourse of painting within a paradigm of network culture.
She received a First Class for her Bachelor of Painting (Honours) at the University of South Australia in 2018 and was the recipient of the Port Adelaide Art Supplies Painting Prize.
Tara has exhibited at various spaces in South Australia including West Gallery, Format Systems Inc, and SASA Gallery. In 2019, she will be exhibiting at West Gallery in Thebarton (SA), and Five Walls Projects in Footscray (VIC). Tara is the 2019 recipient of the ACE Open Helpmann Studio Residency and works from ACE Open, South Australia.
Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor congratulated Tara on her award.
“The City of Adelaide is committed to creating opportunities for emerging and developing artists to contribute to the creative, cultural and artistic life of the city. We want to see our artists gain exposure and thrive,” said the Lord Mayor.
“The Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition has an established reputation as the showcase exhibition of South Australia’s most promising emerging artists.
“Partnering with the Helpmann Academy for this award enables the work of an emerging artist to be showcased through the City of Adelaide’s Contemporary Acquisitions Collection, giving them important exposure, along with a cash prize.
“Congratulations to Tara for being this year’s recipient.”
Tara said that winning the City of Adelaide Award was humbling.
“I love Adelaide, I’ve lived here for a long time and I feel very nurtured by the city. Part of the prize meant that my work was acquired by the City of Adelaide and is now part of the contemporary acquisition collection which is overwhelmingly exciting,” Tara said.
“Adelaide has given a lot to me over the years, so it’s really nice to give something to the city. The prize money will make a major difference to my practice. I have a few projects coming up later in the year and now I can spend less time working and more time painting in the studio.”
As part of the Emerging Curator Program, an initiative of the City of Adelaide delivered in partnership with the Helpmann Academy, a curatorial mentorship was undertaken to assist emerging curator Ursula Halpin (recently appointed as Director for the Port Pirie Regional Gallery) to gain knowledge and skills through an active learning program. Ursula was paired with mentor, Logan Macdonald, Public Art Planner at the City of Adelaide.
This professional development opportunity allowed Ursula to develop and help the Helpmann Academy Graduate exhibition under guidance. The emerging curator gains experience in all aspects of developing a major exhibition.
This professional development opportunity reflects the City of Adelaide’s aspiration to develop and strengthen partnerships and build Adelaide’s creative cultural reputation.
Jane MacFarlane, Chief Executive Officer, Helpmann Academy, said, “We consider ourselves very lucky to once again have Logan MacDonald working his curatorial magic on the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition.
“This year he was assisted by Ursula Halpin through the Emerging Curator Program, an initiative of the City of Adelaide, delivered in partnership with Helpmann Academy. The opportunity to gain on-theground experience from a seasoned curator on a prominent annual exhibition is an invaluable experience, and one that Ursula took on with great poise. We believe the results speak for themselves.”
The Helpmann Graduate exhibition runs from Friday 15 February to Sunday 10 March, at the Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Ground, Victoria Drive, Adelaide.