22 January 2010

Action photographs win art award

Clare Rae with her series of photographs, Climbing the Walls and other Actions, 2009. Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery 2009

Clare Rae with her series of photographs, Climbing the Walls and other Actions, 2009. Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery 2009.

RMIT University student and East Melbourne resident Clare Rae has been awarded a prestigious Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Awards Scholarship.

The Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art – Photography) Honours student won a $2,000 Undergraduate Scholarship to spend on travel for her series of photographs, Climbing the Walls and other Actions.

“I am interested in visually representing my experience of femininity and I use the body to promote ideas of discomfort and awkwardness, resisting the passivity inherent in traditional representations of femininity,” Ms Rae said.

“Whilst the actions taking place are not themselves particularly dangerous, the work demonstrates a gentle testing of physical boundaries and limitations via a child-like exploration of the physical environment.”

Ms Rae’s action photographs were exhibited in the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Fitzroy in 2009 and she has exhibited extensively in exhibitions since 2006. She also received a special commendation in the Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards in 2007.

“I experiment photographically until I produce an image that feels right – aesthetically and conceptually. When making the series Climbing the Walls and Other Actions, the experimentation phase took about eight months, culminating in six pictures that I felt most closely encapsulated my ideas and concerns.”

Ms Rae said she would use her prize money to travel to Europe to research 17th century Dutch painters, as she is interested in their distinctive use of light in portraiture and would love to view it in person.

Now in their ninth year, the Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards help RMIT Fine Art students further their careers by assisting their research and production costs.

The awards attracted more than 200 entries in 2010, with 43 shortlisted artists exhibiting their work at RMIT Gallery. The exhibition ends on 23 January.

Chairman and Managing Director of Siemens Australia and New Zealand, Albert Goller, said: “Education, technology and above all, innovations are the lifeblood at Siemens and we foster a creative environment where ideas can develop and grow. We are proud to support the development of talent each year demonstrating innovative thinking through arts and creativity.”

For high-quality images of the artist and winning work, further information and general media enquiries: RMIT Gallery Media Coordinator, Evelyn Tsitas, (03) 9925 1716, 0418 139 015, or evelyn.tsitas@rmit.edu.au.