Alex is thrilled to have been awarded the coveted Mordant Family/Australian Council Affiliated Fellowship to study in Rome. The Fellowship will enable two months in residence at the prestigious American Academy.
“I am pretty excited to receive the Fellowship,” Alex says. “It’s a gratifying validation after years of practice, and a rare opportunity to take time out of everyday studio to focus upon investigating new ideas. I’ve found been increasingly difficult leave aside time solely for the act of discovery. At the American Academy I’ll have plenty of time and access research facilities that I wouldn’t normally.”
Alex will use the time to research the use of the shroud in traditional Roman statuary.
“In my own art practice I’ve used the traditional device of carving a lot of soft fabric as drapery in marble to imply the figure, but specifically to prompt the audience to imagine themselves in the position of wearer, Alex says. “I’ve used this to talk about political issues today and to promote empathy, in such areas as Australia’s asylum seeker and refugee policies.
“Doing this in stone has had the advantage of not being easily swept aside, to fix a moment in time that many want to ignore. But under modern environmental conditions even stone loses its status as the most permanent or resolute of materials. I am going to Rome to study vast treasure of marble statuary that sits outdoors eroding under the many atmospheric chemicals of modern pollution.”
“When even stone, a material of thousands of years of human story telling is under threat -you know humanity and the environment is at a dangerous tipping point. I’m going to investigate and research those specific implications to material and the language around it.”
“The American Academy is a great opportunity professionally to engage with fellow artists and academics. I’m looking forward to talking with restorers and conservators to further my technical understanding and challenge any preconceptions I may have of the material I think I know well,” he says.
Alex will take up the residency in April-May 2020.