Georgia Saxelby is a US-based, Sydney-born installation artist who works at the junction between ritual, architecture and gender. 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.
2019 | Regina and Marlin Miller Master of Fine Arts Fellowship | Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
2019 | Artist Residency Fellowship | Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, George Washington University, Washington DC
2018 | Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship | Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, Australia
2018 | NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship (Finalist) | CreateNSW, Sydney
2018 | Australia Council for the Arts Career Development Grant | To Future Women, Washington DC
2018 | Visiting Scholar | Architecture, Culture, Spirituality Department, Catholic University of America, Washington DC
2017-18 | Artist Residency Fellowship | Halcyon Arts Lab, Halcyon House, Washington DC
2017 | Artist Residency Fellowship | The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, New York
2017 | Presenter | 9th International Architecture, Culture & Spirituality Symposium, Maine, USA
2017 | Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, Australia
2017 | Copyright Fund Ignite Career Grant, Australia
2016 | Freedman Foundation Traveling Scholarship, Australia
2016 | 64th Blake Prize (Finalist) | The Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney
2015 | Artist Residency Fellowship | Culture at Work: Art & Science Research Institute, Sydney
2014 | The Chroma Prize for Innovation in Painting | Graduating Award, National Art School, Sydney
2014 | The Studio W Exhibition Prize for Overall Achievement | Graduating Award, National Art School, Sydney
2014 | University Prize for Art History & Theory | Graduating Award, National Art School, Sydney
2012 | Sydney Students Speak Finalist | Art History & Theory Pubic Speaking Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Works held in The Phillips Collection Archives and Smithsonian Archives, Washington DC and in private collections in New York, Washington DC, Sydney and Melbourne