Georgia Saxelby is a Sydney-born installation artist who works at the junction between ritual, gender and architecture. Her installations re-contextualize ritual and disrupt spatial hierarchies to question the symbolic spaces in which identities and values are performed today. By combining sculpture, architecture, performance, and participatory systems, Saxelby invents her own sacred spaces in which the audience are invited to collaboratively perform a symbolic task, from feasting, breaking, burning or archiving the art objects, in order to undergo an emotional and social transformation.
Saxelby has recently been awarded one of Australia’s most prestigious prizes for emerging artists, the 2019 Samstag Scholarship, as well as the Australia Council of the Arts Career Development Grant, funded by the Australian Government. She was also recently 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.
In 2017-18, Saxelby undertook 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 movements in national US museums, including a museum intervention at Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden and a solo exhibition at The Phillips Collection and 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.
From 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 sacred space. 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 live performative works ever chosen in the prize’s history.