Art & Design grad wins first TWT Excellence Prize

UNSW media arts graduate Jessica Long has won the inaugural TWT Excellence Prize, part of a five-year partnership between Bridging Hope Charity Foundation and the A&D ANNUAL.


Jessica Long and her work Apartment Block No. 10. Photograph: Steven Siewert

UNSW Bachelor of Media Arts graduate Jessica Long has won the inaugural 2017 TWT Excellence Prize, which includes a $2,000 grant, for her experimental video work Apartment Block No. 10.

The annual prize given to a graduating student is part of a major five-year sponsorship by Bridging Hope Charity Foundation to support UNSW’s A&D ANNUAL exhibition, which features the work of more than 200 emerging creative artists.

The A&D ANNUAL 2017, which opens on Tuesday night, is Australia's largest and most diverse national showcase of graduate contemporary art, design and creative media work.

Long’s three-minute film, which will also be submitted as an entry to Vivid Sydney in 2018, explores the urban landscape and the way public and private realms shape identity.


Dean of UNSW Art & Design Ross Harley, Bridging Hope Charity Foundation Manager Anke Timm, UNSW graduate Jessica Long and Art Advisor and Curator at the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation Natalia Bradshaw. Photograph: Bridging Hope Charity Foundation/Steven Siewert

“The apartment block in the film reveals the nature of the individual within the larger picture and how our public and private personas influence our behaviour and who we are. The film shows a microcosm of society, in which each window symbolises the individual within the collective identity,” said Long.

The TWT Excellence Prize considers digital media, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, furniture and jewellery design, and ceramic works. UNSW Art & Design selected 10 shortlisted artworks based on promise and professional commitment to be a full-time artist. The winner was selected by a panel including Dean of UNSW Art & Design Professor Ross Harley, Deputy Head of School (Design) Dr Mark Ian Jones, UNSW Fine Arts Lecturer Izabela Pluta and Natalia Bradshaw, Art Advisor and Curator at the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation.


Still from Jessica Long's Apartment Block No. 10. Image: Supplied

Graduating students Caitlin Dubler, Maya Mulvey-Santana, Luke Power and Beccy Tait received highly commended awards.

This year Long received a New Colombo Plan Mobility Program grant, which will enable her to travel to Jakarta in 2018 to complete an internship in film with Engaged Media.

Tina Tian, founder of Bridging Hope Charity Foundation, said: “Bridging Hope Charity Foundation is delighted to support the ANNUAL, UNSW’s exhibition to launch the next generation of artists, designers, makers and digital media creators. As the exclusive supporter for the ANNUAL and with our TWT Excellence Prize, we encourage young graduates to celebrate and professionalise their artistic practice.” 

Tian is a philanthropist in the fields of mental health and the arts and established Bridging Hope Charity Foundation in 2015 to give back to local communities by supporting the twin pillars of mental health and well-being initiatives and arts programs throughout Australia.

Professor Harley said: “Bridging Hope Charity Foundation’s visionary and generous contribution to our A&D ANNUAL graduate exhibitions and screenings helps to launch the careers of the next generation of contemporary artists, designers and creatives.”

The A&D ANNUAL has a free public opening on Tuesday 28 November at UNSW Art & Design from 5-9pm, where more than 200 emerging creative practitioners will display their final projects across six venues, including UNSW Galleries, Australian Design Centre, Kudos Gallery, Black Box and AD Space.

All the work from the TWT shortlisted artists will all be available to view from this evening at the A&D ANNUAL at Paddington.


Detail of TWT prize shortlisted artist Luke Power's Floating Rust. Image: Supplied


TWT prize shortlisted artist Maya Mulvey-Santana's Between Red & White (detail). Image: Supplied.


Detail of shortlisted TWT prize artist Beccy Tait's Hypergogia. Image: Supplied

Opening Event: Tuesday 28 November, 5–9pm. Register here.

Exhibition: Wednesday 29 November – Saturday 9 December 2017

A&D Annual Screening

Date: Friday 1 December, 7–9.30pm

Where: UNSW Art & Design, Paddington Courtyard