'Unshakable creativity, resilience, tenacity' – VCA Art 2020 Grad Show catalogue is now live

BFA (Visual Art) Sculpture graduand Lana Kotro, PATCH (2020). Photo by Drew Echberg.
BFA (Visual Art) Sculpture graduand Lana Kotro, PATCH (2020). Photo by Drew Echberg.

The VCA Art Graduate Catalogue was launched on Wednesday night at a digital awards event, Finissage. The Catalogue, featuring more than 1,000 artworks by graduating students from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Visual Art programs, is testament to the creativity and dedication of the Faculty's graduating cohorts in this challenging year.

Simone Slee, Head of Visual Art at the VCA, introduces the works:

"Here at Southbank in Melbourne, we are on the unceded lands of the Yalukit Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation. In pre-Covid times, we would have been here working and making art. However, for almost the entire duration of this academic year, our community has been spread across Australia, and for some of us across the world. Collectively we have been working on many different First Nations’ country and I would like to pay my deep respect to their ancestors and to their elders both past, present and emerging.

"2020 has brought unexpected changes to our world. This catalogue represents VCA Art’s nine graduating cohorts navigating these changes: Sculpture; Photography; Drawing and Printmaking; Painting; the Honours program; the Graduate Certificate in Visual Art; the Master of Contemporary Art and the two research programs: the Master of Fine Arts and the PhD cohorts – more than 150 students and graduate researchers.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) photography graduand Shonelle Conn, Whoreders (2020). Photo by Drew Echberg.

"In this catalogue you will witness the astonishing artwork produced during isolation and the truly remarkable achievement of installing this work in the VCA Art spaces across our Southbank campus as we precariously emerged from Melbourne’s 112 days of hard lockdown.

"This catalogue represents unshakable creativity, resilience, tenacity, generosity, courage and commitment to art and the unknown places it may take you despite this year’s circumstances."

A limited number of staff, students and visitors were able to see the VCA Art Grad Show 2020 in person, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but filmmaker Stephen McCallum was commissioned to document the works, creating a filmed walk-through experience.

The works were installed across the Southbank campus in late-2020 in the Art Studios, The Stables, The Octagon, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, VCA ArtSpace and Theatre Studio. The music accompanying the clip was composed by final year Bachelor of Music (Interactive Composition) student Phil Tucker, and its haunting style aptly reflects the empty studio spaces and their works.