Eight artists have been awarded $80,000 Australia Council Fellowships to support creative activity and professional development.

Andrée Greenwell has been announced as the winner of the Australia Council for the Arts’ Music Fellowship for 2017. The composer is one of eight artists selected for Fellowships, which are worth $80,000 over two years. The other recipients are Stephanie Lake (Fellowship for Dance), Peter Jackson (Fellowship for Theatre), Simon Spain (Community Arts and Cultural Development), Hetti Perkins (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts), Arnold Zable (Literature) and Willoh S. Weiland (Emerging and Experimental). The Fellowships are offered once a year and are assessed and awarded by a peer panel made up of experts in the relevant art forms.

The Arts Council Fellowships are highly sought after and are designed to support outstanding established artists’ creative activity and professional development over a period of up to two years. “There are not many opportunities of this size that significantly assist mature practitioners toward large bodies of work,” Greenwell told Limelight. “So for me, the Australia Council’s allocation to support my practice is wonderful. The financial support will allow me to grow as an artist in a range of ways – technical exploration, new collaborations, and then the exciting and challenging form of opera.”

Andrée GreenwellComposer Andrée Greenwell

“The funds from the Fellowship will enable me to spend a large portion of the time developing and composing a new opera for Opera Queensland, with the advent of incoming artistic director, Patrick Nolan,” Greenwell explained. “I am also undertaking two smaller projects to advance my work as a composer/performer and here I am commissioning two other artists. Firstly, I will make a piece with the outstanding Tasmanian-based pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, and the idea is to share the composition, which is a new thing for me.

Greenwell also plans to work on a shared programme with Tasmanian composer Konstantin Koukias, who is based in Amsterdam. “Kon works in a similar space to me – as a composer and self-producing music theatre maker – and this can be a lonely space at times,” she said. “So through that collaboration, I want to build artistic community by sharing a transportable original music programme with him that is suitable for a small gallery space in my local area, and then in Holland where his company IHOS Opera is based.”

“At this point, I am thinking all works will have intersection between voice, electronics and traditional instrumentations,” Greenwell said. “And these will further my hybrid music language that blends popular, post-punk and contemporary music approaches.”

Greenwell is also the artistic director of Green Room Music, a platform for bringing together a diverse range of artists and musicians in the creation of hybridised performances and screen works. “There should also be some time to advocate the Green Room Music catalogue,” she said.

“It feels utterly wonderful to be awarded this Fellowship,” she said. “There is peer and community validation that cannot be denied, and a sense of being a ‘grown-up’ artist. That might sound strange given that I have been working as a composer for over 30 years, but the supportive responses from the artistic community have been wonderful.”