Indigenous arts residency is a gift of time and space

A year-long residency open to Indigenous arts practitioners from Victoria is helping to give artists the time and space to reflect on and develop their cultural practice.

Indigenous art on wall The Hutchinson Residency, which includes a cash grant of $40,000 and up to $5,000 for materials, has been created to enable Indigenous artists to undertake significant projects of their choice.

Associate Dean of the VCA & MCM and Chair of the selection panel, Deborah Cheetham, said the Residency aimed to build alumni of Victorian Indigenous artists.

"For the Indigenous people of this land, the arts have never been a luxury - rather a necessity,” Ms Cheetham said.

“For more than one thousand generations the Indigenous people of this land have passed on all knowledge of geography, the sciences, medicine and humanity through the visual and performing arts.

“As a Yorta Yorta artist, I know the visual and performing arts are the most powerful way for us to know the world and give meaning to everything in it.”

The Residency will offer each artist appropriate support from a range of specialist resources at the University of Melbourne, including the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, the Faculty of VCA & MCM, and the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC).

The Residency was established in perpetuity from a $1 million grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and named in honour of Darvell M Hutchinson, who steered the Trust for 50 years. The grant is part of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne.

Applications are open to Indigenous arts practitioners who identify with at least one of the 11 language families of Victoria. They must also have had at least three years' experience as an Indigenous arts practitioner and at least three years' relevant experience in a related industry. A degree in a relevant discipline is desirable but not mandatory.