Visual Arts graduate receives a kick-start

Visual Arts

ECU Visual Arts graduate Katie West is one of only 14 artists from across Australia to be selected for the Kickstart Program for the NEXT WAVE festival.

Kickstart is a development program that provides young artists with the money, time and space required to develop their ambitious projects. The program encourages artists to think big and gives them the opportunity to mix with other artists across disciplines. Now in its fourteenth year, Kickstart is the only program of its kind in Australia.

The program involves three professional development intensives in Victoria, as well as ongoing support to develop the project Katie has proposed. West’s work is defined by a journey to reconnect with her heritage and the task of building her own sense of Aboriginality. It is about finding pieces dismantled by past government policies and the ongoing impacts of colonisation. This is coupled with an interest in the mechanisms that create social change, and a desire to challenge the myths revolving around Australia’s national identity.

When asked about the opportunity she has been offered, Katie said: “Making it into the Kickstart program is a huge achievement, I feel very lucky and privileged to be one of the fourteen selected to take part. The best thing about this program is having an organization such as Next Wave seeing potential in your ideas and then providing a supportive environment with other artists to make it happen”.

The finale will be exhibiting at the Next Wave Festival in 2016.