We’ve partnered with our friends at Coopers to present The Lost At E Minor Young Creative Australians Awards, bringing to wider attention the best emerging talent in Australia. The awards are comprised of six categories: Art, Photography, Architecture, Music, Film/Video, and Design/Fashion, and we’ve been showcasing our impressive nominees over the past few weeks.
Before we get to the winners of this inaugural award, let’s take a look back at the nominations of each category.
Fionna Fernandes, Kentaro Yoshida and Georgia Hill were our Art category nominees. We are in awe of the fresh, unique approaches each artist shows in their work. From hypnotic pop art illustrations to bold black and white murals, each artist pushed the boundaries, shaking up the Aussie art scene.
Architects Tomek Archer, Lucy Humphrey and David Flack were our three Architecture nominees. We were inspired by each one’s creative process and excited by the designs we saw, spanning from Melbourne’s hottest restaurants to Danish sculpture exhibitions.
For our Film/Video category, we presented nominees Deborah Ho, Kacie Anning and Matthew Nguyen. All three produced beautiful, crafted work taking in everything from a quirky web series, to animations and short videos.
So the winners of The Lost At E Minor Young Creative Australians Awards are…
Georgia Hill’s edgy artwork is both playful and fun but with themes and styling that show an inherent cleverness. In her intricate mural work, Georgia combines her expertise in graphic design, typography and art with contrasting colours and bold graphics.
‘I’ve always loved texture and pattern, so once I started concentrating on secondary elements to support my lettering in more of an “artwork” sense, it all got bigger – figuratively and literally! – and the jump from exhibition pieces to full-on large-scale murals finally seemed right. I’d always wanted to do larger pieces, but didn’t really love where my work was at. So I’m happy I’m at a point where I can really commit my work to these bigger formats and it’s – hopefully – won’t be just another mural style people have seen before’.
‘I think the creative scene in Australia at the moment is in a really interesting place, as there’s so many people putting in the hours to make it work as their career. And also, there are those who put the time and effort in to support creatives, too, like galleries (Good.Space, Ambush) and podcasts (Nightlies, Ritual and Ceremony). They’re started by people who are just passionate about the scene, and it really pushes us all to work harder but acknowledge each other in this great community sense’.
Kirra Cheers is the co-founder of Brooklyn Collective and presents an eclectic portfolio of photos that relay important social messages, such as her quirky series Tempting Alice. Her ongoing projects resonate with and engage not only the audience in Australia, but also across the globe.
‘A mentor once told me I was comfortable with the uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s just a matter of placing yourself in a situation and being open to the journey. I see myself as the narrator; I provide the framework but the story is largely driven by the characters involved. It’s like having a starting point but not knowing where it’s going to end’.
‘I actually got into photography at school through an administrative error. I often look back and wonder what I would’ve done if fortune hadn’t fallen my way. To this day, I’m still proud of the first roll of black-and-white film I took. It was basic street photography but I had 22 strong exposures and handed them out to the kids in my class to submit. We all got As’.
‘Australian photographers are held in such high esteem in New York [where Kirra now lives], not only because of the talent they’re bringing to the table, but also because of their reputation for being easy to work with. “You’re from Australia, you must be good” is something I’ve heard time and time again since moving here. I’ve even had people agree to meet with me based on that fact alone.
‘As a creative, being “Australian” is a brand synonymous with excellence. The country has become a melting pot for creatives inspiring one another. My only concern is the lack of support for Aussies looking to reach an international audience. It’s a long way from the rest of the world’.
Tomek Archer is not only a member of a very cool indie band (Van She) but also an award-winning architect with a commendable eco focus and a beautifully realised aesthetic. His signature style shines through in all of his projects, with each design conceptualised so that it functions as part of a broader plot.
‘My dad is an engineer/programmer and wrote some of the early computer rendering algorithms, my mum’s an architect. So this was my context growing up. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring other things, playing music and touring and so on. But I couldn’t help returning to design. I believe in architecture as a medium that can make a tangible difference to the way we live together’.
‘I think in discussing a signature style for me it would have to be more about the way the work performs rather than the way it looks. A common theme throughout has been to try and use design to make places where things happen, to provide the infrastructure for social gatherings, happenings, events. I consider my architectural projects to be like setting the stage where various events can happen, while the furniture and products are more like props. So I’m interested in how they work as part of a broader plot’.
