ACU academic wins prestigious fellowship to showcase Brisbane’s cultural identity

Published: Friday 7th August 2015


Dr Catherine Bell has won national recognition for her planned studio investigation of sculptor Daphne Mayo's role in shaping Brisbane's cultural identity.

The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) have awarded a fellowship to Dr Bell, made possible through a grant from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Dr Bell, Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts, ACU Gallery Director (Victoria) and National Course Director of the Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design degree, will research sculptor Daphne Mayo’s archive at the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland. 

Her investigation will show how her artistic identity and public art commissions advanced the status of woman artists both nationally and internationally. Bell commented:

"The outcome will be a body of artwork for a 2017 group show celebrating Mayo at the Museum of Brisbane. My visual inquiry will rely heavily on researching the Daphne Mayo collection consisting of correspondence, newspaper clippings, art exhibition catalogues, tools, art works, photographs, notebooks, letters and diaries. The project is significant because its centerpiece is a body of new artwork that will provide a contemporary perspective on Mayo’s artistic legacy and the Brisbane Museum exhibition will provide the perfect forum to celebrate her cultural contribution.” 

The fellowships are designed to showcase the richness of special collections in Australian university libraries by providing Australian authors, artists, scholars and researchers with an opportunity to work on projects that will benefit from concentrated access to these collections.

Applicants for the Fellowship were all students or professional researchers engaged in a wide variety of Australian topics of interest.  

The panel of judges was made up of Chair, Jeremy Fisher, Senior Lecturer in Writing at the University of New England, Catherine Clark, University Librarian Curtin University, and David Day, Chair of the ASA, independent scholar and author and Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University.

Collaboration between CAUL and the ASA provides an opportunity to generate creative engagement by Australian academics and researchers from diverse discipline backgrounds with university library special collections.