Hours of operation

2020 Emerging Writers Program Time Capsule Release

Today marks three years since Naarm Melbourne joined a rapidly escalating global response of government mandated lockdowns. This was a journey that would endure for years to come. During the early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic—one marked by confusion, estrangement, fear and death—Gertrude reprised the Emerging Writers Program. This is an initiative that connects leading cultural writers and critics with a new generation of voices to produce new pieces of critical cultural writing. Through a discursive process of individual mentorship and guidance, four writers were commissioned to generate new pieces, all of which would end up reflecting upon the uncertainties and restrictions of the pandemic, including its economic, emotional, social and political impacts.

In releasing these four texts on the three year anniversary of the first lockdown, Gertrude unveils a time capsule of the period—a moment in recent history that remains challenging to make sense of. Indeed, this period of confusion, futility and absence is something that necessitates the most gentle of revisitation. Through the delayed release of these texts, there may understandably be a spectrum of opinion of them being either too late, or too soon. However, periods of trauma and turmoil are in part defined and given form in retrospect by the creative and artistic endeavours produced within those periods. And these are some of them.

Commissioned texts:

‘Kissing at the Intersection’ by Olivia Bennett
Mentored by Tristen Harwood

 ‘The Pervasive Whiteness of Being: The Racial Production of Architecture and Architects’ by Adrian Fernandez
Mentored by Natalie Thomas

‘Sensoria Against Separation’ by Abbra Kotlarczyk
Mentored by Tara McDowell

‘The Blue Zone: ‘Live’ Art in the Pandemic Era’ by Anador Walsh
Mentored by Lisa Radford

Gertrude would like to sincerely thank all of the writers involved—Olivia Bennett, Adrian Fernandez, Abbra Kotlarczyk and Anador Walsh—for their intellect, emotional acuity, perseverance and patience. We would also like to extend this gratitude to the mentors, Tara McDowell, Tristen Harwood, Lisa Radford and Natalie Thomas.

The Gertrude Contemporary Emerging Writers Program has been generously supported by the Copyright Agency through the Cultural Fund.

The Emerging Writers Program is published in association with Art Ink.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Gertrude Contemporary

Wurundjeri Country
21-31 High Street
Preston South VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Gertrude Glasshouse

Wurundjeri Country
44 Glasshouse Road
Collingwood VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Thursday–Saturday 12–5pm