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18 December 2012

Art work by Mary-Jean RichardsonThe Eternal city beckons for UniSA graduate artist, Mary-Jean Richardson, who has won an inaugural award that will see her take up a studio residency at the British School at Rome in 2013.

Mary-Jean, a graduate of UniSA’s School of Art, Architecture and Design, will use her three month residency to soak up the world of Italian art and culture at one of the most prestigious foreign academies specialising in the arts.

The Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF), Cibo Espresso Australia, the British School at Rome and the Helpmann Academy offered the residency award for the first time this year.

Mary-Jean explained how she will use her time in Rome visiting museums, galleries, chapels, churches and contemporary art spaces, using studio time to make small painted studies.

“Rome is the ideal city to investigate and broaden many of the ideas, methods and techniques within my work. Having access to the great number of Caravaggio paintings and other major Baroque works will allow me to observe and research material techniques that will extend my skill base immeasurably,” said Mary-Jean.

“Being able to view many of these works in their original situation would enrich my understanding of techniques and processes.

“The Baroque method of creating dynamic, ‘integrated environments’, parallels much of the current discourse around contemporary art practices. How ‘place’ influences my painting, site and installation are all ideas I am personally grappling with.

“Rome is the perfect city to reflect and act upon these ideas, as it constantly negotiates the coexistence of the ancient and the contemporary and has supported some of the most radical and influential art movements throughout history.

Mary-Jean intends to document her time in Rome through drawings, paintings, videos and photography, using her studies to make more substantial work upon her return to Adelaide.

AEAF Director Christine Morrow said that Mary Jean’s application stood out in consideration of the achievements she had already made as a painter, and as testament to her future development.

“Mary-Jean teaches at the Adelaide Central School of Art and is a committee member of Fontanelle Gallery so the experience and insights that she will gain in Rome will also enrich the practice of others,” said Christine.

“Mary-Jean’s experiences will send out ripples into the art community of Adelaide.”

Media contact: Will Venn office 8302 0965 email Will.Venn@unisa.edu.au

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