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DESA Partnership Announcement – Recipients Rebecca Agnew and James Nguyen

Courtesy of DESA.

Gertrude is pleased to announce a new partnership with DESA, located in Kedewatan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia to provide international residency opportunities for artists who have recently participated in the Gertrude Studio Program.

Gertrude is pleased to announce a new partnership with DESA, located in Kedewatan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia to provide international residency opportunities for artists who have recently participated in the Gertrude Studio Program. In 2023 and 2024 Gertrude will facilitate two month-long, fully funded residencies each year, with the first taking place in July 2023, and the second taking place in October 2023. 

The two residency opportunities are designated for artists who have participated in Gertrude's 2 year Studio Program since the organisation relocated to Preston South ini 2017. The purpose of the residency is to provide an opportunity for retreat, research and production in recognition of the need for artists to have dedicated time for themselves and their practice, and to animate international opportunities for Naarm Melbourne-based artists who have experienced the restraints and diminishment of creative opportunities due to the pandemic impacts of the past years.

DESA is a new residency facility in the village of Kedewatan, hosting two artists simultaneously in separate villas of the compound. Each villa has its own pool, seperate bedroom, living area with kitchen, and studio facilities, and is located in a tranquil, semi-jungle environment around 20 minutes from the centre of Ubud. DESA has been founded by Australian artists with long connections to the area and community, and a strong network of artists and facilities in and around the locale.

Following an invitational application process of Gertrude Studio alumni since 2017, we are pleased to announce the two recipients for the 2023 residencies as Rebecca Agnew and James Nguyen.


Studio portrait of Rebecca Agnew. Courtesy of the artist.

Rebecca Agnew is a New Zealand born Director, visual artist and Stop Animator based in Melbourne. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne with an MFA in 2012 and the University of Otago, Dunedin with a BaFA in 2004. In 2019 she was part of the Gertrude Studio Program.

Recent residencies include, Varda Artist Residency, San Francisco, California and Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, US. Agnew has represented exhibitions with Jacob Hoerner Galleries, traveling to Sydney Contemporary 22: International Art Fair, Carriageworks, NSW with her latest stop motion animation ‘Infinite West’, and Australia & Nationalism in the Wake of COVID, Macquarie University Art Gallery, NSW. She had animations in The Magic Arts: Australian Animation from the 1970s to Now, Asia Pacific Triennial Cinema Program, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art. In 2022 Agnew’s paintings were recent finalists in The Parkin Prize, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, NZ and KAAF Art Prize Exhibition, Korean Cultural Centre, NSW, AU and she was the recent recipient of Quick response arts grants, City of Melbourne.

James Nguyen. Courtesy of the artist.

James Nguyen is a Naarm-based artist working mostly with video, writing, collaboration, and performance. He has a Doctorate from the University of NSW, and was trained at the Sydney College of Arts, the National Art School, and UnionDocs Centre for Documentary Arts (NYC). He has exhibited at the National 2019, Next Wave Festival and ACE Open in Australia and has commissions from the Sydney Opera House, the Australian War Memorial and support from the Anne and Gordan Samstag Fellowship, Millumbuk Arts, the Clithroe Foundation, the Australian Council for the Arts, Create NSW, and Creative Victoria.

James is currently working on ‘Open Glossary’ an exhibition with Chris Xu, Kate Ten Buuren, Tamsen Hopkison, and Budi Sudarto for ACCA and Copyright Agency in 2023. He continues to develop both highly acclaimed and lacklustre work including in Footscray, Albury, Bankstown, Vienna, Berlin, Guangzhou, and Ho Chi Minh City.

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