travisSouthern Cross University Bachelor of Visual Arts student Travis Paterson will soon be heading to the UK with an exhibition of works by Australian printmakers – thanks to winning a major art award.

Travis, from Main Arm in the Northern Rivers, specialises in printmaking and has just won the $5000 John and Sheilagh Kaske Memorial Fellowship. The Kaske bequest supports students studying visual arts at the university.

Since 2002 there have been seven fellowships awarded to graduating visual arts students to fund specific projects and residencies, helping them to make the transition from study to a professional career.

Travis said he was surprised and thrilled with his win and will use his prize money to source, develop and co-curate an exhibition of Australian printmakers to be held later this year at the University of the West of England, and also to attend IMPACT, an international printmaking conference in Bristol.

“I came to study at Southern Cross University after living overseas for several years. I initially thought I would study photography or solely concentrate on art theory. However, I tried printmaking as an elective and promptly fell in love with etching. It’s a very beautiful, very satisfying process,” Travis said.

“I love the fact you can make multiple copies of your work while still retaining a version for yourself. The bower bird in me likes the fact I can hold onto my creations.”

Travis received his award from Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark (pictured) at the opening of X7 – an exhibition of works by the previous seven Kaske Fellowship winners, which brings these artists together for the first time.

Exhibiting artists are Simone Tops, Laura McEwan, Tim Crawley, Natalya Garden-Thompson, Jan Oliver, Joanna Kambourian and Julie Barratt.

X7 being held at the nextart Gallery in Magellan Street, Lismore, until May 2.

Travis will host a solo exhibition of his works at Barratt Galleries in Alstonville for four weeks from May 15. “My work centres on issues of language, gender and sexuality,” Travis said.

While he plans to continue as a professional artist, Travis also wants to work as a curator and is currently helping to co-curate the University’s nextart Gallery.

Kaske Awards of $500 each were also made to outstanding first and second year students in the Bachelor of Visual Arts. The intention is for students to use this money to purchase art materials.

The winners for 2009 were:
1st year painting: Melissa Poole
2nd year painting: Jacquie Scotcher
1st year printmaking: Karen Stone
2nd year printmaking: Chris Barnes and Haley Calderon
1st year 3-D Studies: Geoff Cotton
2nd year 3-D Studies: James Edwards