Fresh! Awards
Winner announcements

Fresh!,  opening event, 2019. Photography Thomas Lentini

Fresh!, opening event, 2019. Photography Thomas Lentini

Tuesday 3 April 2019

Melbourne, Australia: Last Thursday night Craft Victoria celebrated the opening of annual graduate showcase, Fresh!. The exhibition presents eleven recent graduates from tertiary and TAFE institutions across Victoria selected by Craft Victoria and a selection panel of craft and design practitioners and curators. 

Guest speaker and past fresh finalist Dr Tassia Joannides says this year's finalists "show ongoing investigations into materials and their meanings, while showing that craft remains a powerful tool for individual expression – each artist revealing their own interests and desires through unique outcomes.

Fresh! is generously supported by five awards which serve to highlight excellence and support further opportunities for emerging craft practitioners. 

Dr Helen Sykes AM presented artist Aphra Cheesman with the Future Leaders Award including a cash prize of $1000 for herCommonplaceness series. Aphra completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Gold and Silversmithing) at RMIT. Her practice explores objects, materials and things in her everyday life that she finds odd, beautiful, humours or simply intriguing.

The Sofitel Melbourne On Collins Prize, judged by Donald Williams and Lisa Warrener from Global Arts Projects and Sofitel General Manager,Clive Scott, was awarded to two artists; Belinda Reid and Mali Taylor. Belinda Reid has completed her studio component of Bachelor of Fine Art (drawing and printmaking) from VCA. She works with familiar landscapes, photographic imagery and weaving techniques. Mali Taylor completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Ceramics) at RMIT. Mali's work explores the parameters of coil methodology. For the artist the slow methodical and meditative making process silences frenetic city life resulting in free-form structures that evolve and reveal themselves as femininity, sexuality, spirituality and power.

Emma Goodsir, Director of e.g. etal awarded Rosie Gunzburg for herStitch series with a $500 cash prize and professional development and mentoring. With a Bachelor of Fine Art (Gold and Silversmithing)(Honours) from RMIT, the Stitch series looks at transformations between the digital, hand-made and natural world.

Sophie Kalagas, Editor of Frankie Magazine, presented Aaron Billingswith the Frankie Award including an online feature and a prize pack including subscription and products. Aaron completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Monash University and is interested in the politics and poetics inherent in quilt-making, its correlations with activism and memorials as well as its softness and sustainable production. 

The Craft Victoria Retail Development Award, including a 1-year Maker Membership, professional development sessions and opportunity to be presented within the Craft retail showcase was awarded to Zaiba Khan. Zaiba graduated from Melbourne Polytechnic with an Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design. Her practice is heavily influenced by her Fijian-Indian Islamic upbringing and examines narratives of migration, diasporic experience, traditional healing practices and folklore.

FRESH! 2019
23  March – 4 May 2019

Aaron Billings (Monash), Aphra Cheesman (RMIT), Belinda Reid (VCA), Jess Lyons (RMIT), Jessie Balletta (RMIT), Javier Bermejo (RMIT), Mali Taylor (RMIT), Olive Gill-Hille (RMIT), Rosie Gunzburg (RMIT), Samantha Seary (RMIT) and, Zaiba Khan (Melbourne Polytechnic)

Josephine Briginshaw (Development Coordinator at Australian Tapestry Workshop), Andrei Davidoff (Ceramic Artist and Sculptor), Troy Emery (Artist), Daniel Poole (Furniture Designer and Cabinet Maker), Louise Meuwissen (Artist), Chloë Powell (Craft Victoria Curator and Exhibitions Manager) and Eliza Tiernan (Craft Victoria Curatorial and Marketing Assistant)

Craft Victoria, Watson Place, Melbourne, VIC, 3000 

Fresh! 2019 Catalogue

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Note to Editors: The artists are available for interview. Click here for images.
For further information and/or images please contact Craft on +61 3 9650 7775 or

Fresh!  finalist Zaiba Khan , Fresh!,  opening event, 2019. Photography Thomas Lentini

Fresh! finalist Zaiba Khan, Fresh!, opening event, 2019. Photography Thomas Lentini