TextaQueen wins $80,000 Copyright Agency Partnerships commission

The up-and-coming artist will use the funding to shine a light on the queer South Asian diaspora.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund yesterday announced visual artist TextaQueen as the recipient of its inaugural Copyright Agency Partnerships (CAP) $80,000 commission to develop and exhibit a major body of work with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.

The launch of the CAP three-year commission series was announced earlier this year, in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney), the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), and the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane). The funding will support mid-career and established visual artists with a generous artistic commission and solo exhibition opportunity.

The first commission will support TextaQueen to develop their Bollywouldn’t project, culminating in a significant solo show across two floors of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s Haymarket gallery late next year.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling said: “We are incredibly excited about CAP and the establishment of this competitive commission that will offer vital mentoring and financial support to artists such as TextaQueen. The commission will afford them the time and space to create, as well as supporting them with appropriate resources to ensure their work is curated and, importantly, exhibited and promoted to Australian audiences.”

Bollywouldn’t will use small works on paper of queer and trans South Asians to reclaim the Bollywood movie poster format, based on portrait sessions during a residency at ACME, London. The portraits will be projection-mapped onto photographs, to create the illusion that they exist as large-scale murals, with accompanying performances by four trans and queer South Asians. Bollywouldn’t reflects the drive by queer South Asian peoples to uncouple themselves from the colonising white gaze and in so doing, reclaim their power and marginalised identities.

“Through this commission, my work will be able to reflect on and celebrate queer South Asian diaspora on a literally huge scale,” said TextaQueen. “This project has decolonial motivations and being awarded this opportunity with 4A reflects global shifts started by grassroots Black and Indigenous led movements. I’m honoured to have this support to creatively contribute to important conversations happening beyond the arts, and within.”

4A’s Artistic Director/CEO Amrit Gill is excited to present TextaQueen’s work, saying: “Our organisation has been a leader in Asian contemporary art in Australia since 1996, and this opportunity with TextaQueen is significant, as their work makes invaluable cultural contributions with comments on broader structural contexts and representations of marginalised identities.”

TextaQueen’s work is currently held in collections at Artbank Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Patrick Corrigan Collection, Monash University Museum Art, National Gallery of Victoria, University of Queensland, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, and National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

Bollywouldn’t will be shown at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in late 2022.

This article was originally published 10 August 2021.

Image: TextaQueen, Journeyer, 2016. Pigment ink on cotton rag, 42 x 59.7cm. Courtesy: the artist.


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