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2023 Guildhouse Fellow announced, artist Kyoko Hashimoto explores a more sensitive and sustainable future

Guildhouse, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation are delighted to announce South Australian contemporary jeweler Kyoko Hashimoto as the 2023 Guildhouse Fellow – a twelve-month fellowship valued at over $50,000. 

The Guildhouse Fellowship was inaugurated in 2019 with the generous support of leading philanthropists, the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, to recognise and elevate South Australian artistic ambition. The annual fellowship offers a transformative opportunity for one mid-career South Australian visual artist, craftsperson or designer each year, awarding funding to support research and development, international travel, the creation of new work, and a presentation outcome at AGSA.

This year’s Guildhouse Fellow, Kyoko Hashimoto is a Japanese-born artist, contemporary jeweler and critical designer. Migrating to Australia with her family when she was a child, Kyoko later graduated with an honours degree in Applied Arts from The University of New South Wales. After honing her craft working in Tokyo, Eindhoven and Berlin, she returned to Australia in 2010 and has since emerged into the forefront of the experimental design field with multiple acquisitions by the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia and Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery. In 2014, she was Resident Artist at Jam Factory in Adelaide and in 2021 completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree researching the theory and practice of place-based making. The same year Kyoko and her collaborator Guy Keulemans were named Top 100 global game changers in design by Architectural Digest Italy.

Kyoko Hashimoto says, ‘Place-based making and critically engaged craft, I believe, can develop solutions to ecological harm, but perhaps more consequentially, serve as a provocation that prompts public debate about the ethical perplexities of local versus global resource extraction. By attending to the senses, the objects I create reframe and revalue the natural resources of the earth, so that we might imagine a more sensitive and sustainable future.’

‘The James & Diana Ramsay Foundation opens up a spectrum of opportunities that are profoundly important for and deeply valued by artists. I am honoured to be selected as the next Guildhouse Fellow with AGSA and I am looking forward to developing a new body of work, exploring capacities of paper-based 2D illustrations and 3D paper-mache objects emergent from place and personal identity. As a transitional work that departs from my previous making practice, this new direction will attempt to focus on developing a sustainable practice both on the physical body, as well as on the environment.’

The Fellowship’s 2024 selection panel, comprised AGSA Assistant Director Operations Emma Fey, Guildhouse Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Feijen and NSW guest judge Glenn Barkley, artist and independent curator.

The panel were enthusiastic in their support for Hashimoto’s evocative proposal that invites risk and important experimentation, and commented, ‘Japanese-born artist and designer Kyoko Hashimoto’s work juxtaposes a refined aesthetic with powerful commentary on ethical complexities. Self described ‘critical designer’ Hashimoto’s sculptural practice embraces bio-regional thinking and embeds notions of place through the selection and reforming of materials.’  

James & Diana Ramsay Foundation Executive Director, Kerry de Lorme says, ‘A hearty congratulations to Kyoko, we recognise how important and unique opportunities such as this are, particularly with a presentation outcome at AGSA. The Guildhouse Fellowship makes a unique contribution to the development of South Australian artists’ careers and the state’s cultural economy more broadly. We can see the impact the Fellowship has had for past Fellows Troy-Anthony Baylis, Sera Waters and Liam Fleming’.

Guildhouse Chief Executive, Sarah Feijen commented, “Kyoko’s sensitive and inquisitive approach to her craft and design thinking will be ignited by the Fellowship and will undoubtedly lead to new ways to progress a more sustainable and locally informed studio-making practice. We are thrilled to support Kyoko in this endeavour”.

AGSA Director, Rhana Devenport ONZM commented, ‘The Guildhouse Fellowship is critical to the sustainability and growth of artistic excellence in South Australia. We applaud the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation for their visionary support and we look forward to collaborating with Kyoko on a Fellowship outcome to be presented at AGSA.’

Now entering in its fifth year, the Guildhouse Fellowship has had meaningful impact for previous recipients. Following travel and research in Berlin in 2019, inaugural Fellow Troy-Anthony Baylis developed a series of powerful new textile works using text as a vehicle to examine identity, colonial place making and Aboriginal sovereignty. 

In the second iteration of the Guildhouse Fellowship, South Australian artist Sera Waters memorable exhibition Future Traditions imagined a new future for us all – one where ancient textile traditions can craft hope in the face of climate change.

The 2021 Guildhouse Fellow, Liam Fleming’s Light and Colour is currently on display at AGSA until 3 December. It presents new sculptural glass work alongside AGSA’s permanent collection of international art. Liam’s inventive new body of work draws upon modernist sensibilities of shape, colour and line within his provocative manipulation of glass.

In 2024 AGSA will present work by Guildhouse Fellow expressionist artist Tom Phillips, who paints from a place of personal experience, highlighting issues of social justice and capturing everyday experiences of loneliness, alienation, vulnerability and hardship.

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