Announcement: Natalya Hughes awarded Sheila Foundation’s Fini Fellowship News

Announcement: Natalya Hughes awarded Sheila Foundation’s Fini Fellowship

23 November 2021

The Sheila Foundation has awarded the 2021 Michela and Adrian Fini Artist Fellowship to Brisbane-based artist Natalya Hughes. The $20,000 fellowship will support Natalya to create a body of new work for her forthcoming solo exhibition The Interior, at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane 30 July–1 October 2022.

The Michela and Adrian Fini Artist Fellowship is unique in Australia because it supports the development of new work by contemporary female artists, at a critical juncture of their career, typically mid-career. It also assists in the presentation and documentation of the work at contemporary art spaces within the national Contemporary Art Organisations Australia (CAOA) network.

The Fellowship was established with donations from Sheila Foundation board member Michaela Fini and her husband Adrian and is awarded annually over three years.

Fini Fellowship recipient Natalya Hughes’ project The Interior will be a full-gallery installation that draws on mid-century aesthetics and psychoanalytic theory. The work will take on ‘the problem of women’ and recreate Hughes’ interpretation of the therapist’s office using sculptural and décor elements whose scale has been manipulated and made strange.

“I’m so grateful to receive the 2022 Michela and Adrian Fini Fellowship. It will me allow me to work in ways that are both more ambitious and more embracing of the risks and challenges that experimentation pose. It’s so important to have that push to go further as an artist, and especially as female artist at this stage in my career,” Natalya said.

The IMA is the second CAOA partner to host the fellowship. IMA Director Liz Nowell said, “Natalya Hughes is an exceptional artist and her immersive exhibition The Interior will form a highlight of the IMA’s 2022 Artistic Program. The generous support of the Fini Fellowship will allow her to experiment with new mediums and think about her work on a large and ambitious scale.”

Sheila is a national philanthropic foundation for women in visual art with a mission to overturn decades of gender bias by writing Australian women artists back into our art history and ensuring equality for today’s women artists. By supporting a solo exhibition at a highly-regarded Australian contemporary art space, this Fellowship enables leading women artists to connect with new audiences and develop career-defining works.