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Foundation for Australia & New Zealand Arts

Hello friend,

At last, with the roll out of vaccination, there's the prospect of a return to some sort of 'normal' in 2021. With the arts sector having been devastated by the pandemic, we'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate the amazing artists who have managed (somehow!) to respond with resilience and creativity. We'd also like to say a huge thank you to the many FANZA friends who have stepped in to support.

Wishing you all a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas and a very much better 2021!

The FANZA Team

Whanau London Voices - Royal Albert Hall

Whānau success

Bravo to the wonderful Whānau London Voices, whose inspiring online concert touched the hearts of so many in New Zealand and the UK. FANZA was delighted to support these stellar young opera singers, deprived of work and career opportunities in London by the Covid lockdown.

Encouraging them to aim higher than their modest early ambitions, the concert has now been viewed many thousands of times and has already raised an astonishing £50,000 with plans for further recordings and another concert around Anzac Day next year. Stay tuned!

The performance is available and free for all to enjoy via their website, and you can still choose to contribute directly to the performers here.

Photo credit Claire Egan Photography

Tara Winch - The Guardian

Record-breaking year for indigenous writers

Tara June Winch has become the first Indigenous Australian to win both of Australia’s major writing prizes in a year, recently scooping the $80,000 fiction category for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary award after winning the $60,000 Miles Franklin in July.

Her winning novel, The Yield, took a decade to write. It tells the story of August Goondiwindi, who returns to her home country of Massacre Plains for her grandfather’s burial, only to discover that it’s set to be demolished by a mining company – and that her grandfather had been composing a dictionary of Wiradjuri language that could prove the Indigenous community’s claim to their own land.

This year’s awards included a record showing for Indigenous writers and writers of colour, and included Omar Sakr becoming the first Arab Australian Muslim poet to be shortlisted – and then to win – in the poetry category for his book The Lost Arabs. See the winners of the other categories.

Photo credit Ed Alcock/The Guardian

Warmurrungu by Nyarapayi Giles at JGM Gallery

Merry-Go-Round

Fancy some colour to brighten the dreary London winter? JGM Gallery’s current exhibition of international painting, sculpture and ceramics is guaranteed to uplift and inspire you through the dark winter months at the end of a challenging year.

The collection includes works by many Australian artists including Katjarra Butler, Alice McCabe, Nyarapayi Giles, Nongirrna Marawili and Ursula Napangangardi Marks. The Covid shutters may be coming down again but you can still view online - and maybe find some Christmas cheer.

Warmurrungu by Nyarapayi Giles

Sam Neill

Sam Neill - Icon

Many congratulationss to FANZA's fantastic Arts Patron, Sam Neill DCNZM, OBE, now formally recognised as a living legend by his recent award as a New Zealand Arts Foundation Icon. Limited to only twenty living recipients, Sam joins the likes of Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in a very select group.

Read more about the award here.

UK/Australia season 2021-22

Celebrate, explore, collaborate

2021 sees the British Council’s renowned Festivals & Seasons programme turn to Australia. Under the theme Who Are We Now? artists, academics, thought leaders and society commentators will reflect on the UK and Australia’s shared history and culture, explore our current relationship and, critically at a time of incredible change and potential, forge new pathways where we might go together.

Part digital, part live as the Covid vaccine enables us to embrace some form of 'new normal', expect an array of inspiring events and performances sure to provide an unique opportunity both to showcase existing talent and creativity and to develop new ideas and opportunities for collaboration. The UK/Australia Season will take place in the UK from August - November 2021 and in Australia from September 2021 - March 2022.

See more: British Council and Australian High Commission.

Contemporary Hum

And finally..

If you’ve not already discovered their website, take a look at Contemporary Hum – the first centralised platform dedicated to documenting NZ arts in the global context. Discover conversations, reviews and essays on a host of international projects by NZ creative practitioners – plus there’s a calendar of events and exhibitions.

Take a look here.

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