Stav Adameitis is the visionary behind the iconic Australian label FRIDA LAS VEGAS. Her bold, vibrant and out-there designs are cheerful and charismatic, and stand apart from anything else coming out of Australia’s inner city streets.
‘Dressing up was always something I did instinctively out of pure expressionism. George Michael’s Too Funky video clip was totally my gateway drug to a world of glamour and femininity light years away from my Greek-Australian upbringing!’
‘I found out early on in my career as a stylist that I’m quite the romantic when it comes to fashion. I love that you can effectively wear your taste, beliefs, class, aesthetic preference – or lack thereof – literally on your sleeve. If you have a personal agenda to push, a fabulous outfit is a thousand times more effective than a billboard in Times Square’.
‘I absolutely believe Australia is going through a creative renaissance right now! The Internet has broken some serious geographical boundaries that previously kept Terror Australis in the lurch. When I was living in London a few years ago, someone once told me, “What happens on the island stays on the island”, which was a bit shocking to hear.
‘With the ease of “idea capital” distribution via social media, I think it’s fair to say this statement is deliciously irrelevant. Australia might be at the bottom of the world geographically, but we’re on top as far as DIY culture, ingenuity, humour and collaboration goes’
Kacie Anning is the writer, director and star of the clever web series Fragments of Friday. She’s brought more cool and creative films to the table since her web series’ inception, showing off her superb writing and directing skills, coupled with a wonderful eye for casting Aussie talent.
‘Like most writers and directors, I was a bit of a self-taught cinefile first – it was a big, immovable love that couldn’t be ignored. I went to uni and did two weeks of a journalism sub-major before swiftly changing to film and I’ve been on course ever since. Writing and directing themselves are things that come naturally to me and I think I’ve chosen those because I’m too much of a control freak to ever imagine letting someone else run the show’.
‘Screen Australia have just announced a suite of initiatives to address the current gender imbalance – which is pretty deplorable and very demoralising – as well as Screen NSW announcing a quota to achieve a 50/50 balance by 2020. There’s a great deal of momentum around working towards gender parity in the screen industry right now and it feels like a very exciting time to be a female practitioner, and one who is “coming of age” creatively at a time when female stories are being consciously endorsed.
‘It’s also exciting because it feels like action – not lip service. So let’s hope it can make some inroads for changing our screen culture’.
‘The online space is just cracking everything open and it’s exciting to see a new pathway emerge that gives untested creatives a space to create that can then become a calling card for the next step. As a filmmaker, it felt like once upon a time the only way to rise through the ranks was to make an award-winning short film and that’s changing. Online content is now a career currency.
‘It’s also exciting to be able to say that a lot of my friends and contemporaries have started in the online space and are now successfully moving into television. It feels like we’re all coming up together at the same time, helping each other navigate this new terrain’.
Adrian Kalcic (Atlas Bound)
Adrian Kalcic, from Aussie band Atlas Bound, has astounded us with his unique, soulful sound. In partnership with Will Taylor, in just over a year, this Sydney-based band has amassed more than a million plays on Soundcloud and produced beautiful tracks that mixes jazz and electronica with eloquent songwriting.
‘One of the most enjoyable things about our music-making process has been finding a fusion between our preferences. Whilst collectively we have explored everything from Carole King to the Funkadelics, I think in recent years we have focused on the neo-soul movement that went down before we hit double digits in age. Maybe we were listening to Jamiroquai and D’Angelo on the radio before we knew what music was, but I would list a lot of those dudes as our biggest influences’.
‘Landed on Mars was somewhat of a head-scratcher. I spent a few days in LA with all these people in the music industry whose lives were like something from a TV show. I wrote the lyrics on the plane home and couldn’t really think of a chorus and kind of scrapped it thinking it was another idea that went nowhere.
‘When we got together and figured out this instrumental that was a bit different to what we usually do, I thought the subject matter of those eight lines or something fit the vibe and recorded them. We always considered it to be a bit of an odd track for us but we couldn’t be happier with the response’.
‘It’s an exciting time for the creative world as a whole. Australia has a wealth of talent coming through, and it’s only getting easier for artists to take influence from all corners of the globe. Platforms like Soundcloud and Instagram have had such a positive impact on the arts.
‘For instance, we were able to connect and fall in love with the work of a visual artist in Helsinki, who now does all our album art. Musicians can listen to, take influence from, and collaborate with, other artists from anywhere, and can write songs with a sound and vibe that really transcends their environment.
‘It’s actually something we’re passionate about and one of our favourite things about the international music scene right now’.