THE 24th ACT Awards ceremony
was hosted by the Canberra Critics’ Circle on Tuesday (November 25) at the Canberra
Museum and Gallery.
The evening featured the Circle’s own arts awards and the Media
Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s Peer Recognition Award.
|L. Helen Musa, convener CCC, 2014 ‘CityNews’ Artist of the Year,
sculptor Kensuke Todo, r. 2011 ‘CityNews’
Artist of the Year, Michael Le Grand, back Matthew Curtis, glass artist. Phot
by Shane Breynard.|
The 2013 Citynews Artist of the Year award, it was announced by 2011
Artist of the Year Michael Le Grand, went
to Canberra sculptor Kensuke Todo, who
was presented with a cheque to the value of $1,000. Glass artist and 2013 CAPO Fellow Matthew
Curtis joined with the CCC and Citynews in presenting him with a glass sculpture.
Born in Kyoto, Todo originally came to Canberra as an exchange
student speaking hardly any English, later returning to complete his MA and
settling in the ACT, where he is an keen participant in the arts scene. He is presently busy creating a new work for a show in Cowra, his work
“Rest” was recently acquired by the ACT Legislative Assembly, and a large
abstract work by Todo can be outside the Commonwealth Club.
Michael White maintains his rage
The 2014 MEAA Peer Recognition Award went to recently retired ACT Branch Secretary Michael White for his
many years of work supporting the theatre profession. White showed that retirement
has not lessened his resolve in a speech
that lamented that sot the ABC and urged those present to protest.
members of the Canberra Critics’ Circle are Cris Kennedy, Jane Freebury, Anni Doyle
Wawrzynczak, Kerry-Anne Cousins, Meredith Hinchliffe, Johnny Milner, Claire
Capel-Stanley, Irma Gold, John Lombard, Alanna Maclean, Frank McKone, Malcolm
Miller, Helen Musa, Simone Penkethman, Len Power, Michelle Potter, Samara
Purnell, Bill Stephens, Peter Wilkins, Joe Woodward, Clinton White, Ian McLean,
Judith Crispin and Jennifer Gall.
Canberra Critics’ Circle awards went to visual artists Nicci Haynes,
Kensuke Todo, Janet DeBoos, Denise Higgins and Gary Smith, Helen Aitken Kuhnen,
Katy Mutton, Annika Harding, and artists Caroline Huf, Ellis Hutch, Blaide
Lallemand & Genevieve Swifte of ‘Relative Constructions’; filmmakers;
Sotiris Dounoukos, the creators of the feature film Galore; dance artist James Batchelor, theatre artists Domenic Mico, The Street
Theatre, Alison Plevey, Karla Conway & Emma Gibson; musical theatre artists Jenna Roberts, Jim
McMullen, Steve Walsh and Hanna Ley;
musicians Tate Sheridan, Beth Monzo & Ben Drysdale, Alan Hicks,
Rowan Harvey Martin, Christopher Latham, Marcela Fiorillo, Larry Sitsky and
Tobias Cole; writers Nigel Featherstone, John Clanchy[correct], Omar Musa
and ‘Biff’ Ward.
The full citations for the 2014 CCC awards follow:
Jazz and pop pianist, Tate Sheridan
For his considerable achievements so early in his career
after graduating from the ANU School of Music, including his appearance at the
2014 Canberra International Music Festival Fringe as ANU artist in profile, his
recording of his debut album (yet to be released) and the demand for him as a
Beth Monzo and Ben Drysdale
For their debut live album "Baggage Claim" and
film clip and as the singer-songwriter duo Beth 'n' Ben, with their
tongue-in-cheek brand of popular music, ranging from folk, reggae and rock to
blues, pop and jazz.
Pianist and conductor Alan Hicks.
For his transformational work with the University of
Canberra Chorale, notably its performance of “Songs of Peace and War” and for
his considerable reputation and busy work as an accompanist of consummate
skill, never putting his own performance ahead of others.
Rowan Harvey Martin
For her versatile musicianship and tireless work as musical
director and conductor of the Canberra Youth Orchestra, the Canberra Children’s
Choir and the Llewellyn Choir and for her performance as conductor of JS Bach’s
“St Matthew Passion” in April 2014.
For producing and directing the performances of “The
Christmas Truce” and “Triumph of the Heart”, poignant and deeply moving
accounts of the music and human condition of World Wars I and II in the 2014
Canberra International Music Festival.
