Georgia Saxelby is a Sydney-born, US-based interdisciplinary artist. Her participatory practice engages with issues of public social space, collective ritual behavior and notions of sacred space in contemporary cultures. The artist creates ephemeral, transitory experiences and spaces in which her audience are invited to collaboratively perform a symbolic task. Saxelby is interested in exploring ritual as a vehicle for social change, and questioning the role of artists in contributing to the cultural heritage of tomorrow.
Saxelby has recently been awarded the prestigious 2019 Samstag Scholarship, the Australia Council of the Arts Career Development Grant, funded by the Australian Government and been shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship presented at the renowned Artspace cultural institute. You can read curator Virginia Rigney’s short essay on Saxelby’s practice, commissioned by the Samstag Museum. In 2019, Saxelby will be presenting a solo exhibition at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC, and will be an Artist in Residence at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at George Washington University, Washington, DC and Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California.
Saxelby is currently based between Washington, DC, New York and Sydney, having recently undertaken a residency Fellowship at the art and social impact incubator, Halcyon Arts Lab, Washington, DC. Here, she developed an ongoing participatory project, To Future Women, which memorializes the Women’s March and #MeToo movement in multiple national museums, including The Phillips Collection, the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden and a solo exhibition at IA&A at Hillyer. During this time, Saxelby was also a Visiting Scholar at the Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Concentration of the Catholic University of America's School of Architecture.
In 2016-17, Saxelby worked at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the renowned New York art and architecture studio that designed the High Line. In 2017, she was awarded three high-profile scholarships – the Freedman Foundation Traveling Scholarship, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant and the Copyright Agency IGNITE Career Fund Grant – to undertake a series of overseas mentorships and residencies related to her research of ritual and architecture. These included working with Studio Rede in New York, Spirit of Place in Ireland, Travis Price Architects in Washington, DC and Tiba Architecture in Mexico. Two of her interactive installations were presented as finalists in the 2016 Blake Prize, Australia’s oldest and one of its most prestigious art prizes - the first performative works ever chosen in the prize’s history.