Macquarie Group Collection celebrates 30 years

Rupert Meyer AO, Australia Council for the Arts (first from left) with Freya Carmichael, inaugural First Nations Emerging Curator Prize winner (second from left), Lee-Ann Buckskin, Australia Council for the Arts (second from right) and Tony Grybowski, Australia Council for the Arts (first from right) at the awards evening held in September 2017.

26 September 2017

The Macquarie Group Collection’s dedication to its theme The Land and its Psyche has been unwavering since its inception in 1987. The Collection includes more than 800 works, displayed in over 40 Macquarie offices around the world. The works are selected by a volunteer committee of Macquarie staff, assisted by a curatorial expert. 

To celebrate the Collection’s 30th anniversary, the Macquarie Group Foundation partnered with the Australia Council for the Arts to present the Macquarie Group First Nations Emerging Curator Award. 

Freya Carmichael won the inaugural award at an event in Sydney. A descendant of the Ngugi people of Moreton Bay, Ms Carmichael has worked broadly across the Indigenous visual arts sector. 

Lydia Miller, Australia Council Executive Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts, said Ms Carmichael was recognised for her curatorial flair and her passion for Indigenous visual arts. 

“To be selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants is testament to the strong success she has already shown as a curator, and a recognition of her potential to develop even further,” she said. 

The award aims to promote First Nations arts and investment in emerging artists and arts professionals. “Supporting the First Nations Emerging Curator Award will help us to continue our focus on emerging Australian visual artists and fostering talent,” said Lisa George, Global Head, Macquarie Group Foundation. 

The Macquarie Group Collection also awarded its sixth annual Emerging Artist, which Prize supports and recognises a new generation of Australian visual artists. The Prize was awarded to Liam Garstang for his work The twin hanging trees.

With financial and acquisitive components to the award, Liam received $15,000 and his work will be acquired by the Macquarie Group Collection. 

Alice Couttoupes was awarded the Nick Waterlow OAM Highly Commended Award and the People’s Choice award for her three works My blue china, my blue flowers, Untitled #12, #13 and #14. Mechelle Bounpraseuth was awarded the Highly Commended Award by Guest Judge Nici Cumpston for her work Late Night Maccas Run with Bae. 

Nici Cumpston said: "The quality and diversity of the finalists’ works underscores the depth of talent to be found among the next generation of Australian visual artists." 

"From a strong field, Liam’s work was selected as the recipient of the Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Prize as it thoroughly embraced the theme of the Macquarie Group collection, The Land and its Psyche, throughout his series of large scale intaglio prints of stark naked trees." 

Director of the Macquarie Group Collection, Helen Burton, said: "Congratulations to Liam, Alice and Mechelle, and to all the finalists for creating such moving and thought-provoking pieces.” 

Liam Garstang receives his award after winning the Emerging Artist Prize.