Pianist and composer Marcela Fiorillo
For her composition and world premiere performance of
"Suite Weereewa, Op 3" and for her showcasing and promotion of piano
works by Australian and Argentine composers.
Pianist and composer Larry Sitsky
For his work in new music as a performer, composer and
mentor, including five new commissions and publishing three major works in the
past year, including national broadcasts of his piano concerto and his opera The Golem.
For his outstanding contribution as a performer and choral
director and his passionate advocacy for the music of Handel, including the
Australian premiere of Handel’s Alexander
Balus and for his performance in the title role of Akhnaten in the Philip
Glass Trilogy for South Australian Opera.
For his gritty, lyrical and explosive debut verse novel, Here Come the Dogs, about hip hop,
graffiti, drugs, race, identity and bushfires.
John Clanchy [note
spelling of surname which is often spelled incorrectly]
For his accomplished and sharply observed collection of
short fiction, Six.
For his impressive third novella, The Beach Volcano, a compelling story about a family and their dark
Elizabeth ‘Biff’ Ward
For In My Mother’s
Hands, a complex and powerful memoir that conjures up the 1950s while
telling a disturbing, true story that touches on mental illness.
For the impressive and expansive exhibition Kensuke Todo: A Survey at the Drill Hall
Gallery, which showcased a series of steel sculptures and charcoal drawings.
For her solo exhibition Body
Language at Megalo Print Studio + Gallery which showcased the artist's
investigations into the body, movement and language, as well as her exploratory
focus on text through printmedia and performance.
The artist collective, Relative Constructions—Caroline Huf,
Ellis Hutch, Blaide Lallemand and Genevieve Swifte
For their exhibition and accompanying publication The Poetic Lens at M16 Artspace,
presenting an innovative alternative perspective on lens¬based media as an
emotive, embodied and poetic form.
For her dramatic, innovative and accomplished ceramic
exhibition Articulate Objects in
September this year that brought together both Eastern and Western imagery in a
sympathetic and convincing narrative that also questioned our perceived notions
of cultural identity and appropriation.
Helen Aitken Kuhnen
For her exhibition From
Land to Sea in November 2013 that demonstrated the artist’s mastery of the
skilled and subtle art of enamelling resulting in a series of beautiful works
of wearable art that have an understated but nevertheless a very tangible
poetic sensibility to the Australian landscape.
Weaving together sound, lighting and object the immersive
installation Vox Nautica at ANCA
Gallery in November 2013 transformed the gallery into a richly nuanced, other
worldly environment. Denise Higgins and Gary Smith
For her original, haunting and complex stylisation of
contemporary warplanes privileging childhood innocence and observation in the
exhibition Rise of the Machines in
March this year at CCAS Manuka.
For curating the group exhibition Wanderlust at M16 in July this year comprising eleven emerging and
early career artists that evidenced a diversity and excellence of practice
within a tightly conceived and managed theme.
The creative team for the feature film Galore
Scripted and directed by Rhys Graham, this teenage love film
set in the days leading up to the 2003 bushfires, makes excellent use of
Canberra talent and locations. While intensely focused on the teens and their
world, it also tries to include a bigger story, about a city.
For Un Seul Corps (A
Single Body), an exploration of friendship and loyalty that is surprisingly
located in an abattoir among animal carcasses. The film works subtly
overturning the claustrophobia and brutality of the images so that a story of
human friendship emerges.
For his outstanding achievement in producing, choreographing
and performing in his original dance work, Island.
This imaginative and well-staged work had excellent production values and
demonstrated his skill in executing complex ideas through movement.
To Domenic Mico
For offering through Smith's Alternative Bookshop the
opportunity for emerging and established theatre practitioners to create new
and original work in an intimate, accessible and genuine alternative theatre
The Street Theatre
For the production of Helen Machalias’ powerful play In Loco Parentis, directed by Andrew
Performer Alison Plevey, director Karla Conway and writer
For the excellence and originality of Johnny Castellano is Mine, a co-production of The Street Theatre
and Canberra Youth Theatre.
For her outstanding comedic performance as the hairdresser
in Free Rain Theatre’s production of Legally
Blonde the Musical.
For his outstanding production of Cabaret for the Canberra Philharmonic Society. His direction and
concept captured the essence of this difficult musical in a well-prepared
production that was superbly executed by the cast and production crew on
For his colourful and witty setting for Free Rain Theatre’s
production of Forbidden Broadway.
For her stylish performance in a variety of roles in
Everyman Theatre’s production of The
Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)