Through the support of Arts Tasmania, The Unconformity is offering an annual $5000 acquisitive commission for a West Coast artist or artistic collaboration.
The 2022 commission will be a 2D artwork including painting, works on paper, prints or photography. The commission will display a conceptual connection to the West Coast and be a new and significant work for the artist or artistic collaboration.
It is intended that the annual commissioned artworks will accumulate to build a local collection representing the artists and arts practitioners of the region. The commissions will be installed within public buildings around the region in consultation with the artists.
Applications are open now and will close at 11:59pm AEST on Monday 6 June 2022.
To apply for the West Coast Artist Commission, complete the proposal form with general details as well as the following information:
- A description of who you are
- Your artistic idea
- The relationship your idea has to the West Coast
- What materials, techniques and processes will be used
- The scale of the work and estimated dimensions (if known)
Applications can be typed within the document and submitted via email to email@example.com or printed and supplied in hard copy via post to The Unconformity, PO Box 325, Queenstown TAS 7467.
For assistance or for more information about the application process, please email Maddie Korn, Creative Producer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals will be independently assessed by a panel of West Coast locals from across the region, representing different art forms and cultural experiences, along with industry representatives from the visual art sector.
The proposals will be evaluated against two criteria:
- The standard, strength of concept and significance of the artwork
- The benefit for the artist and the relevance of the work to the West Coast community and the collection
Applicants should provide five images of their previous work as support for their proposal.
To assist applicants in obtaining professional photographic documentation of their artwork, The Unconformity will engage a professional photographer to document five previous works of the applicant’s choosing at The Unconformity Hall in Queenstown. Transporting of the artwork to the hall will be the responsibility of the applicant and any transport costs incurred will be at the applicant’s expense.
The images can be used as support material for the artist’s submission and will be provided to each applicant in high-resolution format for the artist’s future use, at their discretion.
If this process is not appropriate for your artwork or practice, accessing key previous artwork is difficult or your work is digital, email email@example.com to discuss alternative options.
Applicants do not need to supply letters of support for this application. Letters of support are not accepted as artistic support material.
All West Coast artists are encouraged to apply for the West Coast Artist Commission and we will work with applicants to ensure that the application process is accessible for them.
We appreciate that the application form may not be suitable for everyone. If you would like support in submitting your application in a way that works best for you, please contact Maddie Korn via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants must live in the West Coast municipality for a minimum of six months in a year.
Former West Coast residents are welcome to apply, but must have lived in the municipality for five or more cumulative years to be eligible.
Past recipients of the West Coast Artist Commission are ineligible to reapply.
The proposed artworks will be displayed in public locations and must be of a professional standard and able to withstand changes in light, temperature, moisture and humidity. It is the responsibility of the artist to ensure that stable materials are used which have the ability to endure over time.
The finished artwork, including the frame, must be no larger than 1900mm (w) x 1900mm (h).
The completion and delivery date of the finished artwork will be negotiated between the successful artist and The Unconformity.
The successful artist will be required to sign a simple commission agreement.
The $5000 covers the artist fee, materials and the development and installation of the accepted artwork.
The fee will be paid in two instalments; $2500 at the signing of the agreement and $2500 at the handover and installation stage. Collaborating artists are encouraged to apply, however the same $5000 artist fee applies to a collaborating commission.
2021 – Annette van Betlehem
Queenstown-based painter Annette van Betlehem was awarded the West Coast Artist Commission for 2021.
Annette has painted professionally since 2005, with over ten solo exhibitions and more than 25 group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Annette has been a Glover Prize finalist in 2015, 2017 and 2021, and in 2012 was awarded a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her paintings hang in collections in New York, Australia, The Netherlands, Italy and Parliament House in Hobart.
The West Coast region's extreme weather, lush and wild rainforest and geology are core themes in Annette's work. Over time, she has developed an organic, free-flowing technique of applying oil paint to canvas using 'anything but a brush' to replicate natural processes—water flowing through rock or moss, drifting mist, wind and minerals. Annette's paintings are heavily textured and highly representational of the atmospheric West Coast landscape.
Annette has been pivotal to the cultural advancement of the West Coast across the past couple of decades. In 1997, Annette founded Hunter Street Studios, a dynamic community art space that across its five-year journey hosted workshops, exhibitions and classes and saw 180 graduates in photography, painting and ceramics. In 1990, Annette was a founding member of the Abt Railway Society whose work resulted in the initial $20m federal funding to restore the railway into one of Western Tasmania's iconic tourism experiences, the West Coast Wilderness Railway.
Annette's commissioned artwork is the fourth in an ongoing series that will accumulate over time to build a collection representing Western Tasmanian artists. The commissions will be installed within public buildings around the region in consultation with the artists.
2020 – David Fitzpatrick
David Fitzpatrick is a Queenstown person who has worked in the depths of the Mt Lyell mine, and has travelled and lived abroad before returning to the West Coast in 2015. His artwork references these origins, with paintings and sculptures made using materials and processes that are highly representative of our landscape and our mining industry. David will create a new two-dimensional artwork representative of Queenstown, by focusing his unique industrial method on a piece that represents the mountain that stands sentinel over the town, Mt Owen.
'Materiality is key in my work—working with industrial materials, I incorporate the residue from the copper producing process, the slag metals and local clay', said David. 'There is a robust quality that I am attracted to, these materials are of this place and represent our history of intrusion to the elements of this environment.'
David's commissioned work was unveiled in October 2021.
2019 – Joh Osborne
In 2019, West Coast artist and painter, Joh Osborne, was awarded the second $5000 acquisitive West Coast Artist Commission. Joh's paintings are abstract snapshots of animal and human behaviour, letting her intuition guide her brush strokes through a series of mark making, expressing her journey living on the West Coast through paint on canvas.
The landscape, the bugs, birds, animals and people that inhabit the West Coast of Tasmania create the backdrop to Joh’s paintings. The ghost of the Tasmanian Thylacine has been her most recent focus, the thought of them being around is very possible in Joh’s eyes; mysteriously hiding in a cave somewhere snacking on a juicy native rat. The Thylacine represents the wild untamed West Coast that she calls home.
Joh moved to Queenstown in 2007 and started Art Frontier Gallery which continues to run with occasional exhibitions but mainly as a productive art studio for Joh and her husband Ivan, with the main focus of churning out paintings for future exhibitions in Queenstown and abroad. Joh works in Acrylic and mixed media on canvas.
2018 – Chris Wilson
In 2018, West Coast artist Chris Wilson who specialises in pastels, was awarded the prestigious West Coast Artist Commission after being chosen amongst a highly-competitive field of applicants.
Chris first came to live on the West Coast in 1976 and is well-known for her bespoke gypsy caravan that has resided across the region over the years. Now based in Queenstown, Chris’s interest and artistic focus have shifted from rainforest and coastal environments to the immense, raw ‘geoscapes’ in the local area.