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Local Artist Spotlight: Kylie Stillman

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Kylie Stillman

Kylie Stillman’s respect for and love of the environment will take root in Frankston.

The sculptural artist will create a new work – to be exhibited in Frankston City – drawing inspiration from the iconic Coastal Manna Gum.

Made from aluminium, the sculpture will feature a stack of horizontally placed panels that form on one side an elegant monolith and on the other side reveal a carved, miniature, potted native tree.

The tree form will be hand removed using a jigsaw from each individual aluminium sheet.

Ms Stillman described the artwork as a continuation of her artistic practice where forms were hand removed from blocks of materials to suggest presence through absence.

“This creates a respectful marker of nature and a commentary on the way it is coveted and controlled within our urban environment,” she said.

Ms Stillman is rapt to be working on her sculpture thanks to an Artist Project Grant of up to $4000 from Frankston City Council.

“My hope is that the work contributes to Frankston's reputation for vibrant street art and sculptural attributes,” she said.

“The work is designed with the general public in mind, a symbol of beauty and conceptual engagement that aims to unite the community by celebrating respect for the natural environment and hand crafted ingenuity.” 

Her practice explores what it means to show three-dimensional forms on a two-dimensional plane. Making use of overlooked and discarded objects, she presents everyday materials such as sheets of plywood, window furnishings, furniture and books, reworking them by hand to prompt new interpretations and meaning.

She has been awarded Australia Council for the Arts studio residencies in New York (2009) and Milan (2006) and been commissioned to create new work for Castlemaine State Festival (2019), Parliament House Canberra (2018), Bargoonga Nganjin City of Yarra (2017), Town Hall Gallery (2017), Hawkesbury Regional Gallery (2016), Hermés Australia (2011) and Westpac Banking Group (2010).

Ms Stillman is excitedly looking forward to sharing her new artwork with Frankston City residents.

“I feel extremely fortunate to live in a community that values creative arts industries and receive support towards this project during such challenging times for us all,” she said.

Frankston Council has significantly expanded its Community and Business Grants program this year to support up to 16 artists and creatives.

This was a result of the $6.434 million Relief and Recovery Package, which the council created to help Frankston City recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The arts grants are designed to help artists and those working in creative industries to pursue their passion while delivering culturally important work to the community.

They included Artist Project Grants each up to $4000 for eight artists to develop new works that can be presented online, on location or at a venue when restrictions allow.

There were also a further eight Creative Industries Professional Development Grants, each up to $2500, to support artists via further training, career development activities, mentorships and workshops.

Arts grant recipients must complete their projects by June, 2021.

Kylie Stillman in her studio, image courtesy of the artist and Utopia Art Sydney

Kylie Stillman in her studio, image courtesy of the artist and Utopia Art Sydney.

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